Bolivia Archives - Earth Charter

Conference on SDGs implementation in Bolivia

SDG Conference BoliviaEarth Charter International participated in the 20th Annual Conference of IEF (International Environment Forum), whose topic was: “Implementing Sustainable Development Goals as communities and individuals”, where the focus was the situation in Latin America related to the implementation of SDG 4, SDG 11 and SDG 12.

SDG 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning
SDG 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
SDG 12:  Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

The Conference took place at Nur University in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, on 7-9 October 2016.

People from several Latin American countries were invited to share experiences that are supporting the implementation of these SDGs. Among the initiatives, a representative of the Government of Bolivia presented the national policy on education for caring for Mother Earth.   There were also presentations about promotion of social entrepreneurship for sustainable businesses in Colombia, organic farm production in Bolivia, initiatives on values-based education for sustainable consumption that PERL network is organizing, among others.  The Earth Charter was highlighted as a tool that can be used to advance SDG 4, when trying to put in practice quality education processes.  The Coordinator Desk of the 10YFP Sustainable Lifestyles and Education Programme, Patricia Vilchis, presented this Programme and the opportunities for collaboration that it presents.

In general, this event was a great opportunity to strengthen partnerships and find new opportunities for collaboration, especially on sustainable lifestyles and education actions.  Nur University is creating a video with the presentations, which we will share.

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Outstanding Earth Charter Youth: Lorena Terrazas

lorena-con-periodistasThirty-two year-old Lorena Terrazas has a powerful and rich voice and she is using it to transform her country of Bolivia.

Lorena was born in Santa Cruz, Bolivia in 1983. She understands the problems with discrimination among different ethnic groups in Bolivia. She has Quechua indigenous roots from her paternal grandfather and her family is from various parts of Bolivia. Even when she was young, she understood the importance of dialogue between people and how diversity can enrich rather than undermine our societies.

In 2005 Lorena began her journey by working on youth advocacy projects. She recognized the importance of citizen participation, transparency, and human rights, but she did not connect political issues with other social and environmental problems. Her projects were focused on specific issues, and were disconnected from other related areas.

lorena-campoWhen Lorena’s previous boss (Ramiro Orias) introduced her to the Earth Charter, she embraced it as a tool that helps her understand the interconnectedness of all things because the Earth. Charter has a comprehensive and holistic vision. It helps her in her work as an educator to cover a range of specific issues, but always connecting them together with an integrated vision.

After 10 years working on projects in Bolivia with young people, women, indigenous people and rural communities, Lorena contacted Alicia Jimenez, Project Coordinator at the Earth Charter International. In 2015 Earth Charter International invited Lorena to present the work she has done with women and indigenous people at a meeting of experts on climate change education and sustainable development. After that meeting, Lorena began working more closely with Earth Charter International, which strengthened the work she is doing with young people on climate change.

cop-simulationIn preparation for the COP21 in Paris, the UN Conference to create a global agreement to stop climate change, Lorena jumped into action. Realizing that this issue affects the whole world, and that most people could not directly participate in Paris, Lorena brought the COP21 to the young people of Bolivia. She began organizing a project to integrate the Earth Charter and climate change, and eventually developed and coordinated workshops for 1,400 young people from 8 universities in La Paz, El Alto, and Santa Cruz. She then organized a mock conference with 200 young people and had them work through the process of reaching a global climate agreement. Upon completing the COP21 preparatory projects in Brazil, Lorena headed for Europe.

lorena-trabajando-con-mujeresIn November 2015 she participated in meetings with the United Nations on indigenous peoples rights in the forum entitled “Business and Human Rights” held at the headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva. In that meeting there were presentations on socio-environmental monitoring, an initiative that is taking place in Bolivia, which supports the strengthening of territorial control and management of indigenous people in their relationship with oil companies. Lorena then headed to Paris where she participated in the COP21. While she was there, she did not forget about the Latino youth that could attend the event. She presented in a webinar, organized by Earth Charter International and Ruta del Clima, to inform others of what was happening during this historic event.

Now this young Bolivian is working to involve young people in developing their own sustainability projects. For example, Lorena is currently collaborating with Earth Charter International on a social media campaign, made by youth for youth, to spread word of the Earth Charter in a manner that is more accessible,using images and videos.

lorena-entrevistandoEven with all of that, and that is just the beginning for Lorena. Lorena dreams of finishing a master’s degree and a doctorate. She imagines studying outside her country so she can broaden her vision and open new doors. But she always sees herself returning to Bolivia, bringing new tools and knowledge to push, encourage, and guide the development of Bolivia in a sustainable direction. She recognizes the complicated political arena of the country: the urge to move towards a dangerous type of development; one focused only on economic growth with no consideration for social and environmental realms.

Lorena is dedicated to serving the people of her country, making it possible for them to meet their own needs by bringing a different perspective to the people, especially youth, of a sustainable and peaceful world. She believes that it is possible to achieve this goal using a holistic vision inspired by the Earth Charter.

To follow the story of Lorena you can visit the website of the organization PEACE NETWORK INTEGRATION AND DEVELOPMENT – PAZINDE www.redpazinde.org or write to [email protected]

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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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