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The Dagomys Declaration

Issued September, 1988

A theme that emerged from these deliberations with particular force and clarity was the need formore widespread appreciation of the ways in which growing problems of environmental disruption,under-development in the South, and over consumption in the North relate to each other, link theinterests of all the world's peoples, and interact with the problem of avoiding war that has long beenthe core concern of Pugwash. Convinced that the importance and timeliness of this conception of theinterconectedness of the threats to human well-being justifies special efforts to communicate it, we aretaking the unusual step of issuing a separate "Dagomys Declaration of the Pugwash Council" on this topic:

We live in an interdependent world of increasing risks. Thirty-three years ago, the Russell-EinsteinManifesto warned humanity that our survival is imperiled by the risk of nuclear war. The familiarchallenges identified in that Manifesto and the 1982 Warsaw Declaration of Nobel Laureates remain asimportant as ever. But in the spirit of the Russell-Einstein Manifesto, we now call on all scientists toexpand our concerns to a broader set of interrelated dangers: destruction of the environment on aglobal scale and denial of basic needs for a growing majority of humankind. Without reducing ourcommitment to arms reduction and war prevention, we must recognize that environmental degradationand large-scale impoverishment are already facts and can lead to massive catastrophe even if nuclearwar is avoided.

The present inequitable international economic order confines manycountries to the crushing cycle of poverty and induces them to useenvironmentally destructive industrial and agricultural practices.When coupled with world-wide population growth, and excessiveproduction and profligate consumerism in the industrial nations, thisis pushing the planet toward disaster.

Today's pattern of increasing energy use is a key link in a dangerousweb of international environmental problems. Among these are globalclimate change, ozone depletion, acid deposition, and waterpollution. These, combined with other potentially catastrophic effectsincluding deforestation, soil erosion, and mass extinction of species,reduce the earth's ability to support a growing population. The combined effect diminishes ecosystem functions in ways that willdamage economies in the North and fatally undermine economies inthe South.

These linked environmental problems affect all nations. They exacerbate international tensions and increase the risk of future conflicts through the impacts of sea-level rises, forced migrations, and persistent crop failures. To survive, we must recognize that environmental degradation weakens the security of all. The challenge is to find ways to promote sustainable development of all regions of the world while reducing both military and ecological threats. Cooperation among nations, and effective organizations at the international, national, regional, and local levels, are essential to maintain earth's life- support systems. Intense efforts must bemade to foster a feeling of connectedness and cooperation and to correct economic injustices andpromote trust.

The steps taken up to the present to halt environmental destruction have proved inadequate. Muchstronger measures are required now. These include the development of alternative high-yieldagricultural methods, while recognizing the value of some traditional practices, in order to conservescarce water and topsoil. They will also entail strict regulation of industry and land use, and massiveinvestment in environmentally sound practices, increased efficiency of resource use, deployment ofrenewable energy technologies, poverty reduction, and population planning. Education must promote ashift toward lifestyles compatible with the preservation of our life-support systems. Global use of fossilfuels must be reduced. The 1987 Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depletion must be strengthened toeliminate the production and use of chlorofluoro-carbons. International support for reforestation mustbe increased drama-tically. In this way, the planet may move toward a new and stable balance in whichnature can withstand the impacts of human civilization.

Pugwash Council

Chairman: John P. Holdren, United States*
Angel T. Balevski, Bulgaria
Dénes Berényi, Hungary
Francesco Calogero, Italy*
Ubiratan D'Ambrosio, Brazil
Hans-Peter Dürr, Germany
Bernard T. Feld, United States*
Shalheveth Freier, Israel
Essam E. Galal, Egypt*
Virginia Gamba, Argentina
Vitalii I. Goldanskii, Soviet Union*
Lameck K.H. Goma, Zambia
Anatoly Gromyko, Soviet Union
Andrew Haines, United Kingdom
Sergei Kapitza, Soviet Union
Martin M. Kaplan, Switzerland*
Catherine M. Kelleher, United States
Karlheinz Lohs, Germany
Peter Markl, Austria
Maciej Nalecz, Poland*
Samuel El. Okoye, Nigeria
Joseph Rotblat, United Kingdom*
Jack Ruina, United States
Philip B. Smith, Netherlands
Bhalchandra M. Udgaonkar, India*
Zhou Peiyuan, China
*Pugwash Executive Committee