The repeated warnings voiced by the scientific community during the past few decades have begun to be confirmed by real events, which have been noted both by political leaders and by the informed public. Climate change, the persistent occurrence of frequent and intense meteorological events, and the recurring crises caused by limited access to resources all convincingly demonstrate that we are approaching the end of a developmental cycle based on a flawed model, which is placing in peril the survival of humanity on its single planet. The political world must now take into consideration the need for a developmental paradigm shift and develop an arsenal of new strategies and tools better adapted to the current state of affairs.
The Romanian academician Alexandru T. Bogdan is an acknowledged authority in the field of systematic socio-economic development in tune with environmental sustainability. As the creator of a school (post-doctoral, t.n.) and developer in a vital field for the Romania’s future, he is now offering us, in collaboration with dipl. eng. Dana Comşa, a talented researcher, a new – I would even say, revolutionary – approach to the confluence of applied ecology and diplomacy, a field once reserved to political interactions on an international level. It is a salutary iniţiative that will certainly trigger some controversy, but that will fit quite naturally into the stream of debates concerning global issues of the Mankind.
The concept of sustainable development is ubiquitously regarded as the optimal model for the resolution of the system crisis we are currently facing. Facts show that humanity must reduce its intake of natural resources for the production of goods of increasing marginal value. It is necessary that we understand that humans must fit into a complex self-regulating ecosystem controlled by the flux of matter and energy.
The authors of this important work show that, in a world so dependent on global interaction, cooperation is the only way to confront the issues we are faced with. As a viable alternative, they propose a new functional approach in international collaboration that will promote sustainable principles and practices – eco-bio-diplomacy. Basically, this work asserts that credibility and proficiency rise in the classical diplomatic action will be determined, nowadays and in the future, by the expansion of its application area in the cast field of the sustainable development, in accordance with the great tendencies that are being claimed on the international level.
Just like the other member nations of the EU, Romania must now rethink its main development model and its priorities for action. The National Strategy for Romanian Sustainable Development was finalized in 2008 following great public debates, and it was approved and adopted by the Romanian government. The horizon of this strategy is in the year 2030, with intermediary goals set for 2013 and 2020, such that, by 2030, Romanian performance can meet and in some cases surpass the EU averages from the respective year with regard to the main indicators of sustainable development. Meanwhile, the economic crisis and the unfavorable international conjuncture have introduced some adjustments with respect to the initial projections. Therefore the development of a revised version of the strategy has become an urgent necessity, especially as this has bearing on the dispositions concerning 2010.
The development of a proper National Strategy for Sustainable Development based on conceptual landmarks and methodological prescriptions agreed on by everyone is an obligation that arises out of our position as a member of the EU. The EU has taken a new step forward through the adoption of the Europe Strategy 2020 in 2010, a strategy which
synthesizes our vision for the next decade concerning the application of sustainable development principles. This document, which applies to all EU nations, establishes clear objectives in five vital domains: education, science, energy, poverty, and employment. It is clear then that the Romanian National Revised Strategy for Sustainable Development will need to incorporate these new landmarks in its own goals. The following volume will pose some important and occasionally troubling questions regarding our future. Beyond simply theoretical considerations and now conceptual contributions, the authors manage to convey an optimistic message.
Romania still has the chance to reorient itself toward a model based on sustainable development principles, as it has access to the necessary natural and human resources. In order to capitalize on this potential, we must take control of the way in which these resources are used with a push of political ambition. To exploit fully the real potential we need more political will and radical improvements in how these resources are managed.