The 9th World Environmental Education Congress has been inaugurated on Saturday, September 9th, in the Vancouver Convention Centre (Canada).
The main theme of the Congress is Culture and Environmentand the Opening Ceremony has been opened by the traditional welcome and acknowledgement with Elder Shane Pointe. The congress has been honored to have the Royal Welcomes of the honourable Judith Guichon, OBC (Lieutenant governor of British Columbia and of Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasnaa, President of the Mohammed VI Foundation for the Protection of the Environment.
The co-Chairs and organisers of the Congress are David Zandvliet, director of the Institute for Environmental Learning (Simon Fraser University) and Mario Salomone, Secretary General of the WEEC Network.
The 9thWEEC Congress celebrates two significant anniversaries: Tbilisi+40 and Brundtland report+30 and more momentous events (Greenpeace was founded in Vancouver in 1971, and in the Nineties of the past century the Ecological Footprint indicator was created at the University of British Columbia).
To celebrate Tbilisi +40 the Opening Ceremony has been honored to host Ekaterine Grigalava, Deputy Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia and Tamar Aladashvili, Department of Environmental Policy and International Relations of Georgia.
The WEEC Congress is organised under the patronage of UNESCO and UNEP agencies. During the Opening Ceremony Elliott Harris (UNEP), Julia Heiss (UNESCO) and Charles Hopkins(UNESCO Chair, York University) spoke about the main issues for a better education and a deeper sustainability development.
«We must improve the environmental education enhancing research and action says Mario Salomone – we must enhance our networks, we must remember to all actors the pivot role of education, knowledge, culture as basic drivers of human societies and activities. We must fight both for peace and environmental protection».
For this reason, the WEEC Network is launching an international campaign for a World Environmental Education Day, to be celebrated each year on 14th October. Why this date?
«Because on 14thOctober 1977 the Tbilisi Conference opened – continues Salomone – so now we can jointly celebrate Tbilisi+40 and the birth of a global, even if ideal, annual meeting which everybody can organize himself and everywhere, all over the world».
Read the Mario Salomone’s speech Vancouver 9th WEEC_MARIO SALOMONE opening speech
Live from Vancouver