Ensuring Representation of Future Generations
National legal systems have traditionally included mechanisms for protecting future needs and interests in various ways. Natural or cultural conservation laws provide such examples. These are, however, often confined to the protection of particular sites and the vast majority of our rules are built around the flawed narrative of unlimited natural resources and ever-increasing material production. As a result, our current governance structures are driven by short-term decision-making, be it in business and investment aiming for quick profits or in representative politics aiming for the next votes.
Our goal: Bringing long-term orientation into policymaking
Sustainable Development was defined as “healthy and fulfilling lives for the current generation while entrusting to future generations the means to do the same” (United Nations 1992), but we are far from making this vision reality.
To change this, we urgently need a balancing representation of “the long view” in governance institutions and potentially all decision-making bodies. The WFC commissioned legal research for best existing institutions with this goal and discussed the different options at its Meeting in 2010 (see summarising presentation). The solution perceived to be most effective were Ombudspersons for Future Generations.
The WFC has since embarked on a campaign for Ombudspersons for Future Generations on all governance levels. Find out more about this campaign on our dedicated website: www.futurejustice.org.
"Yes moko, just like the sea which has to move its tides
so we can collect Kaimoana at certain times.
Rules give harmony to our lives
so we live with
Working in harmony with others, ae moko, it’s nature’s
act of saying,
Let us make music all together
if not in reality — then make it your dream."
WFC Councillor Pauline Tangiora
...is about thinking and acting differently, based on respect, dignity and mutual trust
…considers not just what is happening now, but the effects of our actions in the years, decades and centuries to come
… is a means of creating new rules for how we live and work, pass laws and run countries
…is the giving of rights to the poorest, the weakest, the ignored, to the planet and to the other living creatures we share it with
…is a protection for all the people yet to be born, whose lives we are blighting before they have even started
…is about what we do now. Our actions today will determine the conditions of life for centuries to come