Category: Uncategorized

An Interview with Mindahi Bastida: In partnership to protect the sacred

CEE’s Original Caretakers Program Director, Mindahi Bastida is doing work with the kind of care few have patience for.  He has a slow pace to his words, and a firm stance.  Mindahi never tires of explaining to those he encounters about the preciousness of the water, the sacredness of the land, and the heritage imbued inside the mountains and the earth herself.
 
What is the initiative you are working on with CEE and UNESCO?
The initiative that CEE is working with UNESCO is the Protection of Biocultural Sacred Sites (BSS) of the world. This effort is being supported by indigenous organizations like Asociación Andes, Parque de la Papa, and other allied organizations such as Forum 21, The Fountain, Unity Earth and the Convergence, among others.  This initiative has also been named previously as the Spiritual Reserves of Humanity.
 
Why is it important at this time?
This initiative is highly important nowadays due to many sacred places in the indigenous territories are facing destruction or desecration.
The sacred places are key to protect life systems and biocultural heritage. The sacred places are special because they provide energetic balance to ancestral territories and also offer protection of one or more elements of life.
 
How does it augment USESCO’s current process of selecting World Heritage sites?
This initiative strengthens UNESCO work in protecting World Heritage Sites because it gives acknowledgement to Biocultural sacred sites that are being threatened and are meaningful for humans, all beings and life in the planet.
 
How is this work relevant to the mission of the Center for Earth Ethics?
This work is very relevant to the CEE mission to protect and defend life in the world. The Protection of Biocultural Sacred Sites initiative in the indigenous territories gives the chance to strengthen the  biocultural diversity and heritage. Also acknowledge the indigenous peoples spirituality.
 
Is there a specific goal or timeline you hope to achieve? 
By the year 2020 we should have ready the draft proposal to be presented to one or more nation States.
 
I see that there is a focus on Latin American countries.  How might this work impact a similar strategy within the United States?  Does this have any bearing on our protection of National Parks?
The focus is because this initiative was born in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in Colombia with spiritual leaders from indigenous peoples mostly from Latin America.  We are working in USA and other countries to write declarations towards the need of protecting sacred sites around the world. If there are Sacred Sites in the National Parks they should be acknowledged as Biocultural Sacred Sites.  
 
The public and other organizations can support this important initiative through the Center for Earth Ethics.

 

Collaborations Across Borders: Human Impacts

December 6, 2017, CEE had the pleasure to co-host Collaborations Across Borders in New York City with the Human Impacts Institute. This one-night Human Impacts Salon featured live performances by Lemon Guo, Angel Nafis, and Lyla June Johnston, exploring how we are working together in innovative ways to take climate action.

Original Caretakers Fellow, Lyla June Johnston, offered a poem titled The Borders Between You and Me. You can see a video of her performance here.

The evening’s panel was asked to engage the question “What Really Are the Roots of Climate Change?”, which seemed simple but led to a 90 minute discussion punctuated by artist’s interpretation of the same question.

The panel, moderated by Tara DePorte, director of HII, was a unique intersection of perspectives from Lyla June Johnston, CEE Original Caretakers Fellow; Karenna Gore, CEE Director; Jacqueline Patterson, Director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program, CEE Advisor; and Anton Hufnagl, Counsellor for Climate, Environment and Urban Affairs at the German Embassy in Washington, D.C.

To see a video of the event panel presentation, click here.

Fall Update from Karenna

Friends,

We send our greetings to you at this challenging time. It is a time that calls those who can be both advocates and healers. As we fight to change the system that continues to dump this pollution into the air, we also stand with those who are recovering and rebuilding from the impacts. As we join with those who resist corrupt policies and abuse of power, we also seek to understand the painful divisions and persistent illusions in our civic life.

This semester, The Center for Earth Ethics is initiating a new time of serious inquiry as individuals, as collaborators and as leaders in an ever-changing landscape, geographically and politically.  Our goal is to address the root cause of climate change—an economic development model based on short-term profit, no matter what the cost to people and planet. We envision a world in which value is measured according to the long-term well being of the whole. We believe that this value system can be achieved through a combination of the restoration of older traditional ways and the inclusive, equitable application of new technologies.

Thank you for being a part of our work. We invite you to learn more about each of our four program areas– Original Caretakers, Environmental Justice and Civic Engagement, Sustainability and Global Affairs and Eco-Ministry—and to be in touch with us about the work you are doing in your community. Please also follow us on social media and feel free to come to the gatherings at Union. There’s so much going on already this Fall, and we’ve only just begun!

Sincerely,
Karenna