The Autonomous University of Coahuila (UAdeC), member of the Mexican Network of the Earth Charter, took the lead in organizing an event on the celebration of the fifteenth anniversary of the launch of the Earth Charter. The event took place from 21 to 23 April, also provided an opportunity to celebrate Earth Day. Oscar Motomura (Brazil), Ama van Dantzig (Ghana), Mateo Castillo (Mexico), Peter Corcoran and Edgar Gonzalez-Gaudiano were among the participants.
The vision that guided this effort was to hold a celebration to promote understanding and dialogue about the essence of the Earth Charter and its principles through interaction among the attendees. It also sought to strengthen the Mexican Network of Earth Charter for collaborative work among all of the states of this country.
The specific objectives of this event were to:
- Report on achievements, challenges and expectations of Mexico’s commitment to / from the Earth Charter.
- Show the relevance of the Earth Charter to the Post-2015 Development Agenda, the objectives of Sustainable Development, and other similar declarations and initiatives.
- Spread the Global Action Programme for Education for Sustainable Development, coordinated by UNESCO.
- Re-affirm the commitment in Mexico to the Earth Charter.
- Promote the exchange of experiences among participants.
- Forge partnerships to strengthen commitment to the Earth Charter.
- Showcase University of Coahuila achievements in sustainability and implementing the Earth Charter.
The activities during the three days of celebration included indigenous ceremonies, keynote speeches, panel discussions, food tastings, video presentations, and a showing of the documentary “The Journey of the Universe”, as well as music and dance activities. A momentous event was the signing of the endorsement of the Earth Charter by the Governor of Coahuila on April 22. In his speech, the Governor congratulated the UAdeC for their commitment to the Earth Charter, and expressed interest in finding ways to adopt the principles of the Earth Charter to meet the challenges of the State, including water conservation, recognition of indigenous peoples knowledge and traditions, lower emissions, and increased protected areas, among others.
Another highlight of the event was the presentation of the National Commitment to the Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development, which was drafted by members of the Advisory Councils for Sustainable Development and the Mexican Network of the Earth Charter. This presentation signified the beginning of the search for partnerships for the promotion and implementation of this commitment.
An important alliance that was ratified during these days of celebration was with UNESCO. Both, the Director Ms. Pilar Alvarez-Laso of the Office for Mexico and Central America, and the Director of the Office in Mexico Ms. Nuria Sainz mentioned repeatedly the importance of the Earth Charter as an ethical framework and the Earth Charter Initiative as a partner to UNESCO in its efforts to promote sustainable development.
Soon we will share the report of this celebration and photo gallery.