It was organized by the Russian Center for Environmental Policy and Culture and hosted by the Russian Public Chamber. Among the participants were renowned environmental experts, representatives from educational institutions at all levels, from universities to the local Departments of Education, members of the Russian Public Chamber and its regional branches, Russian mass media and other institutions. In addition, representatives of the various environmental and cultural youth movements constituted a considerable portion of the participants and made a noticeable input into the outcome of the three-day event.
The attention of the audience during the first day of the conference was focused on the four main themes:
1) Environment, Economy, Crisis: The need to move along the path of sustainable development;
2) Energy, Climate, Environmental Services;
3) Local Municipalities as Vital Instruments for Sustainable Development and
4) Building-up environmental culture for sustainable lifestyles.
Marina Bakhnova Cary, from the EC International Secretariat in Costa Rica, addressed the audience by recognizing their continuous activities in integrating the values and the ethics of the Earth Charter into national, regional and local developmental programs. She also encouraged them to strengthen the presence of the Earth Charter in the realms of education, business, governmental programs, youth movements and the national mass media. It was very satisfactory to see that due to continuous participation of Earth Charter representatives in such national events for the last three years, most of the participants exhibited a visible change in their attitude to the Earth Charter vision and made it an integral part of their work and life.
A very important event took place on the second day of the conference; it was entirely dedicated to the Youth National Forum, “Youth for Sustainable Development Environment and Culture,” and was held in the presence of all the participants of the conference. At the forum’s plenary session the young leaders of the National Environmental Movement for Sustainable Development brought to attention of their peers and older colleagues their success stories and also told about the roadblocks that slow down the momentum in their regions, cities and local communities.
The second part of the forum was set up in the following working sessions:
- School Environmental Movement: The Association of Environmental Teachers.
- Environment, Economy, Innovations, Financial Crisis: Youth Initiatives for Sustainable Development
- Friends of Pristine Islands: The Youth Movement for Protected Territories
- The Earth Charter, Russian Youth Movement and the National Ethical Code for Sustainable Development
Marina Bakhnova Cary chaired the working session on the Earth Charter. She invited Muazama Burkhanova, the Earth Charter Affiliate in Tajikistan, and Ljudmila Tulina from Uzbekistan to share their experience in the integrating the Earth Charter values into youth movements in their countries with young leaders of the Russian environmental movement. In the course of dialogue between the representatives of regional and local youth movements, it was decided to integrate the Earth Carter values into the drafting process of the National Ethical Code for Sustainable Development. They emphasized the need to involve youth organizations, formal and non-formal youth groups and movements into the promotion of the Earth Charter in every Russian city, region and local community.
The plenary session of the Forum approved the Youth Declaration and addressed the Russian president Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin with an appeal to acknowledge the fact that the values of sustainable development are a world–wide vision and an indicator of the cultural growth and maturity of the nation. The young environmental leaders called for joining the efforts of all sectors of the Russian society and the launch of a nation-wide movement “Environment and Culture is the Future of Russia.”