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New models for a better life

(c) Antoine Berger

The western economic model consumes the natural resources of three planet Earths. And it is spreading to developing countries – we are their role model.

The challenge is therefore clear: to replace our “more and more” approach with “better and better”. This requires the development of an economy for the common good with a focus on the needs of human beings and nature.

The 2014 annual CIPRA conference in Annecy, which was organised by CIPRA France and CIPRA International, saw a lively debate on this subject. Hugues de Jouvenel reminded the meeting that the future is not predetermined, but offers alternatives and that each one of us can help shape it. It is important to think in scenarios so as to have a certain freedom of action and not be forced simply to accept change. Change presupposes innovation, and that comes from the regions and their inhabitants. Politicians must listen to them in order to facilitate positive change.

There is no transport system and no energy generation system that does not have an impact on the world’s natural resources. Moderation is the only solution if we are to minimise the use of resources. This is why we must rethink fundamental socioeconomic concepts such as indicators of wealth, values and market regulation systems and learn to make better use of what we have.

The conference also included a discussion on the Macro-Regional Strategy for the Alps, which offers a unique opportunity to implement certain aspects of the Alpine Convention. However, this process also involves the risk of negative developments – the macro-region, as a product of the Treaty of Lisbon, is also subject to the growth paradigm. In the absence of appropriate protective measures, there is a risk that more and more natural and agricultural resources will be consumed. Sufficiency, a collaborative economy and the involvement of local stakeholders are just a few of the key issues for CIPRA France’s work in 2015 and for the exchange of good practice between the various regions of the Alps.

www.cipra.org/france (fr)

Source: Annual Report 2014, CIPRA International, http://www.cipra.org/annual-reports