Following on the Alcatraz Environmental Treaty of 2015, micronations have begun signing onto a new environmental agreement en masse. That agreement, known as the Micronational Declaration on Ecological Stewardship (MDES), first adopted at MicroCon 2017 last month, aims to promote environmentally-friendly practices in signatory micronations.
The MDES brings together micronations that are concerned with humanity’s negative impact on the health of world ecosystems, aiming to galvanize a group effort to minimize it. That effort is especially motivated by a perceived failure of macronational governments to prioritize ecological stewardship, as well as the continued denial of anthropogenic climate change by others.
Calling for “more dramatic action … to minimize the negative effects of climate change,” the MDES seeks to empower micronations to recognize their ability to improve their local ecosystems, whether through waste diversion, ethical treatment of animals, avoiding the use of genetically-modified food crops, or preventing the proliferation of invasive species, among others.
Supporting that empowerment, the content of the declaration largely focuses on outlining local strategies that micronations can implement to improve their ecological stewardship. Strategies fleshed out in the declaration include ways in which to reduce waste, carbon dioxide emissions, and water pollution. It also encourages micronationalists to recognize an animal’s right to life, liberty and reproductive freedom, except where the animal is designated for food slaughter, threatening to humans, other animals or property, or an invasive species.
According to the Flandrensis government, one of the MDES’ most vocal supporters, the declaration was the fruit of a six-month discussion between twenty-five like-minded micronationalists from all over the world. “[The MDES in combination with the Alcatraz Treaty and other ecological charters] lays out a blueprint for reasonably addressing the topics of climate change, water conservation, biological diversity, and more,” it said in a press release.
Practically speaking, while loudly critical of macronational government inaction of ecological stewardship, the wording of the MDES makes it more an example of similar inaction than a reasonable blueprint. Quick to direct their condemnation, the signatories have agreed to a text that is wholly non-binding, with language limited to merely “encouraging”, “advising” or “urging” compliance. There is no expectation or requirement for any signatory to report on its efforts to improve ecological stewardship, let alone enact any of the included strategies.
Beyond being an exercise in political grandstanding, it is unclear what, if anything, the MDES will actually achieve, despite it being much celebrated and receiving strong support from influential micronations such as Flandrensis. As a follow-on to the Alcatraz Environmental Treaty effort, it may arguably prove to be underwhelming.