Taiwan Ecological Stewardship Association (TESA) organizes events to celebrate Earth Day every year. This year, and in celebration of the Earth Charter 15th anniversary, TESA and other members of Earth Charter Taiwan Network hosted a three-day seminar called “Reconciliation with Nature”, from 16-18 April.
The guest speaker was Dr. Klaus Bosselmann, an Earth Charter Affiliate from New Zealand and professor of environmental law of the University of Auckland. The General Secretary of TESA Nancy Tzu-Mei Chen met Dr. Klaus Bosselmann in the events held by Global Ecological Integrity Group (GEIG). Nancy found that TESA and GEIG share many common values including the shared interest in Earth Charter principles.
Professor Bosselmann was invited to give three speeches between the 16th and 18th of April in Taipei, including:
- Global Governance in the Age of Planetary Boundaries
- Earth Stewardship: Building institutions of environmental trusteeship
- Mind the Gap: State governance and ecological integrity
Although each presentations had a different focus, Klaus integrated the Earth Charter into all of the three speeches. He briefly explained the history, concepts, and goals of the Earth Charter, and the adoption of the EC by different actors in various fields.
The Earth Charter Preamble states, “The protection of Earth’s vitality, diversity and beauty is a sacred trust.” Klaus reminded the participants that to achieve a sustainable future, human beings must consider themselves as the trustees/stewards of the Earth and its global commons. He emphasized, “The core of the Earth Charter is ecological integrity as a fundamental principle for global governance.”
Several well-known local scholars and experienced practitioners also presented their research and work in the seminar. The topics covered included trust funds for environmental protection, religion and community engagement, education on food and agriculture, and democracy and environmental governance, among others. In the panel discussions and tea breaks, Klaus and other speakers and participants interacted and exchanged their ideas. The 200 participants all learned from these presentations and were highly inspired by Klaus’s insights.
On April 17th, Klaus joined a learning tour to Yilan, a rural county in the northeast of Taiwan. In the morning a group of 50 participants visited the Nan-Au organic farm which was led by a pastor who works with indigenous residents. After lunch, the group went to the Green Expo in Wu-Lao River Park co-organized by the Sun Foundation, which is a core member of Earth Charter Taiwan.
Klaus enjoyed the activities, including climbing a 20-meter-high tree house and picking up mulberries in the farm. He was glad to have this opportunity to meet new friends and discover the nature and culture of Taiwan.
TESA is committed to promote the Earth Charter in Taiwan and plans to invite more friends from the EC network to share their knowledge and experiences with local people, communities, schools, and organizations.