Preface | October 17, 2015
To Converge or Not Converge
Dr. Lucille Mazo
To Converge or not to converge resources, that is the question.
Whether it is nobler for humans to share resources that support sustainable practices or whether it is ethical to collaborate with organizations and individuals in society; that is another question. The answer is that there is no choice; they are both required to ensure that we are sustainable as humans in order for us to exist on Earth.
When society witnesses human behaviour of individuals and organizations who are willing to SEED the importance of sustainable practices and conservational approaches, it is truly insightful and reflective. There is a paradigm shift occurring in our world. In Kerala, India, children, teachers, government, and media have converged their resources to improve the understanding of sustainability in future generations. They are not content to sit and just read about conservation; they have chosen to act and to collaborate their knowledge and experience from those within the community. It begins with a vision for a holistic life, a deeper comprehension, and a resourcefulness that originates from clarity of purpose and alacrity of movement. In Kerala, media have been instrumental in communicating the good work that is being accomplished within its community. This convergence is irreplaceable, as it cannot be orchestrated but rather is organically driven by those at the grass roots level.
In Ecuador, the need to educate university students about nutrition is substantial. Understanding how the critical platform that education offers for students to learn about nourishment is fundamental to good health. Education is one of the key resources that Ecuador seeks to use to inform its citizens about food quality. Collaboration with universities to communicate nutritional information begins with awareness and access to this knowledge. Convergence includes resources such as government policy, media, and industry practices that can be used to increase student comprehension of nutrition. What foods are most nutritious? Where can I find them? How do I understand nutritional labels? In Ecuador, many are beginning to pose these questions in an effort to converge knowledge, technology, and education in support of nutritional awareness.
Convergence of resources is also found within other areas in society. For example, the method of “Garbology: The Modern Day Archaeology” allows for the study of contemporary remains. Resources from archaeological digs, reports from city landfills, transportation patterns, and public opinion polls and surveys all provide important information about the extent of garbage disposal on Earth. The energy sector is another area in society where convergence is needed significantly to break the cycle of the use of fossil fuels by changing human behaviours through education, government policy, and environmental awareness. This complex problem requires the collaboration of resources to first understand its depth and impact, and then requires numerous and diverse resources to respond to this regional and global issue.
Convergence was an approach that was used in past generations. For example, the Aboriginal population understands the complexity of resourcefulness within their community. “Aboriginal peoples of the Northern Alberta Boreal Forest have used fire knowledge and burning practices to maintain their environment for generations. Prescribed burning is vital to Aboriginal peoples’ relationships with the environment, and was essential to their hunting and gathering subsistence” (Roy-Denis, 2015).
However, convergence of resources is applied to animals, as well. Currently, the snow leopard is endangered. However, organizations such as the “International Snow Leopard Trust (1981) which focuses on the protection of snow leopards and their habitat and the Snow Leopard Survival Strategy (SLSS), founded in 2002, which aspires to promoting sound, scientifically-based conservation and providing research and conservation strategies through collaboration with numerous organizations, scientists, and governments” work together to support this extinct animal (Jones, 2015). Convergence of resources are clearly being applied in this situation and demonstrates a collaborative response to this conservational concern.
However, it is humans who are the resource that will enable extinction of species to stop. “Preservation will only be possible if humans work hard enough, though it is harder than parachuting species into cross-cutting assemblages of social interest and material praxis (McKee, 2014). In other words, preservation is possible if the human race pushes for it, while at the same time we cannot just expect to take animal and plant species from certain areas and just leave them in an area we design specifically for them” (Nazarevich, 2015).
The authors in the Earth Common Journal: Convergence 5, Number 1 2015 know that when resources are converged, they become the catalysts that support the positive social change needed. Students have consistently applied their intense sense of curiosity about the Earth and their remarkable ability to be strong and hopeful through their fresh perspectives on how to live on this wonderful and forgiving Earth. Thank you to all those students who have brought understanding, courage, and resilience to Earth Common Journal. We look forward to receiving your thoughts, ideas, and observations over the next five years.
In our fifth year of publishing, we celebrate the excellent research that students have accomplished in the areas of sustainability, conservation, and climate change. Their voices are clear and strong. Earth Common Journal supports their noble and ethical questions for the purpose of achieving harmony on Earth.
Many dedicated, knowledgeable, and passionate individuals assisted in the development of the Earth Common Journal: Convergence Vol. 5 No. 1 2015. Thank you to everyone who participated in developing this issue.