The 2008 Earth Dialogues kick off today in the city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil with an opening ceremony that includes 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohan Munasinge, Green Cross International President Alexander Likhotal and Minas Gerais State Governor Aécio Neves. Other notable speakers at the two day event include Mario Soares, GCI Board Member and former President of Portugal, Dr. Ger Bergkamp, Director General of the World Water Council of UNESCO, Martin Lees, Secretary General of the Club of Rome and Ambassador Sérgio Duarte, UNO’S High Commissioner for Disarmament.
The event, hosted by Green Cross International together with Green Cross Brazil and the Renato Azeredo Foundation, seeks to analyse threats and obstacles, unlock potential, fight injustice and forge partnerships to stimulate actions through which Latin America can further sustainable development both at home and globally. Participants will focus on the dynamic and complex relationship between sustainable development and poverty, inequality, violence and the environment.
The Dialogues will alternate between plenary sessions featuring inspiring keynote speakers and public debates, and intensive interactive working group sessions centered around four main themes:
1. Water and climate change
2. Renewable energies for a sustainable society
3. New approaches to territorial planning
4. International solidarity: South-South Cooperation
The goal of the Earth Dialogues Minas Gerais is to produce a “Blueprint” declaration with targeted action plans as well as concrete actions, commitments and local, regional, South-South and global partnerships.