By Cristian Frers *
The growing international insertion of economies, the need to compete in globalized markets, technological backwardness, the lack of endogenous centers of science and technology, the lack of trained human resources and, above all, the need for accelerated economic and social development , that serve the purposes of overcoming underdevelopment, have led ECLAC (Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean) to design innovative proposals. And it is precisely this framework of proposals for productive transformation that inspires the development of the environmental policies that are needed to successfully face the increasingly numerous and growing problems of the South American region on this issue. The conviction that the political issue is largely an ecological problem has been generating increasing acceptance in recent years.
A large part of the problem of environmental deterioration in Argentina is due to the conviction that natural resources are unlimited and invulnerable, the lack of an adequate policy, the lack of coordination in the application of the norms and the insufficient information and public awareness on the protection of nature and the scope of protection systems.
In the country, as in other regions, an active policy of preservation of the quality of the environment must be put in place. Already Manuel Belgrano, since 1795, and Hipólito Vieytes, since 1802, denounced what we know today as ecological damage and advocated for agricultural and industrial development that is now classified as sustainable or sustainable. As established in article 41 of the National Constitution and various provisions of the provincial constitutions, the preservation of the quality of the environment must be a State policy in our nation, and as such must be addressed. Although it must be accepted that there is and will always be contamination, it is very important to establish, on a case-by-case basis, what are the recognized and acceptable limits regarding contamination.
The management problem depends mostly on politicians, who are no different from the rest of society. Politicians, like the rest of the human beings, have a little foresightful behavior. How many of us wear seat belts in cars out of fear of fines and not as an accident prevention measure? With the current state of knowledge, measures could be taken that would avoid many problems. However, on many occasions decisions are made that are not against scientific knowledge, but even against common sense.
The development of a municipal environmental policy satisfies important needs for all sectors of local life. She demands that each sector of the community make an environmental balance on the historical process of regional development. It also requires an updated diagnosis, defining how this environmental reality is affected today by its economic, social, cultural, institutional, national and international environment. Each region shows a specific environmental reality, in its natural resources and potential, in the diversity and magnitude of the problems it must face, in the capacities and commitments of its institutions and in the population, among others.
Likewise, this policy obliges each sector of the regional community to review its future challenges and prioritize them, establish deadlines for their fulfillment, define the necessary resources and the responsibilities that correspond to each sector, be it public, private, academic and union, such as It also indicates those tasks that require the participation of various actors in the region. The policy seeks to make the development process environmentally sustainable, ensuring the right to live in a pollution-free environment, environmental protection, the preservation of nature and the conservation of environmental heritage. Its ultimate goal is to improve the quality of life for all inhabitants and future generations.
That is why I fervently believe that the municipality of the city of Carmen de Areco - Province of Buenos Aires should give rise to a secretary or direction of sustainable development to plan: The evaluation of the projects to be developed in the Municipality, to determine which of them have effects on the environment or on the health of the population and that guarantees the participation of neighbors in consultations on said projects in accordance with the laws and, in addition, to train technicians and professionals on issues related to environmental management . This secretary or direction would act as the Enforcement Authority regarding environmental problems and would be the generator of municipal ordinances referring to the management, use and sanitation of water, to the implementation and management of environmental education, among others. However, since 2005 to date, my proposals and complaints have been turned a deaf ear to politicians and municipal authorities… Why?… I don't know.
The environment also needs policies, initiatives and programs that cover the challenges facing the country and the world today. But in Argentina it becomes one more issue in a long list of promises. It is a decision of the entire leadership to renounce the underlying problems. Perhaps then it is time for all of us to put environmental issues on our agenda.
Our generation faces the most extraordinary opportunity for greatness that no other generation in human history has ever had. If we don't change our course and just stop to let the planet collapse, we will be hated more than any other generation that has ever existed. Future generations will know that we were aware of the dangerous demographic explosion of our species, of the loss of biodiversity, of global warming, of the pollution of the seas, air and land, of the thinning of the ozone layer. You will see that we had more than enough information to understand that the problems we had caused required solutions: and you will see just as clearly that we failed to act strongly enough to save Nature. And they will hate us for it because we will have traded our comfort for their future.
* Senior Technician in Environmental Management and Senior Technician in Social Communication (Journalist)