Commonwealth Reverse Climate Change Programme — A Draft Manifesto

David Mc Conville — Buckminster Fuller Institute

Commonwealth countries have engaged in a collective process to hatch solutions to reverserse climate change. In the true spirit of open / emerging / collective intelligence, Rt Hon Patricia Scotland — Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations — invited all interested parties and individuals to circulate the draft manifesto on social media. Thank you Isabelle Delannoy and the Symbiotic Economy Team for bringing this initiative to our attention. Feedback welcome, please comment.

1

We believe
- that the dynamic of climate change can be reversed
- that humanity has the potential to do this, by using our intelligence as part of life’s genius, which creates the conditions conducive to life
- that as living beings we can collaborate with living systems to become symbiotes — insuring mutually positive growth for humanity and flourishing natural ecosystems.
- that diversity is our wealth, if we can offer it as a gift in our relationships
- that everyone has a role to play, and more than one role
- that the solutions are there, especially on the edges, just waiting to become
- that bringing carbon home can be the first step towards restoration of living systems and towards bringing our species home to our place in this living world
- that the Commonwealth holds the diversity, the shared culture, and sufficiently agile political will to start releasing this potential as an exemplar for the world

We pledge to
- take bold first steps, knowing that some experiments may fail, but that we need to act now, and learn
- value our diversity and seek out more
- seek opportunity where we could easily see doom and gloom
- listen to the voices of the vulnerable
- reimagine and continually evolve our ways of working
- try to embody the change we want to see

2

We believe that humanity is capable of regenerating the Earth. Bringing carbon home is the first step in a multi-dimensional whole systems restoration for all species and habitats. It will bring new cycles of ecological, social, and economic wealth, and support Earth care, people care, and fair shares between all species. 
We pledge to seed a practical, full-spectrum program of storing carbon in the soil and biomass. We pledge to restore terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. We pledge to create a new dynamic of personal and collective potential. 
Unifying Principles
- Life is inherently creative. When humans create conditions that engender life, life itself responds exponentially. 
- Proliferate actions by sowing seeds that acknowledge and respect a sense of place
- Use resources intelligently
- Turn waste into components and nutrients and cycle them
- Encourage and support diversity, design for resilience
- Create feedback loops and creatively respond to change
- Seek to observe and understand nature as a rich source of circular restorative and regenerative insights and wisdom, and model them in all human-scale systems
- Always aspire to do minimum harm.

3

We believe that the human family is an integral participant in the community of life, able to fundamentally redesign the collective human impact on earth, from being predominantly degenerative to being by and large regenerative. In doing so, we would not only be able to reverse climate change, but also achieve all the global goals (SDGs) by 2030.
Life creates conditions conducive to life. Over 3.8 billion years, life has transformed the planet by small scale and place-sensitive solutions and replicating what worked at the appropriate scale. 
By emulating this process, and learning from nature as model, mentor, and measure, we will help local communities across the Commonwealth to help themselves. Enabling them to create elegant solutions carefully adapted to the bio-cultural uniqueness of place. In doing so, we will:
- reverse climate change
- increase biomass and bio-productivity
- increase and protect bio-cultural diversity
- accumulate organic matter as a real store of wealth and health
- increase community resilience
- build food, energy, and water sovereignty at the community level
- leverage the power of collaborative abundance
- and address environmental degradation and the causes for hunger, poverty, ill health, migration, and war.

4

We pledge to work in ways which are open, inclusive, and appropriate.
We believe that solutions can come from anywhere, and often result from unexpected connections.
We believe that the excess carbon in our atmosphere, once brought home to Earth, can be a resource for growing prosperity.
We recognize that restored ecosystems provide natural protection and nutrition for our productive systems.

5

The Anthropocene is here, but we believe it need not be a bell tolling for the planet. Life creates conditions conducive to life, and so can we.
We pledge, as a community of nations, united by our love of this living planet, to reverse climate change.
By learning from, emulating, and collaborating with other living systems, we will bring excess atmospheric carbon back home, where it can become a nutrient for living soils, terrestrial and marine ecosystems, and our redesigned artefacts and shelters.

This beneficial participation in the carbon cycle in the first step in our efforts to restore whole systems to health. Our hope is to become a welcome species, functionally indistinguishable from the organisms and ecosystems we admire. We look forward to fitting in, at last and for good, on this home that is ours, but not ours alone.

6

We believe
- that human intelligence is part of life’s genius and that we have duty to place it in service to life’s unfolding on our plane
- that climate change and other global crises present an unparalleled multi-faceted challenge and opportunity to the creativity of our diverse nations
We believe that the creation of wealth — true wealth — wealth that is shared by all, the wealth of healthy oceans and forests, grasslands and cities, biodiversity and vibrant cultures — is the proper work of our institutions and economies.
We pledge to reimagine our purposes and the means we use to pursue them so that our actions nourish the web of life.
We pledge to work together, honouring and welcoming the diverse gifts we bring in order to transform our practices from life-denying to life-affirming.
We pledge to take Nature as our teacher and guide, learning her principles, methods and deep patterns so that we can become good co-creators in the community of life.

7

We believe that human beings are a part of nature, that nature is a gift for inspiration, and that our own intelligence is our gift to the living world.
We believe that the climate change challenge we have to face is an opportunity to create a new era where humanity is able to come into symbiosis with its planet and co-create the equilibrium of our life with all living beings.
We believe that we are this part of life that creates the conditions conducive to life.
We believe that the Commonwealth can be the nest of such a change for the whole world.
- We are 1/3 of humanity
- We are all spiritualties
- Our ecosystems are part of all ecosystems that exist on our planet
- We are 52 nations
- We are 31 of the 39 most vulnerable states
- We have a shared history, a shared culture, a shared language, a shared law. We share a community of practice, of interests.
We believe our diversity is our common wealth.
We believe that bringing carbon home is the very first step to nourish new cycles for prosperity: economic, social, and ecological.
We pledge
- to provide the space where each human being has her role to play, her talent to express for the wealth of the community
- to make our processes open source so as to be verifiable, replicable, measurable
- to begin and continually evolve our design processes, because we believe that intelligence comes from the grass roots
So as to enter a new economic era, which is regenerative, cares for the Earth, cares for people, and ensures fair shares.