WereldDelen / May 2013 / 6
Sharing as a solution to Global crises INTERVIEW WITH RAJESH MAKWANA, DIRECTOR OF SHARE THE WORLD'S RESOURCES
Share The World's Resources is a civil society organisation that campaigns to strengthen and scale up the sharing economy in all its forms. STWR advocates for an international program of emergency relief to prevent life-threatening deprivation and end poverty-related deaths as a foremost global priority, alongside extensive reforms to the world economy to ensure a fairer sharing of wealth, power and resources within and between nations. 1 What was the main reason for founding Sharing The World’s Resources (STWR) and what are the most important aims your organization hopes to achieve? STWR was established by a group of concerned citizens who, like millions of others across the world, wanted to add their voice to the growing call for global justice and economic reform. In particular, the intention was to raise awareness about how the principle of sharing, a simple human behaviour practiced since the dawn of civilisation, can be applied as a solution to the urgent global crises we face today. Broadly speaking there are three major global crises which we feel are of immediate concern to humanity as a whole: life-threatening deprivation, environmental destruction and conflict over natural resources. It takes little imagination to see how the principle of sharing can be applied as a solution to each of these crises. In simple terms, sharing wealth and financial resources more equitably can rapidly reduce poverty and inequality. Finding ways of sharing the world’s scarce natural resources sustainably is also crucial, whether we are talking about land, oil or even the atmosphere. And sharing rather than aggressively competing to control or acquire natural resources can help de-escalate conflict and strengthen international peace and security. Through our website and publications, we present our research in a way that can appeal to a diverse group of global citizens, from ordinary people and students to global justice campaigners and decision-makers in governments. Our aim at this stage is to demonstrate why governments need to put the principle of sharing at the heart of their policy decisions and how this could be achieved, both on a national and global basis.
What are the main resources that should be shared by the international community and why? Broadly speaking, there are three types of resources that should be shared more sustainably and equitably both within and between countries. Arguably, the immediate priority is to create a more balanced distribution of the world’s wealth and financial resources. As we outlined in our recent report ‘Financing the global sharing economy’, there are many ways in which this can be achieved by governments, including through implementing financial transaction taxes, preventing tax avoidance, reducing harmful subsidies and redirecting military spending. Implementing these and other measures that campaigners have long been calling for could form a crucial first step towards ending extreme poverty and reducing inequality. Another huge challenge is to find ways of sharing the world’s natural resources in a way that can benefit all people, but without transgressing planetary limits. As the World Wildlife Fund have demonstrated, humanity consumes 50% more resources than the planet can replenish. In order to rebalance consumption patterns across the world, nations will have to agree on a much fairer and more just system of global resource management – one that puts environmental sustainability before consumerism, economic growth and profit. But sharing resources on an international scale would be impossible without more democratic, inclusive and effective forms of global governance. To achieve this, political power also needs be shared much more democratically between countries than compared to current economic arrangements. For example, global governance bodies such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World