Rotarians working proactively to make the world a better place by taking care of our environment – particularly the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
Environmental Sustainability involves people making decisions that do no harm to the natural world, with particular emphasis on taking actions that preserve the ability for the environment to renew itself and continue to support human well-being.
How can environmental sustainability issues apply to Rotarians?
Rotary International funds and nurtures projects in six Areas of Focus – areas of critical and widespread humanitarian needs: Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution; Disease Prevention and Treatment; Water and Sanitation; Maternal and Child Health; Basic Education and Literacy; Economic and Community Development. Environmental Sustainability is a cross-over attribute that is an essential element of the projects that are designed and implemented by Rotarians, their Clubs and Districts, and funded by Rotary International.
- DEPLETION OF NATURAL RESOURCES: Depletion, pollution and lack of equal access to natural resources, and ecological and food insecurity are root-causes of world conflict, war and forced migration on our crowded planet, frustrating a fundamental goal of RI to bring peace to the world.
- EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS: Changing precipitation patterns, exacerbated by an increasingly unstable climate, have increased both the frequency and severity of extreme weather events: particularly droughts and flooding. The resulting depletion and contamination of surface water and aquifers impedes the RI goal of providing access to safe drinking water and sanitation. Failure to manage our environment sustainably leads to civil strife and the contamination of air, water and soil confound meeting the RI goal of preventing and treating disease.
- ENVIRONMENTAL AFFECTS ON CHILDREN: Environmental degradation undermines the safety of the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the water we drink. These harms are borne disproportionately by children, and the mothers that nurture them. Young minds, some damaged by toxic pollutants and malnutrition, are less able to benefit from education and literacy.
- SOCIAL STABILITY: Civil unrest compromises the social stability essential for education to flourish. The most advantageous and productive community development arises from an approach that values benefits to the society and environment as well as the economy – the essence of sustainability.
In summary, every one of RI’s Six Areas of Focus benefits from efforts that are environmentally sustainable. Every project will be more effective in the long run, if environmental sustainability is the lens through which it is planned, implemented and evaluated. ESRAG’s mission is to engage Rotarians in considering and applying environmental sustainability principles in their projects and daily choices.
What is a Rotarian Action Group?
A Rotarian Action Group (RAG) is a Rotary International approved autonomous, international group with a passion for a particular type of service. Rotarian Action Groups provide assistance and support to Rotary clubs and districts in planning and implementing service projects in their respective areas of expertise.