// Govind Singh, DelhiGreens.org and I were among 71 youth participants from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Germany, Spain, United States of America, Sri Lanka among others, who came together on a pre-conference workshop at the Centre for Environment Education (CEE) campus in Ahmedabad. This workshop was held to strategise youth involvement at the 3 day conference (Ethical […]" />

Ethical Framework for a Sustainable World (memoirs)

Ice breaking introduction at the pre-conference workshop

Ice breaking introduction at the pre-conference workshop

Govind Singh, DelhiGreens.org and I were among 71 youth participants from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Germany, Spain, United States of America, Sri Lanka among others, who came together on a pre-conference workshop at the Centre for Environment Education (CEE) campus in Ahmedabad. This workshop was held to strategise youth involvement at the 3 day conference (Ethical Framework for a sustainable world) that followed. Participants comprised of students enrolled in different undergraduate and graduate programmes. Both Govind and I, were invited to the conference (also referred to as the Earth Charter plus 10 celebrations) as SAYEN mentors through South Asia Youth Environment Network (SAYEN).

(L-R) Kartikeya Sarabhai, Steven C. Rockefeller and Madhavi Joshi @ the Youth pre-conference

(L-R) Kartikeya Sarabhai, Steven C. Rockefeller and Madhavi Joshi @ the Youth pre-conference

At the pre-conference workshop,  following an ice breaking session facilitated by myself and  an address by Ms. Madhavi Joshi, Programmes head at CEE later, Mr. Steven Rockefeller, Chair, Earth Charter International Council and Mr. Kartikeya V. Sarabhai, Director, CEE chaired an interactive session on the Earth Charter and its relevance today. Mr. Rockefeller also shared on Paul Hawken’s initiative on creation of an open directory of organisations working in peace and sustainable development –WiserEarth.  Mr. Sarabhai in turn shared an anecdote on how the little hill (tekra) brought about a small revolution in setting up possibly the first Act for Street Vendors.

This was followed by working group sessions where the youth discussed their reflections on the Earth Charter principles and their expectations from the 10 workshops. Ms. Satwant Kaur, Regional Information Officer, UNEP ROAP helped facilitate the working group session along with the SAYEN mentors. This session allowed for an energetic debate on various issues such as need for proper governance and access to vs. potential of ICTs, a need for consultative process in policy making, the idea of openness to world’s religions and the erstwhile need for spirituality.

The plenary tent

The conference spanned over 3 days with 8 different plenary sessions and 10 parallel working group sessions. Notable speakers at the plenary included:

  • Prof. Charles Hopkins, UNESCO Chair and United Nations University Chair
  • Dr. Ashok Khosla, former Director of the United Nations Environment Programme
  • Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director General of IUCN
  • Dr. Brendan Mackey, Professor of Environmental Science at Australian National University
  • Sunita Narain, Director, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE)
  • Dr. Kirit Parikh, former Member, Planning Commission, Government of India
  • All plenary sessions were multicast live over the internet, with technical backstopping by Heart in Action Enterprises (HIAE), and provided a virtual extension to the conference.  The Facebook page and Twitter (#ecplus10india) regularly streamed updates as they happened in different workshops.

    The Special Event “Global youth and ICTs: Heart in Action Enterprises and the Earth Charter team up to educate, empower and inspire youth!” set up a virtual dialogue between youth at the conference and select participants from around the world via a secured multicast.

    Conference Highlights

    • A separate workshop for the 71 youth involved was not organised in the conference, but youth were asked to contribute into the workshops as facilitators, as volunteers, rapporteurs, participants and organisers.
    • An informal youth session each evening allowed youth to reflect and share daily and prepare for the next day. This venue also served as grounds where mentors requested more youth contribution/interest.
    • Youth participants/volunteers joined as early as a month ahead worked hand in hand with CEE staff to prepare daily reports which were then made available as ceenario from the conference website.   <http://www.ceeindia.org/cee/ecnewsletter/ec_ceenario2.htm>
    • The plenary sessions were multicast over the internet to provide a virtual extension.
    • registering thumb prints on the tree of thumbs

    I took part in the Workshop 4: Reviewing, Rethinking, and Reorienting ICTs for ESDas part of the youth delegation.

    On the final day, I was requested by coordinators and participants to present the recommendations from the workshop at the 7th plenary session prior to closing.

    The recommendations from the workshop were as follows:

    We had about 25 participants deliberating on relevant concerns during the 7 hours. I Utsav Maden, a SAYEN Associate from Nepal take this opportunity of bringing to you key recommendations that participants made for the Earth Charter:

    • The Earth Charter is an organic document which needs to be adapted to different social and geographical contexts. We believe that ICT has the potential to share the spirit of the Earth Charter to multitudes of people globally.
    • ICTs have made great strides in reaching out to the masses, yet the progress is a bit slow.
    • This needs to be accelerated. The Earth Charter needs to have its own ‘media plan’ to do a communication campaign, incorporating the technologies of broadcasting and social media.
    • The mobile phone technology has the potential to break social barriers of different kinds- religion, literacy, caste or gender for example. Thus the Earth Charter should promote the use of mobile phone technology for customized access to knowledge and facilitate action for natural resource management.

    I am also glad to report that the more recommendations on ICT and Earth Charter made by the participants have been captured through a participatory video.

    Photos from the conference :)

    The Youth Workshop

    Steven Rockefeller takes questions from inquisitive youth Kartikeya Sarabhai talks about how the streetvendor act (the only one of its kind) came into being

    DSC04866.JPG DSC04868.JPG

    DSC04869.JPG DSC04871.JPG

    DSC04874.JPG DSC04875.JPG

    DSC04881.JPG DSC04884.JPG

    DSC04885.JPG DSC04886.JPG

    Kartikeya Sarabhai, Steven Rockefeller and Madhavi Joshi at the preconference Youth workshop

    The Youth Corner

    DSC04927.JPG DSC05029.JPG

    DSC05024.JPG DSC05027.JPG

    DSC05028.JPG DSC04928.JPG

    DSC04904.JPG DSC04907.JPG

    DSC04908.JPG DSC04910.JPG

    The plenary tent

    At the inaugural plenary DSC04893.JPG

    Exhibition by National Green Corps

    DSC04913.JPG DSC04914.JPG

    DSC04917.JPG DSC04920.JPG

    Green corp demonstrate biopesticide made from cow urine and biomass DSC04923.JPG

    DSC04915.JPG DSC04918.JPG

    Informal Youth Sessions at the Conference

    DSC04931.JPG DSC04932.JPG

    DSC04933.JPG DSC04934.JPG

    with some German friends DSC04937.JPG

    DSC04938.JPG DSC04939.JPG

    DSC04940.JPG DSC04942.JPG

    DSC04946.JPG DSC04948.JPG

    DSC04950.JPG

    The CEE Campus

    DSC05039.JPG

    DSC04961.JPG DSC04962.JPG

    DSC04966.JPG DSC04969.JPG

    DSC04971.JPG DSC04899.JPG

    DSC04895.JPG DSC04896.JPG

    DSC04900.JPG DSC05030.JPG

    Virtual Conference with Earth Charter alumni and a brief session with the Rabbi

    DSC04973.JPG DSC04981.JPG

    DSC04985.JPG DSC04986.JPG

    DSC04991.JPG DSC04994.JPG

    DSC04995.JPG

    This entry was posted in musings and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.
    %d bloggers like this: