A two day interactive workshop entitled “Sustainable Development Projects Inspired by the Earth Charter” was organized by Massar in Aleppo, a Northern City in Syria, on the 24th and 25th of January, 2012. During this 27 representatives from environmental NGOs, international agencies, governmental bodies, and representatives from 8 eco-schools participating in “Green Light: Environmental Education Initiative” came together to discuss sustainable development projects and to create synergies amongst the stakeholders.
Attendees of the workshop included people from eco-schools participating in Green Light Initiative, the Directorate of Environment, Youth Union, UNRWA, Agha Khan, UNEP, and seven active environmental NGOs in Aleppo. Overall, it was a very enriching experience and participants walked away with not only a better sense of what the Earth Charter is but also better equipped about how to take action towards more sustainable lifestyles.
The objectives of Earth Charter workshop were:
- Introducing the earth charter
- Updating the attendees on some interesting and recent facts in environment
- Discussing potential sustainable development projects inspired by the Earth Charter
- Giving an overview of climate change and planetary boundaries
- Explaining the principles of writing a project proposal
- Creating working groups based on the suggested project ideas by the attendees
– Give Earth a Hand… Green Peace Campaign
– The Earth Charter formation
– Envisioning sustainability…shedding light on Donella Meadows work
– Why is the Earth Charter different?
– Tree of the Earth Charter
Introducing the 4 main principles through interactive activities and discussions
1. Respect and care for community of life
– The most important living thing
– Types of participation and your institute
– Community of life: an interconnected web
2. Ecological Integrity
– Types of ecosystem services and its current situation
– Study on services of forests and woodlands in the UK
– Ecosystems and equilibrium?
– Story of our stuff
3. Social and Economic Justice
– Different perspectives on a social issue
4. Democracy, non-violence, and peace
– Art collage on the 4 principles of democracy, non-violence and peace
– Overview of climate change and defining planetary boundaries
– Eradicating ecocide and Polly Higgins work
– Brainstorming sustainable development projects
– Steps for writing a funding proposal
– Introducing some funding opportunities
– Creation of working groups and discussion of project ideas brainstorm:
– A community problem and Earth Charter principles
– Mind Map for Climate change
The Earth Charter workshop will be followed by another workshop to further elaborate the project ideas that were developed during this workshop.