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The second Jose Marti International Colloquium on the Environment was inaugurated on Tuesday and will run through Friday at the Havana Convention Center.

In his opening speech, Ismael Clark, president of the Cuban Academy of Sciences spoke of the importance of stopping polluting the environment for the sake of the future generations.

It is urgent to modify the prevailing world order, he said, because sustainability is not possible if we play by the rules of apitalism.

Clark recalled that at the 1992 Earth Summit, Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro had noted that the human species was endangered, and that it was at this gathering that the so-called Agenda 21 program was agreed upon.

However, little or nothing has changed with regards to the protection of the environment and biodiversity, he said.

He noted that the exploitation of natural resources is becoming more and more devastating and the relation between humanity and nature is growingly contradictory, sometimes even hostile.

The world population has increased ten times over the last three century.

Almost half the people inhabit the cities. Fifty percent of the lands have been modified by human activity and water consumption is now nine times higher than it was one hundred years ago, he said.

Dr. Armando Hart, director of the National Marti Program and head of the organizing committee of this gathering, welcomed the delegates and guests present at the ceremony and stressed the importance of loving and thinking of Nature, as Cuba's National Hero Jose Marti once advocated.

Mr. Herman Van Hoff, head of the Regional UNESCO office in Cuba, spoke of a series of problems linked to climate change and praised Cuba's efforts in this direction.

Also attending the ceremony were the President of the University of Havana, Dr.Gustavo Cobreiro, Minister of Culture and Politburo member Abel Prieto,Commander of the Revolution Guillermo Garcia, and relatives of the five Cuban men held prisoners in US jails.

By Luis Hernández Serrano

Source: JR

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