The following post is part three of our short series in recognition of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.
Moved by the greatest feelings of love for people and the planet, more than 20,000 people gathered yesterday for the inauguration of the World People`s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth
, in Tiquipaya, Bolivia. I arrived around 6:30 in the morning and the line was already forming with people from multiple generations and nations. Chills ran through my body as the growing crowd´s enthralling energy formed a global ecological beat.
The ceremony began with a blessing by Indigenous elders from the American continent and it continued with spoken testimony from representatives of 5 continents. Our hearts, minds and spirits connected, as we understood that only by coming together can we overcome the fear, anxiety, and self-doubt that has separated us. Only by walking the path of green equity will we craft the global solutions to ensure our survival.
President of the Plurinational Bolivian Nation, Evo Morales, delivered the keynote address, with a central message that we must aim to live well, not better. Living well means creating local, thriving green economies that uplift people and planet before profit. It means shifting our individual and collective actions from consumption to conservation, from competition to collaboration, from fear to vision.
Throughout the conference, we have been working on crafting this global vision. There are 17 working groups formulating the solutions to the multiple challenges we face. I am participating in the Strategies of Action
working group and we are planning our actions for the next international negotiations (COP 16, scheduled for Cancun, Mexico at the end of this year) and beyond. I look forward to sharing our agreements when I return.
Now, more than ever, I am convinced that we must work at every level to protect our planet and uplift our people. We must continue to build a green economy that is equitable and interconnected. I am excited to return to the Ella Baker Center and carry this ecological beat of love and inspiration into the work of our Green-Collar Jobs Campaign, and together forge the green visions that create an envirolicious world
Evelyn Marcelina Rangel-Medina is the Policy Director of the Green Collar Jobs Campaign at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights.