The Devil's Advocate, who is a cynic, points to many international programmes which are related to The Biosphere, whether past or ongoing. He asks what a World Campaign for The Biosphere could do beyond attempting to coordinate the coordinators.
The Archangel answers by drawing attention to the success of such programmes in stimulating activity on many important subjects and fronts. But the critical situation of the world now demands more. He therefore hopes that all who have at heart the future health, wealth, and happiness, of mankind, which can only flourish in a healthy Biosphere—whether they be pessimists or optimists—will support the Campaign with all the means at their disposal.
For the purposes of the Campaign, The Biosphere can be defined in summary as ‘the peripheral envelope of the Earth in which living things exist naturally’. Thus it includes parts of the geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere—and, most important, it includes mankind as the pandominant member of the animal kingdom.
As to a starting-date for the Campaign, there is a case for deferment owing to the time necessary for preparing and approving a programme and then establishing a network organization for putting it into operation. However, considering the urgency of the problems at issue and the timing of related programmes, there is a stronger case for starting now, in 1982, and for including the preparatory phase within the Campaign, which would then commence with the second decade of UNEP.
Four aims are included in the Draft Declaration about the Campaign: (1) education and allied activities, (2) scientific understanding, (3) practical activities, and (4) accommodation of humanity to The Biosphere. The aims (1), (2), and (3), should go forward hand-in-hand in order to achieve (4). The main emphasis could be on (1); but as (2) is already the subject of several international programmes, (3), which provides good material for (1), should also receive emphasis. Meanwhile, much careful discussion will be needed in order to prepare a plan that will be acceptable to participating organizations.