The Earth Dialogues are a series of public forums launched in 2002 by Green Cross International which aim to mobilize global public interest and action to promote three objectives essential to the future of humanity: averting the ecological disasters which threaten our planet; fighting the scourge of poverty; and acting to ensure truly sustainable development.
Preparations for this year’s Earth Dialogues in Minas Gerais, Brazil on November 26-28 are underway to provide the opportunity to Latin American countries to discuss environmental issues. The Earth Dialogues will be held on November 26-28. The Earth Dialogues provides an open, interactive and solution-orientated platform for translating the principles enshrined in the Earth Charter into practice on the ground. The objective is to instil a strong sense of accountability in citizens, governments, businesses and organisations, and encourage collective ethics-based actions and partnerships.
The mission of the 2008 Earth Dialogues is 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 major emerging economies – in particular China, India, Russia, Mexico and, of course, Brazil – have a huge role to play in furthering both sustainability and security. As the hosts of a vast share of its biodiversity and population, the decisions taken by these nations regarding energy consumption, food production and natural resources management, will impact on the entire planet. These emerging markets have the potential to be the vanguard of a new age of truly sustainable development, rejecting the untenable paths taken by the industrialised world and embracing opportunities that do not disregard the environment and the poor. As climate change leaves more people vulnerable to environmental stress, the most important task is to decouple human development from the rising consumption of fossil fuels. Latin America intends to be a forerunner and proactive global partner in this process.
The Earth Dialogues Minas Gerais will be a unique opportunity to formulate alternative models for natural resources management and conflict resolution that nurture human wellbeing, diversity and security, while preserving nature for future generations. The forum will also mobilise strong political support for new initiatives to combat the perilous gap between rich and poor and address the non-material dimensions of poverty, including the sense of hopelessness that discourages millions of people from reaching their fullest potential, or caring for their environment.
The agenda topics to be discussed in Minas Gerais will be centred around four main cross-cutting subjects in which participants will be organised into working groups and parallel sessions during the forum. The critical issues to be discussed are i) climate change and its effect on water resources, ii) sustainable management of natural resources for social inclusion, equality and justice, iii) the challenge of rapid, unplanned urbanisation, and iv) ‘South-South’ Cooperation. Cross-cutting issues which will transcend all four groups include furthering education and citizen awareness, food and energy security and the Earth Charter.
Discussions will alternate between plenary sessions featuring inspiring keynote speakers and public debates, and intensive interactive working group sessions. A groundbreaking “Blueprint” declaration, including targeted action plans, will be generated at the Earth Dialogues Minas Gerais. Success will be measured by the concrete actions, commitments and partnerships (local, regional, South-South and global) that are proposed, and followed-up on, and the distribution and recognition of the Blueprint declaration.