Mother Pelican
A Journal of Solidarity and Sustainability

Vol. 8, No. 12, December 2012
Luis T. Gutiérrez, Editor
Home Page


The End of Patriarchy Started Long Ago

"The Manger"
Courtesy of
Julie Rodriguez Jones
Art from the Soul

The end of patriarchy actually started about 2000 years ago in Bethlehem of Judea, but it is only recently that tangible signs of the demise of that man-made culture of domination and control (of women by men, of "uncivilized" nations by "civilized" ones, of nature by humans) have begun to emerge in the conscious awareness of people throughout the world.

As the saying goes, "old habits die hard." The agricultural revolution happened about 10,000 years ago, and by then patriarchy had become prevalent in human civilization, to the point of being taken for granted as "the natural order of things." Therefore, it pre-dated the beginnings of human civilization, preceded the foundation of all known religious and ethical systems, and contaminated them all. Patriarchy rationalizes the use of all manner of violence (physical and/or psychological) to enforce and sustain such domination. It leads to seeking the accumulation of money, power, and honors as the normative expressions of "success" in life. The industrial revolution, fueled by cheap fossil energy sources, brought about the additional myth of "infinite growth in a finite world," an absurdity that still prevails in the minds of the vast majority of people currently alive, including many highly educated persons as well as many secular and religious leaders who should know better.

We need to pray and work for the end of patriarchy as a normative guide to human affairs. Patriarchy may already be in hospice care, but will the final end come soon enough? And then, what? As Thomas Berry once pointed out, the entire community of creation is being crucified. So be it, we know that only death leads to new life. But the burning question is: what's next? Perhaps a new civilization of solidarity and sustainability? It may be naive to think that Homo economicus will spontaneously become Homo ecologicus any time soon. But, when Mother Nature begins complaining loud enough and people start getting hit in their lifestyles and pocketbooks, who knows ...

In the 6th century BCE, in China, Lao Tzu reportedly taught that "he who knows he has enough is rich." The story of Christmas is not about luxurious buildings with air conditioning during the summer, heater during the winter, and extravagant amenities throughout the year. If the manger of Bethlehem was good enough for the young couple arriving from Nazareth to lay down their newborn baby, who says we need more? May the impending ecological crisis become an opportunity for us to overcome patriarchy and recognize when "enough is enough."


Page 1. Hakone Vision on Governance for Sustainability in the 21st Century, International Environmental Governance Architecture Research Group and Earth System Governance Project
Page 2. We cannot avoid the global crisis… but we can deal with it, by Paul Gilding
Page 3. Who Will Get This Economy Going? No One, by Dave Gardner
Page 4. Mobilizing the Global Business Community to Achieve Sustainable Prosperity, by Robert Engelman
Page 5. Human Happiness and the Environment – Address by Uruguayan President José Mujica at the Rio +20 Summit, translated by Verónica Pamoukaghlián
Page 6. The Economics of Oil Dependence: A Glass Ceiling to Recovery, by Victoria Johnson, Andrew Simms, and Tony Greenham
Page 7. Global Map of Ecosystem Functionality, by Lisa Freudenberger, Pierre Ibisch, and Peter Hobson
Page 8. Efficiency and Entrepreneurship: Key Ingredients for Infinite Growth, by Milton Mountebank
Page 9. Carrying Capacity and Overshoot: Another Look, by Paul Chefurka

The following supplements have been updated:

Supplement 1: Advances in Sustainable Development (prayer, study, action, news, pubs, tools, data, models)
Supplement 2: Directory of Sustainable Development Resources (library of 1000+ links to online resources)
Supplement 3: Long-Term Strategies for Sustainable Energy (clean energy, mitigation and adaptation strategies)
Supplement 4: Short-Term Strategies for Sustainable Energy (education, taxes, basic income, ISO standards)
Supplement 5: Fostering Gender Equality in Society (gender solidarity and equality, men and women in society)
Supplement 6: Fostering Gender Equality in Religion (liberation from patriarchy, men and women in religion)


SDSIM2BAU19003900SI298.jpg Solidarity reinforces Sustainability and vice versa
The horizontal and vertical scales are not shown in order to avoid giving the impression that this is a prediction. This is a simulated scenario, not a prediction. It portrays dynamic modes of system behavior that can be expected during the transition from consumerism to sustainability, as follows:

~ Population, production, and consumption peak, stagnate and/or oscillate with downward trend, and eventually decrease to long-term sustainable levels.
~ The peak in energy availability is followed by a long decline until it settles to the steady-state flow that is allowed by solar (and perhaps other cosmic) sources of energy.
~ The solidarity index is an indicator of social cohesion, which is tightly coupled with the sustainability of resource usage.

This is not intended to be an "alarmist" scenario. However, it would be wise to take the Precautionary Principle into account when formulation sustainable development policies as we enter the Anthropocene Age. Widespread violence is bound to emerge if demographic and consumption adjustments are to be made involuntarily. Is this "the future we want" for the entire community of nations? NB: The current SDSIM 2.0 is a demo, not a capability.

Feature Article
Towards a Charter Moment:
Hakone Vision on Governance for Sustainability in the 21st Century

International Environmental Governance Architecture Research Group
and Earth System Governance Project

Reprinted with Permission from
Towards a Chater Moment, Tokyo Workshop, September 2011
Corresponding Author: Norichika Kanie

This summary captures the main outcomes of the Earth System Governance Hakone Vision Factory, held 27-29 September 2011, in Hakone, Kanagawa, Japan. This workshop addressed the key issues required for a fundamental transformation of global sustainability governance in the 21st century.


The "Earth System Governance Hakone Vision Factory: Bridging Science Policy Boundaries" was organised by the International Environmental Governance Architecture Research Group and the Earth System Governance Project, in collaboration with the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and United Nations University Institute for Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS), and the Tokyo Institute of Technology and was supported by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership. The Hakone Vision Factory is further built on the Conversation Café at the Colorado Conference on Earth System Governance in May 2011, and the Policy Brief Transforming Governance and Institutions for a Planet under Pressure: Revitalizing the Institutional Framework for Global Sustainability. For further correspondence, please contact Norichika Kanie.



The issues and political dynamics in the 21st century are different from those in 1945 when the institutions in the United Nations were founded. Today’s problems are characterized by temporal, spatial, and sectoral interdependencies, complexity, as well as uncertainty. While incremental changes have enabled certain progress towards sustainability, the current system governing sustainable development is no longer sufficient given the number, impact, interdependence and complexity of problems associated with global change. Governance for sustainability requires transformative reforms with clear vision. The 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) could be a charter moment — the beginning of a reform process leading to transformative change of sustainability governance (by “charter moment”, we mean the need to establish a constitution of governance for sustainable development that better reflects the challenges of the 21st century, which does not necessarily imply the immediate amendment of the UN Charter).

The Hakone Vision Factory proposes principles and recommendations to guide this transformation clustered around three interrelated issues: Aspirations, Actors, and Architecture.


We are living in a highly dynamic, human-dominated earth system in which non-linear, abrupt, and irreversible changes are not only possible but also probable. Governance for sustainability in the era of “anthropocene” requires that objectives, underlying values and norms, as well as knowledge and uncertainty be refined and operationalized.

  • Governance goals have changed from those in 1945 when the post-WWII institutions were established. This requires changes in governance systems. The international community should discuss the priorities, pathways and qualitative and normative goals of sustainability.
  • The emerging discussion on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in line with and complementing the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), could become an important political target, providing momentum and attention to sustainable development. Careful consideration is required to determine how the SDG’s can be positioned alongside the successful MDG’s, which continue to be of high relevance and importance.
  • Approaches to sustainability governance based on economic values are insufficient - and partly the cause of unsustainable development. There is a clear need to go beyond GDP and market-value in measuring development. Human well-being and the quality of life are important additional values, as are considerations of ecosystem services and the non-anthropocentric values of other living beings.
  • Alternative metrics to GDP have been developed, such as the Human Development Index. Further development of the goals of sustainable development and methodologies could result in a sustainable development indicator, combining variables from the three pillars of sustainable development, or a small suite of indices that have to be pursued simultaneously and without tradeoffs. This is considered to have potential as a useful and policy relevant tool, but only when institutional and financial underpinnings are provided.


Governance for sustainability demands the broadening of meaningful and accountable participation and solutions from people for people.

  • Information technologies, including social media, have the potential to support governance for sustainability by giving voice to those groups and individuals that have been marginalized in the decision making process, and stimulating and facilitating trans-boundary communication and deliberation. However, contentious issues remain regarding the legitimacy and accountability of decentralized participation (e.g. referenda), in particular because these technologies are not universally available and affordable.
  • The evolving nature of governance and the problems of global change have engaged a wide variety and large number of non-state actors. Mechanisms to include nonstate actors in the intergovernmental UN system (for example through Major Groups in the CSD) are laudable but insufficient and not truly inclusive, often leading to misrepresentation.
    • One way to improve representation in the current intergovernmental system would be to add a mechanism of checks and balances (between governments and non-state actors) that could be inspired by the example of the EU Parliament in relation to the EU Council. In designing such a mechanism, attention should also be paid to the risk of paralysis.
    • Mechanisms to enable meaningful involvement of other actors, including persons or organisations of high respect, cities, communities, and social movements in governance for sustainability are needed.
  • The emergence of new actors requires a governance system with a larger range of instruments. While states are the central actors, non-state actors are necessary for accountable and effective governance for sustainability. Options include improved private governance (such as the Forest Stewardship Council or Marine Stewardship Council) and public-private partnerships. Safeguards need to be in place to ensure the accountability and legitimacy of non-state actors.


The architecture for sustainability governance needs to be re-built to include better integration, as well as improved institutions and decisionmaking mechanisms.

Proposals for the required transformative changes in the architecture of governance for sustainability need to be assessed based on a set of criteria, including:

  1. Membership: Meaningful participatory approaches that are inclusive and account for power differentials between nation states, non-state actors, and other groups in society.
  2. Funding: Appropriate and stable levels of funding.
  3. Authority/Mandate: Appropriate authority and efficiency.
  4. Compliance and Implementation: Appropriate capacity to address compliance and implementation.
  5. Adaptability: Effective adaptive approaches that could include sunset clauses and scheduled re-chartering moments in agreements, dynamic criteria to all selection and decision-making mechanisms to reflect changes in natural and social systems, and network approaches.
  6. Accountability: Strong accountability and transparency safeguards

The absence of suitable arrangements on one or more of these criteria will jeopardize prospects for transformative change.


Drawing on the discussion of Aspirations, Actors, and Architecture, the Hakone Vision Factory discussed and evaluated many of the proposals for a re-structured institutional framework for sustainable development that would improve governance and determined that proposals for a Sustainable Development Council deserve more serious consideration.

  • The process towards the establishment of the Sustainable Development Council needs to be carefully balanced with other governance reforms for sustainable development and with consideration to the oversight of the process, and the positioning and configuration of the Council in the constellation of the institutional framework for sustainable development, including but not limited to the UN System. The six requirements for the architecture of the governance for sustainability, as mentioned above, should be applied when assessing institutional framework for sustainable development.
  • The mandate of the Sustainable Development Council needs to result from further research and a deliberative process that could be set in motion at the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. Amongst others, the mandate and charter of such a Council could include mechanisms and authority for governance of crisis, for example along the lines of the WHO.
  • Membership of the Sustainable Development Council could include the following set of members, whereby different responsibilities could be assigned to different member groups. The optimal number of members for each member group needs further exploration.
  • Primary member states. Countries with high capacity to contribute to implementation of sustainable development through various forms of capital. These same countries also have a high capacity to contribute to the problem of unsustainable development if their actions are not changed in significant ways. Selected based on a set of criteria (of which GDP could initially be an important part until adequate alternative metrics are common and accepted, for example also including scores of countries on the SDG’s). At set points in time (not too frequent), membership will be re-assessed based on changed scores on criteria.
  • Rotating member states. Countries most affected by specific issues of sustainable development and thus called into the group depending on the issue on the table.
  • Non-state actors. Selected through a mechanism that reflects the criteria for architecture of governance for sustainability.
  • The total number of members should be kept sufficiently small to allow decisions to be made reasonably efficiently.
  • Taking into account the evolving nature of governance, gradually, and over the medium to long-term, the Council could create a dual-chamber system, consisting of governments on one side and issue specific representatives from non-state actors on the other.
  • Generally, qualified majority voting is a promising way to improve the quality and decisiveness of decision making in governance for sustainable development. Given the high level of the Council, careful development of decision-making procedures, whether based on the common one-state one-vote unanimous decision making procedures, re-definition of consensus, or on innovative other models, is needed.
  • The academic and political considerations and development of a Sustainable Development Council should not exclude the required strengthening of the environmental pillar (such as upgrading UNEP) of sustainable development; and should take place with meaningful involvement and strengthening of integration with economic governance. But such reform directions suggest a review on the role and future of CSD.


Fundamental improvements in the economic system are necessary in addition to improved governance for sustainability. Green economy should be linked up with the institutional framework for sustainable development in this regard. We see that Rio+20 is the beginning of a charter moment. Ultimately, this may involve amending the UN Charter to better reflect the challenges of the 21st century.


Fundamental improvements in the economic system are necessary in addition to improved governance for sustainability. Green economy should be linked up with the institutional framework for sustainable development in this regard. We see that Rio+20 is the beginning of a charter moment. Ultimately, this may involve amending the UN Charter to better reflect the challenges of the 21st century.


Ahmad, Sohail, Post-doctoral Fellow, United Nations University, Institute of Advanced Studies

Andresen, Steinar, Research Professor, Fridtjof Nansen Institute

Betsill, Michele, Professor, Colorado State University

Biermann, Frank, Professor, VU University Amsterdam and Lund University

De Oliveira, Jose Puppim, Assistant Director and Senior Research Fellow, United Nations University, Institute of Advanced Studies

Elder, Mark, Director of Governance and Capacity Group, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies

Hiraishi, Takahiko, Senior Consultant, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies

Hu, Tao, Senior Environmental Economist, Policy Research Center of MEP, Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP)

Ichikawa, Akira, Post-doctoral Fellow, Tokyo Institute of Technology

Kanie, Norichika, Associate Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology and Research Fellow, United Nations University, Institute of Advanced Studies

Leiva-Roesch, Jimena, Third Secretary, Mission of Guatemala to the United Nations

Maki, Yoko, Senior Director, Environmental Division in Kawasaki City

Miyazawa, Ikuho, Associate Researcher of Programme Management Office, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies

Mori, Hideyuki, President, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies

Mullen, Karina, Graduate Research Assistant, Colorado State University

Olsen, Simon Hoiberg, Researcher of Governance and Capacity Group, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies

Roesch, Rita Maria, Columnist of Prensa Libre, Guatemala, and Cofounder of the ecological movement Alliance to protect the Pacific Coast of Guatemala

Shurestha, Surendra, Team Leader, Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development Secretariat for Rio+20, United Nations

Suginaka, Atsushi, Director, Global Environment Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan

Young, Oran, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Santa Barbara

Zondervan, Ruben, Executive Director, IHDP Earth System Governance Project


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"He who knows he has enough is rich."

Lao Tzu, China, 6th century BCE


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