— Connect4Climate (@Connect4Climate) December 7, 2014
As the world discusses climate change at the UNFCCC COP20 in Lima we remember Nelson Mandela for his leadership:
"Let Us Stand Together to Make Our World a Sustainable Source for Our Future." - Madiba
His leadership legacy should be embraced to take action forward on the climate movement. We remember Madiba for his wisdom, his tolerance and his ability to bring people together.
Stay tuned as Connect4Climate plans to launch a Madiba Tribute Album
Madiba the Earth Steward
Gratefulness for the beauty of nature is not something that occurred to the late, great Nelson Mandela in just the final years of his life. During his 27 years in jail on Robben Island, he fought to have a garden installed on the roof of his prison, where he and his fellow inmates could grow vegetables for their meals.
"To plant a seed, watch it grow, to tend it and then harvest it, offered a simple but enduring satisfaction," he recalled in Long Walk to Freedom. "The sense of being the custodian of this small patch of earth offered a small taste of freedom." We have to remember that Nelson Mandela placed climate justice amongst his priorities for all people. He immediately knew that climate change would have devastating consequences on the most vulnerable citizens of our global society.
Nelson Mandela, who died last year at age 95, left two legacies for climate advocates — the necessity of endless and incremental campaigning and the value of divestment.
In his 1995 autobiography, he wrote, “There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.” One would ask: what would Madiba do for the climate change movement now, if he were still around? Most likely his immediate response would have been: “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Perhaps he would have even added: “ Change never comes without a fight.”
Mandela’s wisdom on climate change is still relevant, he could teach and promote the greatest of values like no other. Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon has noted: “Nelson Mandela was more than one of the greatest leaders of our time, he was one of the greatest teachers, and he taught by example.” Climate change is the “next great moral” issue, in a similar way as apartheid once was.
The difficulties Mandela had to overcome for South Africa are similar to the difficulties that lie before mankind, making his contribution invaluable in our search for solution to tackle climate change.
Nelson Mandela’s vision of a “rainbow egalitarian society” is identical to the environmentalists’ dream of a habitable planet Earth and healthy environment for present and future generations. Mandela was like a man awoke too early in the darkness, while the others were all still asleep. Nelson Mandela’s spirit will inspire generations to come to follow his path and build a better future.
“Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great, you can be that generation” - Nelson Mandela