Addressing Climate Change: a True Environmental Challenge by Dr. Colum Murphy

Addressing Climate Change: a True Environmental Challenge by Dr. Colum Murphy

Climate Change is both increasingly worrying and also increasingly a political issue. GSD’s recent highly successful Gala entitled “Water for Life” event, raised money that goes now to the installation of fresh water wells in Zanzibar, Tanzania; as well as to flood-devastated areas of Mozambique — following the most destructive cyclone to hit Mozambique ever. A smaller amount of the funds raised by students will go to Green Cross International. GSD is very proud of what its students are achieving. All of these occasion me to briefly speak of the new GSD Center of Blue Diplomacy. A glance at any kindergarten globe reminds us that most of planet Earth is blue — our great oceans cover, not a small part of, but most of the only planetary home we all live on. So our academic courses on Blue Diplomacy are already underway — and very popular indeed with students. Countries like Tanzania, Somalia, Mozambique; to tiny Mauritius; to so many countries on every continent, own a vast wealth in their magnificent coastlines. But they are also — we are regularly reminded by Mother Nature — increasingly vulnerable, these countries, not only to climate change but to being run over and outmaneuvered at international conferences by teams of diplomats and international lawyers, better trained and prepared, in the Law of the Sea and similar increasingly important areas of expertise, coming from developed nations. So the GSD Center of Blue Diplomacy will not only be a clearinghouse on ocean matters, but it will also be steadily increasing its training capacity for officials of maritime nations. Theory, understanding of relevant laws and practices, are increasingly important for developing countries. Even more important, however, is the GSD credo of helping in a practical manner — doing “real things for real people”. GSD students, faculty and staff can take pride in what its formal, black-tie Gala Event “Water for Life” achieved. Bravo GSD students! This successful outreach of GSD’s Humanitarian Department is just a beginning: future initiatives will address yet other important SDGs —that vital road-map for development. GSD teaching and learning is practitioner-driven: “real things for real people”! Planet Earth — and now especially its vast oceans — belong to all of us, to each and every one of us. And our GSD activities are not “just a drop in the ocean”. Rather, you [yes you, the individual GSD student — humane scholar, Champion Giver], you are “the entire ocean, in a single drop” [Rumi, 13th-century Persian poet]. Dr. Colum Murphy