The city of Belo Horizonte in Brazil will host the upcoming Earth Dialogues 2008, which will be held on November 26-28th, 2008. Since Lyon in 2002, the Earth Dialogues have been held in various countries including the United States, Pakistan, Spain and the last conference in Brisbane, Australia.
The Earth Dialogues are a series of public debates held over two days to enhance public understanding of emerging environmental and social inequality issues and to propose new strategies to implement sustainable development in all sectors of society. In addition to the focus on launching cross-sector initiatives to address environmental and social inequality issues, the Earth Dialogues also serves as a creative platform for civil society and international institutions to promote ethics and value-based behaviour change initiatives based on the principles of the Earth Charter. The ethical dimension of addressing environmental issues is one of the important objectives in the Earth Dialogues and the principles of the Earth Charter upheld as an essential agenda to attain long-term sustainability.
Strengthening the international image of Brazil as a major player in implementing su stainable development is a challenging and rewarding task. The Belo Horizone Earth Dialogues will have a special focus on South America while efforts made by Brazilian NGOs, government officials, civil groups, businesses and scientists will be brought under the spotlight. Through the incorporation of outside activities into the Earth Dialogues agenda, not only are the participants encouraged to interact with the host country but host participants will also share from outside expertise and best practices of sustainable development strategies. This synergistic approach encourages an overall greater visibility for the Earth Dialogues and an opportunity for the host city to raise the profile of its activities (click here for more information on Green Cross Brazil programs and activities).
The Belo Horizonte Earth Dialogues are designed to generate innovative and pragmatic political solutions to emerging global environmental challenges. The Earth Dialogues fosters constructive dialogue and change in a number of ways:
•Generation of cross-sectoral solutions, approaches and strategies for promoting ethical sustainable development by bringing together civil society, private sector, governments, international non-governmental organisations, scientists and other multilateral members committed to solving environmental issues;
•Stimulation of partnerships between key stakeholders in pursuit of sustainable development;
•Launching of action-oriented proposals and activities from the “local to global” to address environmental issues and social inequality;
•Enhanced public understanding and public awareness of the complex linkages between resource scarcity, human deprivation and conflict;
•Development of new strategies for the media to increase public outreach and effectiveness of media campaigns;
•Re-invigoration of the ethics discourse in regards to the new global survival challenges.
In order to reach the widest possible audience, the Belo Horizonte Earth Dialogues in November 2008 will have a series of side events such as concerts, trade fairs, exhibitions and ceremonies to complement the Earth Dialogues. The city of Belo Horizonte and the host country of Brazil will become a critical location for sustainable development strategies in the future and contribute to more successful Earth Dialogues.