One of the major impediments to more progress is the fact that many of the organizations and individuals working for sustainability in their own communities and sectors continue to work largely in isolation from each other.
If private investment does not become a positive vehicle for sustainable development, the prospects for a sustainable future for the human community will clearly not be realized. But we cannot afford to wait until such measures are mandated by national regulation and international agreements.
Concepts of mutual respect, caring for, sharing with and cooperating with our brothers and sisters both at home and internationally can no longer be seen as mere pious ideals divorced from reality, but as indispensable prerequisites for our common survival and well-being. It is on these foundations that our hopes for a more promising, sustainable future must be built.
Our enthusiasm for this idea was not only based on what Canadians could do for the rest of the world, but also on what Canadians could bring back home again.
A key component of Canada's transition to sustainable development is the contribution that can be made by our indigenous people. Indigenous people are finally achieving a degree of appreciation and recognition for their knowledge related to resource management, and for their spiritual connection with the natural environment.
Developing countries serve as custodians of most of the world's biological resources. The indispensable services they provide to the world community have always been taken for granted and treated as free goods. We must now begin to place an economic value on them if we were to expect developing countries to maintain them largely for the benefit of the rest of the world.
History has demonstrated that fundamental changes of course can and do occur when necessity compels them. The limiting factor is our will to change. This, I am convinced, will require a spiritual and moral revolution which moves the spiritual. moral and ethical dimensions of human experience back into the centre of our individual and collective lives.