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THE LESSONS FROM THE EASTER ISLAND

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Within the framework of International Earth Day, it is important to continue raising awareness in the context of a planet that every day is submerged in phenomena such as climate change and the extinction of species that lead to more frequent natural disasters and the contraction of the polar caps.

“The lessons from the Easter Island” is an example to be clear about how easily the environment can be degraded through the demands of human consumption, without maintaining a balance between the functioning of societies and nature. The Easter Island is currently Chilean territory.

The first humans to settle were the Polynesians and the native name of this Island is Rapa Nui. Clive Ponting, a British official and historian wrote a book called «Green History of the world.» In this book, he points out a theory by Jared M. Diamond that has been debated by many other authors. They believe that the Polynesians made a disproportionate use of the environment until ending it, and together with this, their own civilization.

This town, according to Ponting, was more dedicated to the construction of sculptures than to the production of its own food and since they did not have the means by which to move these giant monuments, they slid them through tree trunks. In addition, almost their entire lifestyle was dependent on wood such as the construction of their houses, canoes and any other type of instrument, causing deforestation that was too accelerated, especially as their population grew.

That is why, Clive points out the following: «The cause of the collapse and the key to understanding the mysteries of Easter Island was the imposing environmental degradation that led to the deforestation of the entire island.» Whether or not this story was true, it could be used as a metaphor that makes completely sense.

In this term, all leads us only to the conclusion that the system by which the world is governed to generate well-being for each human has to be compatible with the balance and not deterioration of nature, because without it there is no future to be achieved in store for the next generations and less with the growing population expansion.

Certainly, if we continue at the same pace, in this case it will not only be an island, but the entire planet in which we do not have enough resources to survive, since human beings are part of the planet we are degrading. This story told by Clive Ponting, has a very important role as a lesson to humans to be able to change the course of history before it is too late.

By Andrea Olivia es estudiante de Relaciones Internacionales en la Universidad Iberoamericana, Ciudad de México y delegada de Young Leaders Digital 2021

Twitter: @c_andreaol


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