The 9th World Environmental Education Congress (WEEC 2017), which occurred in Vancouver from the 9th to the 13th of September 2017, filled up with participants, meetings, ideas and even emotions sharing.
Almost 1000 participants, come from all over the world (around 60 nationalities were there from Europe, Asia, America, Africa and Oceania), shared and enjoyed together the 9th WEEC in the Vancouver Convention Centre.
The WEEC continues to be a unique reference in the Environmental Education field.
Co-organised by the Permanent Secretariat of the WEEC Network and the Institute for Environmental Learning it is supported by international institutions, such as UNESCO and UNEP.
Structured in plenary and parallel sessions, the Congress’ works analysed all the different aspects of the environmental education. Very interesting, according to participants, the interactive poster sessions, a new format that allowed stronger dialogues between each other.
During the final ceremony the works were summarized by the ‘rapporteurs’. The interactive sessions, the multiculturalism, the empowerment of people and the transition towards a new economical paradigm have been the focal points of the congress.
The main question we should be asking is how is my work contributing to dealing with the urgency of our situation – are we tinkering in a space where things are comfortable – or will we look, as David Suzuki reminded us, to exploit every opportunity we can to ensure our work help us to make the paradigm shift we need?
Mario Salomone, Secretary General of the WEC Permanent Secretariat greeted UNEP and UNESCO for their constant support and presence, and all the other networks and associations who presented their initiatives and fed this WEEC edition. The Secretary wishes to give continuity to this experience between the congresses, and value partnership, relationships and important political decisions that have been made during the 9th WEEC.
David Zandvliet, Co-Chair of the Congress, expressed his feelings towards the big participation from all around the world, the importance to create dialogue and relations and take inspiration from others.
A strong role was given to the youth throughout all the congress and in the very last intervention they took the lead. The panelists concluded with remarks of hope and action. Young people from universities, schools and the indigenous community shared their thoughts on how everybody’s life is truly interconnected with the environment and the nature, the importance of balacing elements and values around us. Beside the natural aspects, also the cultural choices influence our connection. For example the use of the language and its impact on our lives was one of the focus.
The next edition of WEEC, the 10th will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, November 3-7 2019. The local host is the Faculty of Environment, Kasetsart University.
The World Environmental Education Congress continues his journey and arrives for the first time in Asia. Save the date!