Rocío Milagros Collantes González has been an active Earth Charter Young Leader since she completed the Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics (LSE) online course with the Earth Charter in June 2017. However, this course was not Rocío’s introduction to the Earth Charter. She still remembers learning about the Earth Charter Movement when she was only eleven years old watching the news in her native country of Panama. Rocío also remembers that she heard about the Earth Charter from the late Mercedes Sosa, renowned Argentinian singer, member of the Earth Charter Commission, and one of her father’s favorite singers.
Rocío is an International Relations and Human Rights analyst. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in International Relations at the University of Panama and her post-graduate degree in International Climate Change Diplomacy at Fondo Verde.
As an Earth Charter Young Leader, Rocío organizes online and face-to-face forums, seminars and workshops on themes such as climate change, sustainable development, the Earth Charter, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. One of her main goals is to share the significance of these topics at the national and international levels.
Rocío is inspired by the way in which the Earth Charter articulates ethical principles and values about environmental protection. She notes that the Earth Charter is not widely known in Panama and she is determined to share it with others, especially since she believes it is fundamental for the areas of International Relations, Law and Political Sciences, Biology, Environmental Engineering and Agronomy and among other professions dedicated to the environment and sustainable development.
Rocío states, “In particular, I consider it important that the Earth Charter be implemented in schools and universities, since children and young people are the future generations.”
In 2018, Rocío represented the Earth Charter Young Leaders at the V Youth Forum of the Americas, in commemoration of the VIII Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru. From there, she began to carry out youth activities in schools and universities, in collaboration with youth associations and organizations, enrolling in the Youth Dialogue Process Towards the 49th General Assembly of the Organization of American States and the Citizen Ambassador Program Agenda 2030-2019 carried out from 08 July to 30 November 2019 by The Millennials Movement, and with the virtual dialogue: “The Earth Charter as a Tool to Comply with the SDGs,” hosted on 11 May 2019 and organized by the Organization of American States.
In 2020, Rocío hosted the virtual dialogue, “The Earth Charter acts for the Youth of the Americas,” in commemoration of the 2020 Youth Dialogue of the Americas organized by the Organization of American States and the Young Americas Business Trust.
Rocío recognizes that she is not alone in her efforts towards protecting the planet. She has hosted many of the online forums with Julián Arias Varela from Costa Rica and Ana Karen Proa from Mexico, fellow Earth Charter Young Leaders whom she met as part of the EC Movement.
Rocío expressed, “Being part of the Earth Charter Young Leaders has taught me the meaning of protecting the planet and what is most important, putting into practice ethical and moral values and especially, international peace and security at the global level, which is the motto of the United Nations, and to be an example for future generations, who are the youth.”