5th of June is World Environment Day – a day to remember that we are part of the Earth, and that we all have a duty to care. That two centuries of fossil fuel driven development is pushing humanity to the brink. And we need to change course.

This environment day is dominated by President Trump walking out of the Paris agreement. A “concrete-ist” afraid of the “winds of change”. What does Trump’s cowardice imply for international obligations to protect the earth, for a future based on ecological justice, for sowing the seeds of Earth Democracy?

Environmental laws at the national level were created in the 1970’s to protect the Earth from harm, and because we are part of the Earth, to protect people from harm.

In 1992, at the Earth Summit, the International community adopted two major ecological principles – the precautionary principle and the polluter pays principle, and signed two legally binding agreements – The UN Convention on the Conservation of Biodiversity,(CBD) and UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).

Both treaties were shaped by the emerging ecological sciences and the deepening ecology movement. One was a scientific response to the ecological impact of pollution of the atmosphere due to use of fossil fuels.The second was a scientific response to the genetic pollution caused by GMOs and the erosion of biodiversity due to the spread of industrial, chemical monocultures. Three years after Rio, the UN Leipzig Conference on Plant Genetic Resources assessed that 75 % biodiversity had disappeared because of the Green Revolution and Industrial farming.

Interdisciplinary science and democratic movements created the momentum for International Environmental law. Science and Democracy continue to be the forces challenging the mindless threat to the Earth because of corporate greed.

In the case of Climate Change the key issue is reduction of emissions and strategies for adaptation. In the case of Biodiversity Conservation the key issues are Biosafety and promotion of practices that conserve Biodiversity.

Both treaties connect in agriculture, our daily bread. How we grow our food has a major impact on the health of the planet and the health of people.