Environmental activist, Severn Cullis-Suzuki, joined Earth Charter International to celebrate International Earth Day on April 22nd. The day started with a Webinar on “Empowering a new generation of young leaders through Education”. Severn acknowledged the activism and involvement of a new generation that seems ready to help the world. She also insisted that nowadays we tend to focus too much on problems rather than on the broad range of solutions available. “Solutions are there but they are very challenging, and in order to start implementing them, we need to build a vision, a new paradigm”.
According to her, unity is key and it is necessary to “channel our emotions into a huge movement”. Towards this end, she recognized the Earth Charter as an important tool to realize interconnections between human beings and the environment, as well as between human beings themselves.
In order to make this new paradigm happen, she highlighted four points:
1. Respect is the way
2. In community lie our strength
3. In connection to place lie our power
4. In diversity lie answers
Her speech was followed by the intervention of two active youth group members who presented their activities in their respective countries. Juliette Decq, director of the Think&Do-Tank CliMates, introduced the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties simulation project her team is currently implementing in France, and Simran Vedvyas presented the youth group she founded a year ago, SynergY and their actions in Dubai.
In the afternoon, Severn was invited to a face-to-face dialogue with the community of the University for Peace and the Earth Charter International team. During this event, Severn highlighted the paradigm shift she envisions, which is based on harmony and respect, in its broadest sense, and participants could share their reflections and ideas with her on the topic of interconnection and responsibilities.
The Earth Day celebration brought together more than 100 people of all ages from around the world and was highly successful.
You can learn more about Severn and her work at her official Web site.