We will

Safura Zavaran Hoseini

In the name of Allah who created my country, Iran – a country of mountains, fields and seas – full of natural resources, oil and other minerals that have brought us great wealth and comfort!

I am one girl amongst millions who were part of our country’s population explosion. My generation faces many problems – overpopulation, unemployment, over-use of natural resources and many other things. As in many other countries around the world, the poverty rate and the level of social welfare are a concern. Resources are declining while the need for them is increasing.

Lack of wisdom
For me, the reasons are cultural poverty, lack of information and knowledge, and the search for economic profits. We collectively lack wisdom in dealing with nature. This is a new phenomenon. I know people from previous generations who respected nature. They had trust and belief in living and dealing with nature – considering old trees, for example, as holy creatures. Cutting and harming them was not allowed and offenders were punished.

What has happened to us? I am the child of a city dweller. My parents came to the city along with millions of others to seek wealth. They did not teach me how to preserve our culture or our environment, or how to care for nature. Yet our land is still well filled with resources. Maybe my parents had no choice. They were so busy with politics, revolution, war, rebuilding. They had no time to think about the environment or collect knowledge about it and its resources. Maybe they never fully recognized its importance – its centrality to all our lives and future.

Nature’s disciplines
In my country there are people – particularly young ones – who care about the environment and understand the disciplines of living within the constraints of nature. We try to raise environmental awareness amongst others. As we trade with others and meet each other over the Internet, we realize that we are part of a growing generation around the world dedicated to conserving the natural resources with which Allah has blessed us. One day we will succeed. It may take a long time, but finally, my generation – the first global generation – will fully understand the value of nature. We will decrease poverty in our country while at the same time restoring, healing and conserving our beautiful environment. We will achieve sustainable development

Safura Zavaran Hoseini is a First-year student of Environmental Engineering in Tehran University and Member of Peace Child International’s Iranian affiliate, the Green Front of Iran.

PHOTOGRAPH: Naser Atarody/UNEP/Topham

This issue:
Contents | Editorial K. Toepfer | Looking through new lenses | Development with a human face | Trade can transform | Achieving win–win–win | People | Promises to keep | As precious as gold | Expanding the circle | At a glance: Globalization, poverty, trade and the environment | Acting local | Cooperation is catching | Books & products | Getting through the bottleneck | Investing in the environment | Bishkek Mountain Platform | You can’t breathe money | We will succeed | Fair trade? Fair question


Complementary articles in other issues:
Bushra Razack: ‘Dear Delegates’ (World Summit on Sustainable Development) 2002
Young, impatient and soon to be in charge (The Environment Millennium) 2000

AAAS Atlas of Population and Environment:
About the AAAS Atlas of Population and Environment

Population and ecosystems
Population and natural resources