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Sao Paulo, the city that teaches, using the Earth Charter

During the 19 June Earth Charter event, a new 12 minutes documentary on the work of the city of Sao Paulo through UMAPAZ was launched.

In 2005, the Municipality of Sao Paulo, Brazil founded the Open University for Environment and Culture of Peace (UMAPAZ). The objective of the institution is “to broaden sensitivity and enable the society to deal properly with the benefits and risks inherent to social and environmental relations within the City.” The Earth Charter is at the core of this institution’s value system and together they are addressing integrated sustainable development challenges in one of the world’s largest cities from the bottom up.

In a wonderful integration of Earth Charter values and education for sustainable development, UMAPAZ has created a training program for all members of society to help address sustainability issues at the ground level. Members from all sectors of society receive the training, become disseminators, bring the values and education to their communities, and begin to take action. The actions that they take are suited to the challenges of the specific area where they each work, whether they be environmental, health, social, economic, or others.

The underlying goal of the program is to foster a cultural evolution, a transformation in the mindset of the city’s inhabitants towards sustainable development and a culture of peace. The process is participatory, empowers people and communities, and integrates members from all sectors of society. At the core of this transformative program lie the values of the Earth Charter and they are proving to be a force in making Sao Paulo a more peaceful and sustainable place.

If this kind of program can be successful in one of the world’s largest cities with some of the greatest sustainability challenges, why can’t it work in your city?

Watch this video and see for yourself. The Earth Charter is at the core of this institution’s value system and together they are addressing integrated sustainable development challenges in one of the world’s largest cities from the bottom up.
 

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