On April 15, a fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral shocked the world. Millions of dollars in donations poured in. While the reconstruction of the Unesco World Heritage Site was undoubtedly important, some people questioned whether environmental restoration had taken a backseat. Do rich people need to focus on saving the planet too? Gulf News readers discuss.
Just like history, nature needs to be conserved too
Every now and then, we hear and talk about maintaining a sustainable environment. However, sad to say that very few people are seriously thinking and contributing towards it.
People are donating hefty amounts towards so many other causes like social issues, human rights and religious causes that is good. But, they are not giving similar importance to environmental causes. The recent incident of the devastating fire at Notre Dame in Paris, which burnt a major portion of the significant heritage structure, is one such example. Billionaires started pouring millions to rebuild it. This is excellent that in a very short span of time people, especially billionaires, came forward to donate for such a wonderful cause. However I would like to highlight the importance of giving equal importance to sustainable environment and contributing towards environmental causes. Just like how we need history to remain for the next generation, we need to protect nature for them as well.
Just like how we need history to remain for the next generation, we need to protect nature for them as well.
From Mr Maqsoodul Haq
Banker based Sharjah
Environmental movements must be supported
The world watched in shock as the spire of the Notre Dame de Paris came tumbling down after a massive fire engulfed the cathedral’s central nave. It makes perfect sense that the owners of the world-renowned French fashion houses and luxury retail companies poured in millions towards the cause of reconstructing the Notre Dame.
However, working now in the environmental sector of an engineering consultancy business, I feel that environmental issues cannot be compared to the restoration of a sacred monument. These are two causes that are highly sensitive but poles apart in nature in terms of sentiments attached to them. If one is about keeping the past roots alive then the other is rooted to our survival itself. Concerns like rising sea levels, changing climate patterns, loss of natural biodiversity and global warming are level one emergencies that require more than funds. Even when the funds exist, we have witnessed that short-term economic goals are prioritized over long term ecosystem productivity gains. All key-players including global entities, governments and businesses working around a robust strategic framework is what’s needed to save the only planet we call home from further deterioration.
Even when the funds exist, we have witnessed that short-term economic goals are prioritized over long term ecosystem productivity gains.
From Ms Mehak Ayaz
Civil Engineer based in Dubai
Protecting the planet should be an universal concern
It is astounding that such few individuals can contribute such a large amount of funding in the span of such short time. As amazing a gesture it is that the people of France and enthusiasts all over the world have come together to contribute to the rebuilding of Notre Dame, if such people are capable of giving away so much, why haven’t they contributed elsewhere as well?
We retain the right to spend our money as we wish, of course we do, however, our empathy towards the millions that suffer from very solvable issues because of corruption or the lack of funding or awareness is what makes us part of a collective world. We cannot prosper if we do not contribute towards the betterment of others. Had the same people that contributed to Notre Dames funding been also personally affected by the unfortunate terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka, we might have seen similar support for the latter, but we have detached ourselves from people who don’t look like us or speak like us, allowing us to be fine with the separation and not empathise with others.
Our empathy towards the millions that suffer from very solvable issues because of corruption or the lack of funding or awareness is what makes us part of a collective world.
From Ms Asma Hunaid
Business consultant based in Dubai
Would you donate towards conserving the environment?
Have your say
Is environmental restoration not given the importance it deserves? Why are the rich deemed responsible for environmental conservation?