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From the Egociudadano to the Ecociudadano. Towards Eco-citizen Democracy

From the Egociudadano to the Ecociudadano. Towards Eco-citizen Democracy


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By Dr. Jesús Arnaldo Pérez

I think that the public understood globally the great environmental problems of today. Emotion and responsibility are two words that we must use very often everywhere.

From the phonetic point of view, it would be enough to replace the "g" of the word "egociudadano" to turn it into the word that synthesizes the citizen of whom the Bolivarian Constitution speaks. It seems easy to do it that way, but it is more difficult to obtain it in reality. Indeed, the deep meanings of these two words are diametrically opposed. The struggle around the defense of the environment links the action of each one, integrates the daily role of the individual, demands their responsibility in a more global context. Culture is the foundation that assembles the dispersed elements of a world that we have been taught to be fragmented. The eco-citizen culture is well understood in order to act better.


People were neither wrong nor wrong regarding political ecology as a powerful instrument to understand the world today and to act on it. But what do people expect? What can an education that will allow you to understand this fragmented world bring you, if you can receive it at home, in schools, in universities, in the media and in companies? I think that the public understood globally the great environmental problems of today. Emotion and responsibility are two words that we must use very often everywhere. Humberto Maturana says "For this reason I maintain that there is no human action without an emotion that fuses it as such and makes it possible as an act ... Finally, it is not reason that leads us to action but emotion."


When we speak of political ecology, we say that we must help people to move from emotion to responsibility, from affective reaction to action with good reason, and I would add that we must help them overcome the step of the status of "egocitizen" to that of "ecociudadano". The egocitizen, I am, just isolated, selfish. The eco-citizen is everyone for everyone, he is the one who understands the great environmental problems and understands that what is at stake is his own life and acts in a solidary, fraternal and complementary way to the achievement of a more balanced and better environment for all without exception, since we are all in the same boat that could sink. This new vision helps us to properly understand what Sustainable Development means that we must promote in Venezuela today.

The Venezuelan people approved and defended the Bolivarian Constitution where, in addition to the mandatory nature of environmental education, the great environmental concerns of humanity are condensed. The realization of environmental duties and rights obliges us to do everything possible to achieve the gestation of the VENEZUELAN ECOCIUDADAN that is required by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. This great task of all for the environment and the future of the planet can advance with the help of a broad movement of Venezuelan eco-citizens that promotes organization and participation around local and global environmental problems at the Community Council level. In addition, eco-citizens must propose consensus policies acceptable to the vast majority of Venezuelans.

(*) Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Canada.


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