Argentina Archives - Earth Charter

Education for sustainable development and cities in Latin America and the Caribbean

IMG-20170426-WA0001The Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development was invited to participate in the Latin America and Caribbean Workshop on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and cities, organized by the Global Action Programme on ESD, which took place on 26-28 April 2017 in Villa María, Argentina.

This workshop was part of a series of regional workshops that have been taking place in all regions of the world, with the aim to sensitize about the integration of ESD at the local level, supporting the implementation of the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
The occasion helped participants to learn about different initiatives that municipalities and different institutions associated with local governments are doing to put in practice education for sustainability.

rgentina-Education-Sustainable-Development-citiesThe Earth Charter Center supported UNESCO in the identification of several participants, and during the event, Alicia Jimenez represented the Earth Charter and had different roles, such as moderating, speaking and facilitating several sessions.

 

In parallel, the Regional Workshop on Learning Cities was held, organized by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning. Although both events had their defined objectives, the idea was to seek synergies to promote ESD within the network of learning cities.

Villa María was the host city of this event. It is a city of 100,000 inhabitants with an advanced local government, which is putting into practice very interesting projects of education and citizenship empowerment, such as the Children’s Parliament. This initiative invites children to participate in democratic processes, and to implement projects of their interest with a budget that the Municipality gives them.

Argentina Learning Cities

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Reflections as the New Earth Charter Youth Projects Coordinator

By: Christine Lacayo

My first month of work ends and I’m excited to share some of my reflections!

As the Earth Charter Youth Projects ChristineECCoordinator, my main responsibility is to motivate, guide, and engage young people to create a more just, sustainable and peaceful world. What is the best way to do this? I think the beauty of this position is the flexibility and creativity the job requires. I have the ability to incorporate my passions and interests to expand and create new opportunities and stories. I’m excited to bring my passion for visual media and writing to collect all Earth Charter Youth actions and stories that are taking place around the world. As an ocean advocate, I would also like to continue sensitizing my community members on the importance of taking care of our ocean ecosystems!

Some of the main projects I’m focusing on now include promoting our app Mapting, used to take pictures of actions related the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We have our next photo competition to celebrate International Day for Biological Diversity starting from 12-22 May.Mapting_FB_AD

I’m also facilitating our next online training programme for youth, Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics (LSE) starting 19 June. This 10-week course is designed to prepare and empower young people with the skills and knowledge to be effective ethical sustainability leaders and implement Earth Charter-inspired projects.

One of my favorite roles of my job is having a group of Earth Charter Young Leaders, those who have completed the LSE course, from all over the world. These leaders are from countries such as St. Lucia, Germany, Kenya, Nigeria, Japan, Netherlands, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Rwanda, and Spain, just to name a few! My responsibility is to support them along their year commitment as an Earth Charter Young Leader implementing activities and workshops in their community.

I’m also diving into the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Leadership Training Programme created by esd-training-flierEarth Charter International for the UNESCO Global Action Program (GAP) on ESD focusing on priority area number 4: empowering and mobilizing youth. The training is designed for young people from 18-35 who are active leaders in sustainable development in their communities.  At the beginning of July, I will be co-facilitating the training programme in Brasilia, Brazil for selected young leaders from across Latin America!

I’m very excited to start this dynamic new job not to mention the stunning nature views and sounds from my office! I’m happy to be back in the country I grew up visiting as my second home while promoting a more peaceful and sustainable world using the skills and knowledge I’ve gained from my studies and experiences!IMG_0032

 

 

 

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Reflections from our Online Course: Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics

As we close our 5th week of the second online course in Spanish, Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics, we have had much enthusiasm, energy and student cooperation. This course began on April 3 and will end on June 12 with the participation of young leaders from all over Latin America facilitated by Earth Charter Young Leaders, Julián Arias Varela and Karen Proa, and Youth Projects Coordinator, Christine Lacayo.map

The international course is aimed at young people between the ages of 18 and 30 who want to expand their capacity as leaders in sustainability and leadership. As participants complete the sections through an online platform, they learn important information about Sustainability, Ethics, Facilitation, and the Earth Charter. The course is also given in English with the next beginning on June 19 and the deadline to apply on May 17. The next course in Spanish will begin on September 11 with registration one month before. At the end of the 10 weeks, participants are invited to become an Earth Charter Young Leader for a year in the Earth Charter Youth Network. Young leaders connect, motivate and engage with their contemporaries to join the Earth Charter movement and build a more peaceful, just and sustainable world.

Personal reflections of our current participants:

“This is the opportunity to start with the change that we are always looking for but haven’t found. The learning space is incredible, I am committed and I will make a double effort for those who do not.”

-José Ignacio Fernández Víquez, Costa Rica

“Being part of a global movement of young leaders who dream of a more humane, more free and conscious world, gives me strength to continue fighting, but above all hope that the good do not keep quite nor gain indifference.”

-Pamela Zúñiga López, Costa Rica

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Earth Charter Youth Group of the Month – UISCUMARR Youth Department

The Earth Charter Youth Group of the month (June 2013) goes to the Youth Department of UISCUMARR, also an ECI Affiliate based in Buenos Aires.

UISCUMARR focuses mainly on Corporate Social Responsibility, and they have a Youth Department where they promote actions on youth empowerment and the environment. Here is a description of their current activities and projects:

–  “Youth Vote: Citizen Engagement” talk:  Argentina passed several laws this year that authorize young people as young as 16 to vote in national and provincial elections. Previously the minimum age to vote was 18.
As the coming legislative elections will be the first experience of many young people, UISCUMARR Youth Dept has conducted talks over the last two years engaging youth at various schools throughout their region. The talks were run by two young lawyers who are Chamber members.

–  Event: “1st CSR Programs Workshop for SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises)”: On June 13th 2012 a workshop for SMEs was organized with the aim to demonstrate how they can start infusing corporate social responsibility into their work.

– Participation in “Tree Week”: For the last year, the Water and Youth Movement and UNICEF, Argentina have been organizing “Tree Week” throughout the last week of August. This day is based on raising environmental awareness and tree planting. In 2012. UISCUMARR planted 60 trees in the city of Lanús and in 2013 they aim to plant more trees in different municipalities. They will also organize talks in schools on the subject and prepare seedlings that will be planted for Tree Week 2014.

Children’s Day: Like last year, for Children’s Day in Argentina, UISCUMARR Youth Department will be collaborating in recreational activities primarily with toys in a hospital or dining setting. This activity is organized entirely by young people.

–  Presentations about Entrepreneurship: In order to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young people, two young entrepreneurs will make presentations in high schools.

– Delivery of Books, Scholarships and Participation in International Events: With the intention to train the young members of the Department, the Board allocated resources that purchased materials, scholarships and participation in international events. In 2012, the scholarship was awarded to eight young people to participate in the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20).

Earth Charter International would like to congratulate UISCUMARR Youth Department and its members for all of their efforts to raise awareness on the issue of Social Responsibility and to empower the Youth of Argentina.

We strongly encourage our Earth Charter Youth Groups around the world to keep up the great work, to keep us informed with their activities and projects and to keep on updating their Wikispace pages, which is a great tool to connect with a global and active youth network aiming to build a more just and peaceful world!

To know more about UISCUMARR Youth Department, visit their official website, Wikispace page and the ECYG Google Map.

If you have any questions, please contact Nora Mahmoud, at youthcoordinator@earthcharter.org

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New affiliates from Argentina, Bolivia, Spain and Uganda

In Argentina CEIDeS (Center for Interdisciplinary Studies for Sustainable Development Foundation) joined Earth Charter International as an Affiliate.  This foundation is nonprofit organization for the common good in Córdoba composed by a group of professionals and social leaders building, promoting and implementing a wide, transversal and interdisciplinary scope of sustainable development in their country.  The Earth Charter will be used in this context as a perfect match for this purpose as well as an educational tool in their courses.  Their aim is to generate synergies between governments, businesses and civil society encouraging the promotion and transfer of knowledge through education and training.  Please see here in Spanish news on their website regarding their affiliation to the ECI.

“CONSTRUIR” Foundation is a nonprofit organization in La Paz, Bolivia which works on research, education and communication with the purpose of contributing to the coordination and promotion of actions and strategies for citizens’ participation processes in order to strengthen access to justice and democratic, social and economic development with gender equity.  This foundation is eager to insert the Earth Charter in their several areas of work such as Prevention of Violence based on Gender, Indigenous Peoples Rights, Prevention of School Violence, Freedom of Speech, among others. 

Poessible, Social and Communication Innovation Agency, has decided to become part of ECI.  This Agency, directed by Ángel Arenas,    responsible for the International Relations of UNESCO Andalucía (Spain) and consulting member of the executive committee of the International Federation of UNESCO Centers, works closely in many of his projects with Federico Mayor Zaragoza, Earth Charter Commissioner.  With great creativity this agency offers concrete solutions to universal problems with great visibility through projects that have been developed in 130 cities in more than 43 countries.  The Agency is planning to use and include the Earth Charter as an ethical and educational framework in some of these projects and future ones.  See more about their numerous projects here. 

The Uganda Martyrs University has become an affiliate of the Earth Charter Initiative.  The Vice Chancellor of this University signed an agreement with the Earth Charter International Secretariat to start this partnership.  This agreement will be operationalized through the Department of Good Governance and Peace Studies. This Department has developed an Environmental Governance and Conservation program in which they use the Earth Charter as theoretical and ethical framework.  This program includes courses, extension projects and research.

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Three new EC Affiliates in Argentina, Belgium and Brazil

We are very pleased to announce that three more organizations have become a part of the Earth Charter family as Affiliates.

Associacao Civil Alternativa Terrazul in Brazil
Terrazul Institute was founded in 1999 as a social-environmental organization and is presently called Associação Civil Alternativa Terrazul (Alternative Civil Association Terrazul). It is located in Fortaleza in the State of Ceará, Brazil.  Their mission is to contribute to building a critical and environmental consciousness and, together with other organized movements, create a new sustainable society through the following actions:

  • Carry out studies, investigations, and actions in the areas of education, citizenship, ecology, and health
  • Environmental education programs for youth and adults
  • Execution of sustainable development programs in rural and urban areas, aiming to promote the social perspective of a sustainable society
  • Support to the environmental movement participating in campaigns and actions
  • Encourage citizen participation and solidarity, articulating and creating movements, associations and networks

European Center for Electoral Support (ECES) in Belgium
The European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) is a Brussels-based non-profit and non-governmental organization with a global mandate. ECES promotes sustainable democratic development through the provision of:

• advisory services and operational support for the implementation of electoral cycles in favor of electoral management bodies and international-regional organizations; and

• capacity development at country, regional and global levels through facilitating peer reviews, the exchange of experiences, south-south collaboration and leadership development.

And

UISCUMARR (Unión de Industriales para Saneamiento Cuencas Matanza-Riachuelo y Reconquista) in Argentina 
UISCUMARR is a non-profit Civil Association created by a group of industrialists concerned with solving environmental problems in a sustainable way.  “We are part of the society in search of changing the environmental reality of Buenos Aires and to do this we should defend, based on sustainability, an indivisible good that belongs to all, the “Collective Good””.

To achieve this, they work with three different axes:

  1. Change of the environmental paradigm
  2. Change of the collective culture
  3. Changes on the ruling environmental standards looking for a balance between  punitive rules and regulations that encourage clean production.

We welcome them and hope for a fruitful collaboration!

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Caretakers for the Environment activities and the Earth Charter

CEI – Caretakers of the Environment International is a global network of secondary school teachers and students active in environmental education.  Every year, CEI organizes an international conference in different parts of the world; they also generate education materials and national branches, which also organize additional events.

This year, several individuals involved in the Earth Charter Initiative will participate in CEI Annual Conference.   This event will take place from 03-09 July 2011 in Debrecen, Hungary.

Members of Earth Charter Taiwan will participate in this event. Among them, several indigenous students with an indigenous teacher will attend CEI Conference, and make a presentation called:  Back to the Millet Field- Reconstructing the Ancient Wisdom for a Sustainable Future.   They will talk about the Earth Charter and their work in their presentation, sharing how this document has been used in environmental education in Taiwan.

Fatima Almeida, Earth Charter International Affiliate from Portugal is the Vice-President of CEI since 2007.  She has been making the connections between the Earth Charter values and the work done during CEI Conferences.

In September 2011,  CEI Argentinian branch will organize a conference on environmental education and citizen participation, at Universidad Nacional de Lanús.    During this conference, Fatima Almeida will conduct an Earth Charter workshop.

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EC Action Group in Argentina supports the Infinite Factory


Earth 21 Group from Rosario (EC Action Group in Argentina) is integrated by the Extension Office of the Municipality of Rosario with Graciela León as its Director.   The city of Rosario endorsed the Earth Charter several years ago and it is carrying out the Infinite Factory project with primary and secondary schools of the area.   Their motto is “reduce, recuperate, reinvent” in relation to the solid waste theme.  Original objects done with recycled materials, as shown in the pictures, received special prizes.  These activities are based on the analysis of the Earth Charter document. 
 
Graciela Satóstegui, ECI Affiliate in this country, sent us this news and also comments that Earth 21 Group Rosario is carrying out another activity:  youth training on sustainable gardening.  This group recently planted native trees at the Flag’s Monument property in Rosario, respecting the concept of the cities’ biodiversity. 

More detailed information in Spanish here

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An Education Action Group called “Earth 21” was created in Argentina

This Earth Charter in Action Group on Education emerges after a meeting with a delegate from the Earth Charter Secretariat, one of our Affiliates, Graciela Satóstegui and representatives from 21 schools of the country on 19 September 2009 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The schools represented in this meeting and that are now part of the Action Group are from Buenos Aires, Luján, Laprida, La Plata, Rosario, Chaco, San Salvador de Jujuy, Posadas, Bahía Blanca, Comodoro Rivadavia, Coronel Pringles and Mercedes. It is important to mention that these same schools went through a long process of School Agenda 21 and Local Agenda 21 (municipalities) from 2005 to 2007.

From the assistance of our Affiliate to the Earth Charter Latin American meeting “Building an Education for Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean”, held in Costa Rica in 2006, the Earth Charter was integrated in the process and the municipalities of San Salvador de Jujuy, Rosario, Resistencia, Luján, Laprida, Comodoro Rivadavia and Bahía Blanca endorsed the Charter. At the same time they were sensitized under the Sustainable Development principles by their respective schools that participated in Agenda 21.

The Earth 21 Action Group already started working in the dissemination of the Earth Charter in their country contacting universities and the Ministry of Environment with the purpose of obtaining their endorsement to the Earth Charter and the integration of its principles in their work, among other actions.

The whole report in Spanish can be found here.

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Mercedes Sosa passed away

On behalf of everyone involved with the Earth Charter Initiative, members of the Commission and International Council, staff, affiliates and activists, – I want to  express our deep and sincere condolences to Mercedes Sosa family, the peoples of Argentina and Latin America for her passing away this week.  

 

This is an irreplaceable loss for the family, but at the same time it is a loss for the thousands of those who loved her so much all over the world.  It is also a loss for those of us who strive for justice, peace and environmental protection. Nevertheless, it is good to know that she will continue to inspire us through the beauty and force of her voice. 

 

We are holding Mercedes in our thoughts and hearts. 

 

We are grateful for the support she gave to the Earth Charter Initiative being her special and inspirational self.  

 

I will always remember the historic moment, when Mercedes sang “Thanking Life (Gracias a la Vida)” a capella on March 13, 2000, at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris at the end of the last meeting of the Earth Charter Commission. This was a very special way to conclude the Charter’s drafting and consultation process. 

 

 

 

Mirian Vilela

Executive Director

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