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Environmental Ethics and Sustainability
Environmental issues raise a whole set of fundamental questions about what we as human beings value, how we conceive a meaningful life, how we perceive our place in nature, and the kind of world we wish to bequeath for our children.
Sustainable development, meaning the use of our planetary resources for the well-being of all its present and future inhabitants, has become the concept which must guide both individual and collective action at every level and national and international policies. Today UNESCO is perhaps the United Nations agency which takes best account of this principle in the field of education and culture.
COMEST is now focusing on environmental ethics and sustainability. In close cooperation with the International Council for Science (ICSU), the main challenge is to act as catalyst, setting the conditions of a structured dialogue on ethical values and create the elements for a new commitment of the scientific community with society.
Some of the questions the COMEST will address under its new focus are:
How can the Science and Technology community contribute, along with other social actors, to the attainment of sustainable development?
How can Science and Technology help the efforts of societies to reach better standards of living (particularly those approximately 3 billion people in the world living below the poverty line)?
How can sustainable development be raised to a level of global ethics as has been proposed by different groups such as the Brundtland Commission?