What’s on at the International Summer School: Professor Henk Manschot and His Ecological Footprint

Dr. Henk Manschot, one of the coordinators of International Summer School on Human Development and Human Rights is worried to see the imbalance occurred between humanity and the earth. “Human being has taken in this earth more than the earth can provide; so, they are responsible for biodiversity extinct,” said the professor of humanities in Utrecht, the Netherlands, who have been involved in discourse of humanity and sustainable development throughout his academic career.

On the discussion that occurred at a quiet corner in WMM last week after he addressed a lecture of “Sustainable Development: Rethinking the Relationship between Ecology, Ethics and Pluralism”, he explicitly brought forward the gloomy fact of human population and consumption that rapidly eliminated the Earth’ ecology. “The total of humanity’s ecological footprints is estimated almost at 2.3 of planet Earth, we are rapidly growth from 1 billion in the 19th century to 6-7 billion now.” The quality of humanity, he asserted, is on its willingness to respectfully put the Earth at the centre of human life.

Started his ecological concern in 2004, Prof. Manschot who is also known as one of the key players in organizing the International Summer School proposed an idea of time diagnosis toward the humanity’s ecological footprint. The keenness of humanity should start to measure and diagnose how much the natural resources of biodiversity human had taken from the Earth. He opined that the answer of humanity toward this vexed question found in an effort to implement a clean technology, clear city-building, political will, and religious cosmology, from interpretation to action.

“Start to see water, trees, and a flock of Hummingbirds as not merely an instrument but a friend may be a very positive romanticism to me. Can I consider this as a new ethic?” said the Director of Kosmopolis Institute who just returned from a safari in Africa wilderness with his wife Agnes, with a slight smile. Imitating the spirited voice of US politician Al Gore who quoted a famous speech of Chief Seattle, leader of the Duwamish Indians, Prof. Manschot ended the chat that afternoon saying, “For the earth does not belong to man, it is man who belongs to the earth. Man does not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it.” (Gie)


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