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VIEWPOINT: Have your say

Alec Baldwin: “This is a movement worth building”

19 Dec 2017
Breaking down barriers for a sustainable, healthy global environment

Alec Baldwin, actor and activist, addressed the Global Landscapes Forum in Bonn, Germany on Dec. 19, 2017. This is a transcript of his speech.

I’m Alec Baldwin. It’s a privilege to address this distinguished group of leaders, thinkers and activists, all of you gathered for the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF). It is through my work with United Nations environment that I learned about GLF and I’m grateful to Eric Solheim (executive director of the U.N. Environment program) for making my participation today possible. I consider it a real honor to be part of this opening session.

What could be more important than the vision presented in the GLF manifesto learning, working and acting together as a global community to break down barriers, for a sustainable, healthy global environment. This is a movement worth building. It is clearly a movement of the people and I’m proud to join in because we desperately need the kind of leadership and vision that GLF is providing.

My wife and I are expecting our fourth child next year, and I of course worry about what kind of world they will inherit. Will it be one devastated by corruption, greed and an unstable climate? Or a sustainable, equitable world shaped by a positive vision of what it would look like if we all worked together. The intractable risks from continuing down our current path are real and dangerous, but the opportunities are at least as great. There are over 2 billion hectares of land, roughly the size of South America that are degraded by unsustainable agricultural practices. We can restore them.

There are indigenous people safeguarding many of the world’s remaining standing forests. We can empower them with rights. There are solutions emerging everyday that combine food security, livelihoods and progress towards climate and development goals. We can champion them.

There is a world of opportunity out there and I know many of you are on the cutting edge of where that innovation happens.

Despite notable dissenters, and in the face of daunting challenges, people like you are forming unprecedented global, regional, national and community partnerships, and forging ahead to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.

Clearly, it is places like the Global Landscapes Forum where partnerships are born that are capable of the kind of transformational change that the world needs.

Public sector actors, private sector companies, and civil society working in concert on the common goal of building a sustainable future and a healthy global environment.

It is these partnerships, the ones that transcend barriers between sectors that will be the springboards for positive lasting change. You are here to shape this forum and its global movement. I can think of no better community to take on that charge. Together let us find out what is possible.

I’m sorry not to be with you in person this year, but I recognize that this forum and this movement are about the long game and I’ll look forward to staying involved and hope to join you in person in years to come.

For now, I send my admiration and appreciation for your commitment, dedication and vision. It is a real honor for me to be associated with you and your important work, and I will look forward to hearing about all of the great things you accomplish together.

Wishing you a productive two days in Bonn.

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