On 8 August 2019, the 16th training for urban socio-environmental agents in the Earth Charter Programme at UMAPAZ – the Open University of the Environment and Culture of Peace in Sao Paulo, Brazil, began. There were more than 500 registrations from which almost 100 people from all regions of the city were selected. UMAPAZ is the Department of Environment Education and Culture of Peace of the City of Sao Paulo.
At this critical moment on the planet, when the IPCC brings us new warnings about the consequences of climate change and the actions we must take to reduce the damage and make the necessary adaptations for the preservation of life, since 2006, UMAPAZ has used the Earth Charter as a guide, working systematically to raise awareness and consciousness of the citizens on the importance of respect for life, with the nexus on ecological integrity, social justice and economy, democracy, nonviolence and peace.
Sao Paulo, one of the megacities of the world, has a special responsibility to protect what is left of the Atlantic forest, the biome in which it is located, restore the vegetation cover and the waters, and change the habits regarding urban mobility, food , attention to the most vulnerable populations and people and respect for all forms of life. Sao Paulo also has a tradition regarding democratic freedoms and respect for the Constitution; and therefore, has a role in relation to Brazil and the world, from which it cannot be alienated.
With the Earth Charter in Action Programme, which has already trained more than 800 people, UMAPAZ aims to contribute to processes of social change by engaging more and more citizens of Sao Paulo in the effort of making the vision of sustainability articulated in the Earth Charter a reality. They aim to inspire participants in the Earth Charter Network, to act in an exemplary way in their communities with respect for life.
UMAPAZ is directed by Meire Fonseca and those responsible for the Earth Charter in Action Programme are Débora Pontalti Marcondes ([email protected]) and Lia Salomão Lopes, who can provide more details about the training.