Pachamama: Our Earth, Our Future

‘Children are often the driving force behind eco-friendly living’, says a new publication which gives them an international voice. Hundreds of children from every continent cooperated to prepare Pachamama: Our Earth, Our Future. Named after a word meaning Mother Earth in the Inca culture, it is a special youth edition of UNEP’s Global Environment Outlook 2000. These extracts spell out a challenge from the generation with most at stake in the new century.

‘Ladies and gentlemen! This is your information officer speaking to you from the GEO Information Centre of Spaceship Planet Earth. As you know, there are no passengers on this spaceship. We are all, in a sense, pilots.

‘We all have an impact on our route and flight plan. This update is just to tell you that, from here, it looks like you're all making a pretty poor job of it! I would like to wish you all a pleasant life-flight, but I've just checked out the computer projections and I have to tell you that, if you behave as recklessly as your parents, the good ship Planet Earth will crash sometime in the not too distant future!

‘This need not happen, of course, but all of you out there, especially those of you who are chewing up its surface and wasting its fuel, will have to choose a different flight plan – and do it pretty soon if this flight is to have a happy ending. Thank you and choose your flight plan carefully.’

The Editors of Pachamama

‘Humans, once considered to be the only creatures wise enough to alter the environment for our convenience, have turned out to be the only ones insane enough to demolish it.’

Robert Oburta Wanndera, Uganda

‘I cannot understand why adults are so stupid as to think that technology can solve every single problem.’

Mauricio Flores Castro, Mexico

‘Though everything may seem everlasting, caring should start from the youth in me.’

Angela Shima, The Philippines

‘Governments need to open their eyes to the needs of the planet and take drastic action for change. At present, they are blinded by power struggles and distorted priorities and they are hurting the Earth and themselves.’

Amy Saunders, United Kingdom

‘If I were Head of State, I would control enterprises and make sure they obeyed environmental laws strictly. I would punish them severely if they broke the laws.’

Boris Medvedev, Ukraine

‘Plant a tree for every happy moment. Recycle paper for every feeling you wrote. Take care of endangered animals for everyone you love.’

Monica Edward, Monica Ortega and Roxana Nevorrez, Mexico

‘We must take action against those who get satisfaction in driving species to extinction.’

Tuomas Korteinen, Finland

‘There is not a market where we can buy another planet!’

Ana Gabriela de Luna, Mexico

‘We, the children of today, must demand that laws are passed to control the rate at which forests are cut to ensure that some forest remains for the future.’

Richard Buobo Mesco, Uganda

‘Each country should have a Youth Environment Security Council to look at environmental issues and suggest what action the government should take. The council would also develop projects for young people to carry out, with government support. Representatives of the national councils could meet to exchange ideas and lobby for international agreements to protect the environment for their, and future, generations.’

The Editors of Pachamama

Pachamama, published by Evans Brothers, is a joint project of UNEP and Peace Child International, in partnership with UNESCO and UNICEF, and funded by the United Nations Foundation for International Partnerships. Copies are available (price: £7.99) from:
SMI, PO Box 119, Pin Green, Stevenage, Herts SG1 4TP, United Kingdom,
Tel: +44 1438 748111
Fax: +44 1438 748844
or through

PHOTOGRAPH: Jhe Vivatviena/UNEP/Topham

Contents | Editorial K. Toepfer | Time to act | A climate of change | Melding heart and head | Looking through green glasses | Multi-local business | World Environment Day 2000 |
At a glance | Competition | The greening of Goliath | Unfair trade | No sleeping after Seattle | Disproportionate effects | Liberal rations | New millennium, new regulation | Secretary-General’s Report | Pachamama: Our Earth, Our Future