Three delegates from the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) based in Geneva, have just completed a 3-day technical visit to assess the Findhorn Ecovillage. Before leaving they summed up their experience here, and seeing ourselves through their eyes, even we are impressed with what this centre has to offer!
Foundation trustee May East has been coordinating efforts to establish avenues of partnership with the United Nations since 1992, and this visit by delegates Christophe Nuttal, Helio Amaral, and Charlotte Diez is the result of recent developments. They held meetings with our management team and trustees, toured The Park and Cluny Hill College, and took part in a special community sharing held in the Universal Hall on Tuesday evening. The UN delegates each gave a presentation in the sharing, as did community members David Hoyle (Phoenix Community Stores) and Alan Watson Featherstone (Trees for Life). There was also music, poetry and prose, and it finished with a circle dance for all to join in.
The Findhorn Foundation has been collaborating with UNITAR since 1998 and with the International Centres for Local Authorities Training (CIFAL) Network since its inception, delivering sessions on the ecovillage concept to mayors and urban planners at CIFAL training centres. During the coming year, adding to the education for sustainability programmes we have already scheduled, there is the intention that we will also be hosting and facilitating two CIFAL training programmes for local authorities, one here at Findhorn and one in Brazil, as an initial pilot phase in further cooperation.
More discussion of the Findhorn Ecovillage’s role and contribution to the CIFAL Network will take place next year, when delegates will visit again in March or April. We look forward to our continuing collaboration with the UN, and to establishing stronger partnerships at the local, national and international levels, to bring the principles of sustainable human settlements closer to our everyday lives.