University signs international sustainability charter

Issued: Wed, 06 Mar 2002 00:00:00 GMT

The Principal of the University, Professor Sir Graeme Davies, signed the Talloires declaration and the Copernicus charter. He affirmed the University of Glasgow's support for sustainable development, defined by the Brundtland report as "that which meets present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

The preamble to the Talloires declaration explains why the University of Glasgow has pledged support for critical action both within the academic environment and also in the wider community.

"We, the presidents, rectors, and vice chancellors of universities from all regions of the world are deeply concerned about the unprecedented scale and speed of environmental pollution and degradation, and the depletion of natural resources.

Local, regional, and global air and water pollution; accumulation and distribution of toxic wastes; destruction and depletion of forests, soil, and water; depletion of the ozone layer and emission of "green house" gases threaten the survival of humans and thousands of other living species, the integrity of the earth and its biodiversity, the security of nations, and the heritage of future generations. These environmental changes are caused by inequitable and unsustainable production and consumption patterns that aggravate poverty in many regions of the world. We believe that urgent actions are needed to address these fundamental problems and reverse the trends. Stabilization of human population, adoption of environmentally sound industrial and agricultural technologies, reforestation, and ecological restoration are crucial elements in creating an equitable and sustainable future for all humankind in harmony with nature. Universities have a major role in the education, research, policy formation, and information exchange necessary to make these goals possible. Thus, university leaders must initiate and support mobilization of internal and external resources so that their institutions respond to this urgent challenge."

By signing the Talloires Declaration and the Copernicus Charter the Principal recognises the importance of the teaching and management of these issues and of the research in this area that is already taking place across the University. In this way Glasgow joins other leading Universities around the world in addressing the environmental, social and economic factors that will help to create a sustainable future for the planet.

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