the Altai Charter

A new type of society needs environmentally and spiritually oriented strategy – the Altai Charter

The Altai Forum “Society, Human and Nature Co-Development within the Framework of the Dialogue of Civilizations”, organized by the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” by initiative of the number of  public figures and experts, has finished its work.

The event was attended by representatives of public authorities, scientific and public organizations of Russia, Mongolia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Iran, USA, India, Austria, UK, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine. The forum was attended by experts were presented the International Coordinating Council “Our Common Home – Altai”, the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation, Institute for Far Eastern Studies, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

The forum is dedicated to the ecological, spiritual and cultural aspects of cooperation among peoples in the name of common better future, harmonious interaction and development of society, man and nature.

The event was organized as a conference with plenary meetings and workshops with the participation of about 100 scientists, experts, community and government leaders from 20 countries. Three main groups of questions are proposed for the discussion: economy, culture and spirituality, politics and international cooperation.

According to forum participants, the necessity to create a new type of society caused by the existing split of nature, society and the individual, as well as social injustice, conflicts and the inability to self-actualization of people’s identity. Aggressive pursuit for profit has led us not only to the global financial crisis, but to the crisis of modern technologically-consumer civilization at all and, in fact, to the global environmental crisis.

Many of the processes at states and corporate levels were subordinated not only to long-term profit-making, but to short-term profit-making at the expense of super-exploitation of nature and due to very serious conflict and misalignment between financial capital and real capital“- said in his speech Andrey Klepach, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of Russia, Head Chair of macroeconomic regulation and planning department of the Economic Faculty of Lomonosov Moscow State University.

20% of the world’s population – the U.S., Europe, Japan – owned 82.7% of the global social income. According to the statistics, in developed countries is being thrown in a landfill 48% of fruits and vegetables and 50% from delivered quantity of seafood, while more than half a billion people on the planet is regularly starving. Even these figures show us that we live in a totally unfair world that needs to be changed” – underlined Andrey Ivanov, Professor, Head of the Department of Philosophy of Altai State Agrarian University.

The speaker also noted that globalization today is carried out by the so-called underclass culture – at the level of IT-technologies, distribution and improvement gadgets while at the levels of different religions and cultures we have a split and conflicts, and from this point we remain virtually in the process of de-globalization.

All of us are in a crisis of reproduction of the future. After the communist ideology, when the present is always sacrificed to the future, we find ourselves in a situation where we had to solve quickly the problems of renewal of the economic mechanism, the renewal of public relations, the renewal of our ideas about the world” – said in his speech Vladimir Kulikov, executive director of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations”.

According to Akeell Bilgrami, professor of philosophy and member of the Committee of global thinking at Columbia University, the nuts and bolts of today’s ecological crisis were laid in the 17th century, when nature has been regarded as an object of science.

“I want to understand how the concept of nature transformed into the concept of natural resources? As a human being become a citizen, people transformed into  population, and knowledge into expertians? “- said Akeel Bilgrami.

The forum participants concluded that the obstacle to humanity unification today is a lack of common spiritual values​​. Together so we have fundamental values ​​collapse – such as family, the attitude towards beauty is changing – pathology becomes the norm, and nature ratio in our culture is cynical and destructive. While economy often does not take into account environmental factors.

According to professor of environmental economics Economics Faculty of Moscow State University Sergei Bobylev , sustainable economic development must be based on the principles of “green economy”, because traditional market models are anti-eko and antisocial. Also new approaches are needed to measure the efficiency of the economy – rejection of an estimation through the use of GDP in favor of the estimation of qualitative achievements. In countries with great social problems and lots of natural capital at high rates of GDP may extend human potential deterioration and depletion of natural capital , ie actually depletion of future.

According to the participants of the Altai forum, economic development within the framework of the Eurasian space, the formation of a new “green” economy assumes implementation of both small and large-scale joint projects. These projects must pass a balanced assessment, including compliance with the principles of co-development of society, human and nature. The implementation of the projects should not be ensured at any price, but with the deliberated environmental impact expertise.

Ultimately, the solution to these problems is impossible without changing of society’s values ​​and the transition from the industrial – consumer paradigm for spiritual and environmental, as paramount importance has not economic achievements of the countries and regions, but the quality of life and personal development of the individual. It was also noted that the indirect consequence of the secularization of society was a paradigm shift in attitudes toward nature as sacred, because in almost all world religions nature particularly revered. The forum participants agreed that nature must be returned in the same lost in centuries sacred status, with giving to it a new meaning, and society should be based on the principles of “a man is man to a man” through “acceptance of the other as yourself” (Vladimir Kulikov).

As a result of the Forum was made “Altai Charter” calling for environmentally responsible economic and social development where the special importance of cultural and national heritage for the development of humanity and the need for its worldwide protection and creative expansion.

As stated in the charter the fundamental importance during the transition to a new type of society are the unique cultural biospheric regions of the Earth, like the Greater Altai with considerable areas of pristine nature with great biodiversity and a large number of sites of cultural heritage belonging to many nations, where regional international cooperation has been based on new–spiritual and environmental–principles and priorities.

In the future work of the Forum will be the basis for the creation of the Altai club of experts, community and business leaders who share his ideas, for making conferences and round tables.

The full text of the Altai Charter can be found at the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations


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