“This sixth WEEC takes place in a region, the Asia-Pacific, that has recently seen tremendous natural disasters, but also man-made disasters, the result of man’s action on the planet.
From the tsunami and the destruction of the nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan, to rising sea levels that threaten small islands and the lower coastal regions; from desertification in China to floods right here in Australia. Unfortunately there have been many confirmations that human society, as the sociologist Ulrick Beck, lives in the era of global risk.
Our biodiversity is increasingly at risk in an overpopulated planet struck by global warming. Water, food and soil are increasingly insufficient resources that are subject to stress, unfairly distributed, and a source of conflict and appropriation by the richer and more powerful nations. Environmental refugees and migration are multiplying. This is the situation we find ourselves in as we get together for our Congress.
The WEECs have been an ambitious, difficult and partially-won challenge. We have been meeting regularly since 2003, bringing together thousands of experts and educators from every continent. After Portugal, Brazil, Italy, South Africa and Australia, we are already planning the next meeting in Morocco in 2013 and considering candidates for the Congresses of 2015 and 2017.
Secretary General of the WEEC network