On Saturday, September 19, 2020, a webinar titled “Shift to Green Online Seminar” was organized by Soka Gakkai International (SGI) in collaboration with Earth Charter International (ECI), Greenpeace Japan (GJ), the Japan Youth Platform for Sustainability (JYPS), and the Soka Institute of the Amazon in Brazil. About 250 people from around the world participated.
Firstly, the results of the “Shift to Green Photo & Video Contest” were announced and video comments from the five winners were shared, accompanied by feedback from representatives of the cohosting organizations. The overall winner was Ms. Erica Lotus from the United States of America, who created a painting combining natural elements with a vision of a harmonious future. A total of 150 people around the world submitted entries to the competition.
The main content of the webinar was a presentation by Ms. Mirian Vilela, Executive Director of the ECI Secretariat, who is based in Costa Rica, to mark the 20th anniversary of the Earth Charter and many years of cooperation with SGI. In her intervention, she pointed out that an artist, a photographer or a video maker has the ability and the opportunity to zoom in and zoom out in the process of creating an image, and these abilities to see (the whole picture and a detail), the ability to focus, and to be sensitive, in terms of the surroundings and the interactions with our environment, are crucial, not only for the artist in the moment of taking a picture, or generating a video or artwork, but for anyone. She said “in fact, our world would greatly benefit if we counted with more leaders with these abilities.” Further, the Earth Charter has the potential to clarify our values and world visions that can make life on our planet more sustainable. Its relevance is increasing in light of the growing nationalism, discrimination, xenophobia, social division and environmental degradation.
Lastly, Mirian expressed her appreciation for SGI’s long efforts of supporting and promoting the Earth Charter, and her hope that we can all work together towards a kinder, healthier and safer world.
Following her presentation, a video created by the Soka Institute of the Amazon was aired, demonstrating the work of the Institute and showing the planting of commemorative seedlings in the names of the contest winners at the Institute’s headquarters outside Manaus, Brazil.