Findhorn Foundation and the UN – history
- Sustaining Enterprising Regions seminar provided a unique opportunity for key regional stakeholders to be introduced to the New Economics Foundation’s innovative tools and approaches for advancing enterprising ideas, which can be applied to protect the diversity of our High Streets and promote the development of independent enterprises. Hosted at Elgin Library, the seminar was organised by CIFAL Findhorn in partnership with UNITAR, HIE, REAP, The Moray Council, Transition Town Forres, New Economics Foundation, and the Scottish Government.
- Revitalising Local Economies
seminar shared techniques, currently used by New Economics Foundation, to increase wealth within a local economy i.e. combining thorough analysis with practical solutions and demonstrating unique ways of measuring progress towards increased well-being. Time banks and other electronic trading systems were introduced and participants were able to benefit from a wide exchange of information and the sharing of practical experiences to inform the development of Moray’s economic future strategies.
Organised by CIFAL Findhorn in partnership with UNITAR, New Economics Foundation, Transition Town Forres, UHI Centre for Remote and Rural Studies, REAP, HIE, Scottish Government, Findhorn Foundation
- Ecovillage Design Education Training of Trainers programme hosted 21 men and 20 women participants, from 20 countries including Thailand, Spain, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Hong Kong, Germany, Canary Islands, Portugal, Netherlands, Canada, France, South Africa, Belgium, USA, UK, Brazil, Chile, Norway and Bulgaria. 21 participants completed all four weeks and gained full certification. The other 20 joined for one or more of the weeks in their areas of interest.
Ecovillage Design Education is an official contribution to the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development and is spreading the message of low impact and carbon neutral activities across the globe.
- CIFAL Findhorn, in partnership with the United Nations Institute of Training and Research, Scottish Government and Transition Network, organized a Transition Training seminar. The event was designed to give a detailed introduction to the most important skills needed to successfully set up, develop and run a Transition Town, which is a citizen-led model for towns to progress their own ways of reducing CO2 and energy consumption.
- Retrofitting your Home seminar, organized by CIFAL Findhorn in partnership with the United Nations Institute of Training and Research, Energy Saving Trust, Transition Town Forres and the Scottish Government explored the different ways of making older buildings more energy efficient and reducing their carbon footprint as well as running costs. The seminar attracted wide interest from the Northeast region. The total of 12 delegates comprised private individuals, Council members and Construction companies.
- UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development, Bonn, Germany. In December 2002, by Resolution 59/237, the UN General Assembly declared the years 2005-2014 the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD). The aim of this worldwide endeavour is to integrate the principles, values and practices of sustainable development into all education and learning. Five years into the implementation of the DESD, the World Conference on ESD provided an opportunity to examine the contribution of ESD in the effort to achieve quality education for all, provide a platform for international exchange on ESD, review progress achieved, and develop strategies for the way ahead for the Decade.
- Food Security: A Bioregional Response seminar, organised by CIFAL Findhorn in partnership with United Nations Institute of Training and Research, Soil Association Scotland and the Scottish Allotments and Gardens Society explored the key issues relating to all aspects of food security and examined how the involvement of local communities can contribute to food security. Participants learnt about a range of emerging and novel locally-based food distribution schemes and visited three local farms engaged in bioregional food development. Participants of the seminar comprised public sector officials, private persons but also food producers and retailers.
- Low and Zero Carbon Housing seminar, organized by CIFAL Findhorn in partnership with the United Nations Institute of Training and Research, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, Moray Council and WWF addressed how the construction of zero carbon buildings and the retrofitting of existing buildings offer some of the most cost-effective and most immediate strategies in response to climate change. It also examined how the building industry is adapting to the rising demand for cutting edge construction techniques and energy saving solutions and it tackled the technical, legislative and community implications for new build, retrofitting, infrastructure and community planning. The seminar was attended by Sustainable Development Officers, Academics and representatives of the building sector.
- The Biofuels for Sustainable Transportation seminar was organised by CIFAL Findhorn in partnership with Moray Council, CAT-Center of Alternative Technology Wales, Leonardo da Vinci Arch Network, Scottish Agricultural College and WWF. The seminar examined the rapidly growing biofuels market, addressed the potential advantages and drawbacks. It also explored the complex social, political, ecological and economic issues associated with the production and use of biofuels. Participants came from local authorities, especially the planning and transport departments, the private sector and higher education.
- The Global Climate Change and The Sustainable Energy Revolution training seminar was hosted by CIFAL Findhorn, United Nations Institute of Training and Research, Moray Council, Moray College and HICEC. The training seminar was presented in the context of the UK Government's 'Climate Change Bill', which proposes a 60 percent reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. Participants came from local authorities, especially the planning and transport departments, the private sector and higher education. The seminar enabled them to make more informed technological, policy and planning choices.
- Findhorn Foundation in partnership with The UN Values Caucus organised a talk of Rafael Nasser, member of the Center for Human Emergence on Mapping Perspectives in the Middle East at the UN New York headquarters. Rafael Nasser offered an analysis of the crisis between Israel and Palestine, reframing the Middle East conflict around values and introducing Spiral Dynamics.
- Findhorn Foundation was represented in the Gaia Education Evaluation and Planning Meeting in Thailand. Gaia Education is an international consortium of educators developing curricula and courses on ecovillage design and sustainable community development. Gaia Education EDE programme is an official contribution to the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development and is spreading the message of low impact and carbon neutral activities across the globe.
- CIFAL Findhorn in partnership with United Nations Institute of Training and Research, Moray College UHI presented Sustainable Energy Solutions training session marking the launch of CIFAL Findhorn, the first UN Training Centre in Northern Europe. The Sustainable Energy Solutions training session offered a comprehensive introduction to renewable energy technologies including solar electricity, solar water heating, wind power, micro-hydro, biomass and other options and their application in urban and rural environments. Participants came from both the public and private sector and drew experience from many parts of Scotland and Europe. Some of the key issues raised were:
- There is a need to ensure taxation regimes 'internalise the externalities' of carbon-emitting activities as emphasised in the Stern Report on Climate Change.
- There is a good case for using green taxes to this end, especially perhaps personal carbon allowances.
- Regulatory measures such as building codes need to address the urgency of the environmental issues we face
- Attempts to increase the percentage of renewable energy generation will require a combination of private sector, individual and community action.
- Although community-owned projects maximise local economic benefits and can deliver a powerful combination of suitably scaled installations and high levels of local support, the planning regime creates significant obstacles to their development.
- Ecovillage Design Training of Trainers programme hosted 33 participants from 21 nations: China, South Africa, USA, Canada, Estonia, UK, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Thailand, Japan, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Mexico, Greece, Palestine and Iraq._ Participants, ranging from architects, scientists, artists, academics, activists, NGO workers to civil servants, designers, engineers, educators, entrepreneurs, development workers, and project managers, shared four weeks of intensive studies in social, ecological, and economic design. Ecovillage Design Education is an official contribution to the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development and is spreading the message of low impact and carbon neutral activities across the globe.
- CIFAL Findhorn formally designated as UNITAR Associated Training Centre -
Representatives of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, The Moray Council, Findhorn Foundation, the UK Mission to the United Nations signed an agreement for the opening of CIFAL Findhorn, a UNITAR Associated Training Centre in Scotland. The centre, established at the Findhorn Foundation, Moray, became formally designated as part of the CIFAL network (French acronym for International Training Centres for Local Actors). This will bring regular delegations to Scotland to learn about developments in environmental planning and sustainable development. Regular seminars and trainings, hosted at the Findhorn ecovillage are aimed for local government officials and diplomats from around the world. The centre specialises in environmental policy and best practice in sustainability.
- UNITAR CIFAL Network Annual Steering Committee Meeting, Geneva, where
Alisdair Urquhart, Vice Convener of The Moray Council, May East, Director of International Relations of the Findhorn Foundation, Angus Robertson, MP were present. At this occasion Mr Marcel Boisard, UN Under Secretary-General, expressed his gratitude to the local project team who made the proposal for the Scottish Training Centre possible.
- The CIFAL Findhorn Partnership Meeting at Horizon Scotland was a partnership meeting organised by the Findhorn Foundation in conjunction with the technical visit of Bernard Hoarau, Director of UNITAR CIFAL network, to evaluate the possibility of CIFAL Findhorn becoming the twelfth CIFAL Training centre worldwide. Participants including representatives of The Moray Council, HIE Moray, Oxford Brooks University, Dundee University, Brian Burns Associates, Bank of Scotland, Talisman Energy extended their support.
- Findhorn Foundation in partnership with UN Values Caucus organised a talk of Terence Hay-Edie from GEF Small Grants Programme in UNDP, Protecting the Treasures of the Earth: the World Heritage Convention as an enchanted network, at UN New York headquarters. The outlook of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention reflects a scale of universality that seeks to recognise natural, cultural and sacred sites of paramount importance for all of humanity. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in Nepal, India, China and Mali, the presentation explored the possibility of World Heritage holding the "memory for the world".
- May East, Michael Shaw and partners from the Global Ecovillage Network, delivered a first training session Ecovillages: New Approaches to Urban Regeneration within the framework of a pilot year of CIFAL Findhorn. The session, hosted by CIFAL Curitiba Brazil, presented an integrated model for sustainability, as a resource to inspire the imagination of urban planners and mayors from Latin America and the Caribbean, and to encourage environmentally responsible design and development of Latin American cities.
Topics explored included:
- Ecological building applied in popular housing
- Renewable energy systems
- Reduction of fossil fuels using biodiesel and biogas
- Low footprint natural wastewater treatment
- Rainwater collection and use
- Biodiversity in cities as ecosystems
- Findhorn Foundation, in partnership with Global Ecovillage Network, presented the international conference Ecovillages: New Frontiers for Sustainability. The conference, an official contribution to the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UNDESD) 2005-2014, had a fourfold purpose:
- A celebration of the first 10 years of the ecovillage movement, as well as a view to its future
- A showcase of sustainable communities and ecovillage projects which contribute not only to environmental health and wellbeing, but also strengthen local economies and communities
- The official launch of a new global education curriculum for sustainable human settlements - Ecovillage Designer Education (EDE) endorsed by UNITAR
- An open forum of ecovillages and sustainability designers, exploring new frontiers for sustainability
- A delegation of three members represented the Findhorn Foundation at the 58th Annual DPI/NGO Conference, entitled Our Challenge, Voices for Peace, Partnerships and Renewal at the United Nations Headquarters, New York. The Findhorn Foundation in partnership with The Poverty Initiative at Union Theological Seminary, Kiwanis International and the United States Fund for UNICEF sponsored a Midday Workshop on the theme Living in Peace, Envisioning Abundance: Youth Effecting Global Change by Strengthening Communities. The workshop featured insights from youth representatives involved in global projects to end poverty, eliminate iodine deficiency, stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and strengthen local communities.
- Findhorn Foundation hosted a 3-day UNITAR CIFAL Network Technical Visit for three delegates from the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) - Christophe Nuttal, Helio Amaral, and Charlotte Diez - to evaluate the possibility of Findhorn becoming one of the UNITAR Associated Training Centers. Meetings with our management team and trustees, a tour The Park and Cluny Hill College, and a special community sharing were held. The UN delegates each gave a presentation to the community. The Findhorn Foundation has been collaborating with UNITAR since 1998 and with the CIFAL Network since its inception, delivering sessions on the ecovillage concept to mayors and urban planners at CIFAL training centres. The acronym CIFAL signifies International Training Centre for Local Authorities/Actors (in French: Centre International de Formation des Autorités/Acteurs Locaux). A roadmap document for CIFAL Findhorn implementation was drafted and adopted.
- May East, director of international relations for the Findhorn Foundation and the Global Ecovillage Network, participated in the UNITAR Steering Committee Meeting of the Decentralised Cooperation Programme of UNITAR. The meeting had two stages: the Technical Segment to consolidate the foundations of the CIFAL Network and the Institutional Segment, at Geneva, to present and adopt the principles of the DCP and CIFAL Network strategy, 2006-2008, towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals.
- Findhorn Foundation participated in the launch of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UNDESD) in New York. The United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) aims to see Education for Sustainable Development implemented in thousands of local situations on the ground, integrating the principles of sustainable development into a multitude of different learning situations. Over the next 10 years the Findhorn Foundation will be working closely with UNESCO, the agency which leads UNDESD, designing and delivering programmes to complement, correspond with, and assist in setting a standard for the decade.
- Findhorn Foundation hosted the 7th Ecovillage Training. Most of the participants were community and ecovillage leaders earnestly committed to establishing sustainable lifestyles in their regions. The programme was designed based on the UN impulse towards the promotion of basic principles of sustainable economic and social development.
- Findhorn Foundation in association with Values Caucus hosted a special DPI/NGO Briefing Session at the United Nations New York headquarters with guest speaker Bill Harris, Spiral Dynamics : A new model for understanding the values that shape our world.
- Second World Urban Forum- Barcelona. Findhorn Foundation and GEN in partnership with UNITAR's CIFAL Network held a networking session, Sustainable Cities and Villages. Through a synergetic group dialogue process we looked at how to improve the service that the CIFAL Network - a network of international training centres - is rendering to the international community, by training local authorities towards building sustainable cities and villages. We looked at how, over the next few years, we would work within the context of implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, particularly MDG 1, 6, 7 and 8.
In this dialogue Findhorn Foundation, who has been involved in the design and delivery of ecovillage training sessions within the CIFAL Network, presented the ecovillage model as a viable solution to eradication of poverty and degradation of the environment, while combining a supportive social-cultural environment and low-impact lifestyle.
- The Findhorn Foundation, in association with the International Holistic University and Education for Peace Globalnet, hosted at Findhorn an international conference Connectivity and Syncronicity as a contribution to the UN International Decade for the Culture of Peace. The event brought together leading visionaries including scientists, artists, social activists and spiritual teachers, to explore how are we advancing the agenda of a culture of peace through networks and connectivity.
Ms Antonella Verdiani, from the Section of Education for Peace and Human Rights, Education Sector, participated as a representative of UNESCO delivering a paper on Transdisciplinary Education: a Way to Peace.
- A delegation of four members represented the Findhorn Foundation in the 57th Annual DPI/NGO Conference at United Nations Headquarters, New York. Theme of the Conference: Millennium Development Goals: Civil Society Takes Action.
Out of the 30 Midday NGO Interactive Workshops, the Findhorn Foundation officially participated in three plenary panels and one NGO hearing session. These were:
- The Ethical and Spiritual Dimensions of the Millennium Development Goals in collaboration with the NGO Committee on Values, Spirituality and Global Concern. Facilitation John Clausen & Frances Edwards
- Innovative ways for Achieving the Millennium Development Goals: Zero Hunger Programme
- Ecovillage Agriculture: Promoting Sustainable Use of Natural Resources in association with The Lifebridge Foundation/USA, Fundacion Eudes/Mexico and the Global Ecovillage Network.
- UNITAR CIFAL Center Curitiba - Third Training Session. Michael Shaw representing Findhorn Foundation delivered a session on ecological and ecovillage design, including biological waste water treatment for Latin American authorities and urban planners. One of the priorities of the training session was to encourage South-South cooperation between local authorities in order to improve access to basic services. The acronym CIFAL signifies International Training Centre for Local Authorities/Actors (in French: Centre International de Formation des Autorités/Acteurs Locaux).
- The 6th Findhorn Foundation Ecovillage Training hosted 40 participants from the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, England, Egypt, France, Hawaii, Iceland, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Russia, Scotland, South Africa, Turkey and USA. Most of the participants were community and ecovillage leaders earnestly committed to establishing sustainable lifestyles in their regions.
The programme was designed under the UN impulse towards the promotion of basic principles of sustainable economic and social development and has the institutional endorsement of UNITAR - United Nations Institute of Training and Research.
- May East, director of international relations for the Findhorn Foundation and the Global Ecovillage Network, participated in the UNITAR Steering Committee Meeting of the Decentralised Cooperation Programme. The meeting had two stages: the Technical Segment in Divonne- des- Bains, France, with discussion and adoption of the Ethic Charter of the CIFAL Network partnership and the Institutional Segment, Palais des Nations, Geneva, with presentations by the institutional partners, including governments, intergovernmental organisations, local authorities and their associations, NGOs, universities and private partners.
- A Findhorn Foundation representative delivered a session on Ecovillages - Last Frontiers for Sustainability to 30 urban planners and mayors from 12 Latin American countries as part of the UN Local Capacity-Building and Training for Sustainable Urbanisation programme. Sustainable Cities is a programme of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) that seeks to transform cities into self-regulating, sustainable systems. Launched as a public-private sector initiative at the WSSD in Johannesburg in 2002, the initiative provides training of mayors and other local government officials in the principles and practice of urban sustainability.
- As a contribution to the UN International Year of Freshwater (2003), the Findhorn Foundation and the Global Ecovillage Network with the Earth Values Caucus, coordinated and co-sponsored a day of events focused on water - Water of Life: Fresh Perspectives on the World's Water Crisis, at the UN Headquarters in New York City. The purpose of the day-long event was to emphasise the intrinsic value of water as part of the interdependent web of life and to give inspiring examples of new approaches and solutions to global water management crises.
Water issues were reviewed from government, UN, NGO and technical perspectives. Art, music and ceremony were also included. A very synergetic briefing day enthusiastically attended by about 300 people.
- Findhorn Foundation in partnership with the Millionth Circle Initiative and the Women's World Summit Foundation WWSF convened the international training Circles of Compassion at the John Knox International Center, Geneva. This is an educational programme which teaches circle guidelines and leadership skills to local actors and has a focus on developing the quality of compassion, to help with implementing the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
- A delegation of four members represented the Findhorn Foundation in the 56th Annual DPI/NGO Conference at the United Nations Headquarters, New York. Theme of the Conference: Human Security and Dignity: Fulfilling the Promise of the United Nations.
- May East, director of international relations for the Findhorn Foundation and the Global Ecovillage Network, signed an agreement for the establishment of a CIFAL Collaborative Training Center in Curitiba for the Latin American and Caribbean Region on Sustainable Urbanisation - a United Nations Public-Private WSSD Initiative Type 2 Partnership for and with Local Authorities. The agreement was signed between UNITAR, CIFAL, the City of Curitiba, Brazil, universities, NGOs, and private sector partners.
A training programme, Sustainable Cities, has been conceived for local officials in the field of access to essential services and the professions of sustainable development in order to promote sustainable urbanisation.
- The 5th Findhorn Foundation Ecovillage Training hosted more than 30 participants from the following countries: Thailand, India, Spain, Canary Islands, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, USA, Turkey, England, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Alaska, and Scotland. In the face of growing poverty and increasing environmental degradation of the planet, the United Nations, through its different agencies and programmes is generating a sense of urgency, commitments for action, and partnerships to achieve measurable results.
This training, hosted in Findhorn by the Foundation, addresses the urgent call of our times of bringing economy back home, promoting local diversity and creating a more just, equitable, empowered world, which aims at the eradication of poverty in a broader sense and the vital consolidation of sustainability on Earth.
- A delegation of five members represented the Findhorn Foundation at the 55th Annual DPI/NGO Conference at the United Nations Headquarters, New York. Theme of the Conference: Rebuilding Societies Emerging from Conflict - A Shared Responsibility. The Findhorn Foundation in association with The Spiritual Caucus and The Values Caucus, sponsored a midday NGO workshop on Rebuilding Societies - A New Approach.
- The Findhorn Foundation in association with the Global Ecovillage Network, Trees for Life and Restore the Earth initiative participated in the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg, South Africa. WSSD gathered leaders of 106 countries, delegations from 174 countries, and over 65,000 registered participants in a unique opportunity for the peoples and nations of the world to come together behind the common cause of caring for our shared home, the Earth.
The Findhorn Foundation and Restore the Earth delegations consisted of 14 people and we collaborated with the Global Ecovillage Network delegation of a further 10 people. We offered Restore the Earth presentations in various venues around town, held daily meditations in association with the Spiritual and Religious Caucus at the Ubuntu sacred site, and participated in the official Summit at Sandton Center.
- Type II Initiative official Launch. As a founder member of the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) the Findhorn Foundation is involved in promoting the ecovillage model within the UN system as a conscious response to the extremely complex problem of how to transform our human settlements, whether they be villages, towns or cities, into full-featured sustainable communities, harmlessly integrated into the natural environment.
In preparation for the World Summit on Sustainable Development the Findhorn Foundation in association with the Global Ecovillage Network participated in the organisation of six Regional Pre-Summit Workshops for local authorities, a project being led by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) through its CIFAL programme, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), and the World Federation of United Cities (UTO).
The results were presented in Johannesburg as a Type II Initiative, Local Capacity-building and Training for Sustainable Urbanisation - a training programme for local government officials that includes ecovillage components. We are involved in designing the programme Sustainable Cities and will be teaching in the first pilot programme in Curitiba, November 2003.
- The 4th Findhorn Foundation Ecovillage Training hosted over 40 participants from the following countries: Alaska, Australia, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Burma, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hawaii, Holland, Iceland, India, Japan, Malaysia, Portugal, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Tasmania, and USA. Most of the participants were community and ecovillage leaders fully committed to establishing sustainable lifestyles in their regions. The programme, hosted in Findhorn by the Foundation, was designed under the UN impulse towards the promotion of basic principles of sustainable economic and social development and has the institutional endorsement of UNITAR: United Nations Institute of Training and Research.
- Thirty-two women from around the world gathered in Findhorn for the Foundation's Winter School of Ecofeminism, an international programme on women's empowerment, spirituality and a culture of peace. During the two-week-long programme devised by members of the Findhorn Foundation in association with the Geneva-based Women's World Summit Foundation, the participants worked with themes such as women's spirituality through art, dance and symbolism; the dual origin of the universe, the paradigm shift from 'power over' to 'power with'; and caring for the Earth through self-reliance and sustainability.
- The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) has been mandated to organise six Regional Pre-Summit Workshops for local authorities, to prepare for the World Summit for Sustainable Development, which will take place in Johannesburg in September 2002. The Findhorn Foundation in association with the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) was invited as a partner in the organisation of the pre-summit workshops, which focus on the training of local authorities in the fields of environment, decentralised co-operation and sustainable development. The Findhorn Foundation and GEN were represented by Max Lindegger in the first workshop which took place in Durban.
- UNESCO, through its Director-General Mr Koichiro Matsuura, institutionally endorses the International Conference entitled Restore the Earth!scheduled to take place during Easter Week of 2002 at the Findhorn Foundation. UNESCO authorises the Findhorn Foundation to use UNESCO logo in the conference publicity material accompanied by the phrase "This event is under the sponsorship of UNESCO".
- The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), through its Executive Director, Mr Klaus Töpfer, institutionally endorses the International Conference Restore the Earth! scheduled to take place during Easter Week of 2002 at the Findhorn Foundation.
'Restore the Earth Conference is a welcome addition to the preparatory work for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg next year.'
Klaus Töpfer, Executive Director, UNEP
- The third Findhorn Foundation Ecovillage Training hosted over 30 participants from the following countries: Costa Rica, Australia, Brazil, Spain, Russia, Ghana, Germany, South Africa, Japan, England, Canada, Italy, Belarus, Mexico, Poland, Netherlands, Armenia and USA. Most of the participants were community and ecovillage leaders earnestly committed to establishing sustainable lifestyles in their regions.
- UNESCO gave institutional endorsement to the international conference 'Spirit of Learning: Soul in Education', organised by the Findhorn Foundation, which intended to strengthen the international collective effort toward an enlightened education containing universal values. We were authorised to use the International Year for the Culture of Peace logo in our printed materials and we were very pleased to host amongst our presenters Ms Ibtissam Al Bassam, Director of Teachers Section at UNESCO, and Mr. Alfredo Sfeir-Younis, Director of the World Bank in Geneva.
- A delegation of eight members represented the Findhorn Foundation in the 53rd Annual DPI/NGO Conference at the United Nations Headquarters, New York. Theme of the Conference: 'Global Solidarity: The Way to Peace and International Cooperation'. On this occasion the Findhorn Foundation Ecovillage Project sponsored the mid-day workshop: Ecovillages Providing a Model for Sustainable Living and Global Solidarity. The session was moderated by Frances Edwards and John Clausen and presented by May East, John Talbot, Roger Doudna and Michael Shaw, representatives of the Findhorn Foundation.
- The second Findhorn Foundation Ecovillage Training hosted 47 participants from the following countries: Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Ghana, Australia, Brazil, Taiwan, Philippines, El Salvador, Russia, Japan, South Africa, Switzerland, Turkey, Austria, Germany, Ireland, UK, Canada, Alaska, and the continental USA.
The Ecovillage Training promotes the transference of tools and techniques for creating sustainable community in the fields of eco-building, sustainable economics, organic food production, conflict facilitation, holistic health, global communication, fundraising, eco-restoration and conservation. The programme, hosted in Findhorn by the Foundation, has the institutional endorsement of UNITAR (United Nations Institute of Training and Research).
- United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) endorses the Findhorn Foundation mission.
'UNEP supports the objectives of the Findhorn Foundation mission of demonstrating the links between the environmental, the social and the economic aspects of life to offer enhanced quality of life for all. Most of the problems identifies by Agenda 21 have their roots at the local level, therefore UNEP appreciates your significant contribution at the local level to models for holistic and sustainable living in harmony with the environment.'
Klaus Töpfer, Executive Director, UNEP
- A delegation of eight members represented the Findhorn Foundation in the 52nd Annual DPI/NGO Conference at the United Nations Headquarters, New York. Theme of the Conference: 'Challenges of a Globalised World: Finding New Directions'. On this occasion the Findhorn Foundation delegation presented a woven panel to Mr. Kensaku Hogen, Under Secretary General for Communications and Public Information of the United Nations, in celebration of the association between the United Nations and the Findhorn Foundation.
- The Findhorn Foundation became an associate member of the Conference of NGO's in Consultative Relationship with the UN (CONGO) and since then have participated in the Committee on Sustainable Development.
- May East, on behalf of the Global Ecovillage Network, attended the Best Practices Steering Committee Meeting promoted by UNCHS-Habitat and Dubai Municipality under Ministry of Development of Spain auspices. The Steering Committee is a diverse group of academic institutions, grassroots, local authority, umbrella NGO's/CBOs, & research and capacity building institutions working towards the establishment of policies for the Best Practices - Dubai International Award.
- UNESCO sponsored the 4th International Holistic Conference, 'A Call to Peace - Pathways to a Holistic Future', hosted by the Findhorn Foundation, in Findhorn, in partnership with the International Holistic University of Brazil. An official representative from the UNESCO 'Roads of Faith' cultural integration project, Mrs Rosa Guerreiro, addressed the Conference.
- May East, representing Findhorn Foundation International Relations, visited the UN Headquarters in Geneva to establish working relationships with the NGO Section - Department of Public Information - UN Office at Geneva.
- The Findhorn Foundation Ecovillage Training, hosted in Findhorn, designed under the UN impulse to promote basic principles of sustainable economic and social development, hosted 39 participants from the following countries: Thailand, Ladakh, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, Chile, Russia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Portugal, Finland, France, Netherlands Switzerland, Austria, Ireland, Scotland, England, Canada and USA.
- On World Habitat Day the Findhorn Foundation Ecovillage Project, together with other 100 leadership Initiatives "which are inspiring innovative action on Earth", received Best Practice Designation from the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements - UNCHS (Habitat) and Dubai Municipality.
- UNITAR ( United Nations Institute for Training and Research ) institutionally endorsed the Findhorn Foundation Ecovillage Training. "I commend you on the development of new models for sustainable living which are environmentally sound in addition to being energy efficient projects which can be shared with communities in all parts of the globe. In this context UNITAR recognises the importance of the Findhorn Foundation Ecovillage Training, which contains essential tools and techniques, to enable participants to apply ecovillage concepts to their own real home situations." - Marcel Boisard, Executive Director, UNITAR
- For the first time, four members represented the Findhorn Foundation in an Annual DPI/NGO Conference. Theme of the Conference: 'The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: From Words to Deeds'.
- The Findhorn Foundation joined the Values Caucus, a forum of NGO's associated with the UN, promoting participatory, multidisciplinary and cross-cultural dialogues on values guiding human behaviour.
- A United Nations permanent display was created at the Findhorn Foundation Visitor's Centre (approximately 12.000 visitors a year from over 50 countries).
- The Findhorn Foundation was approved for association with the United Nations Department of Public Information. This association is a commitment on the part of the Findhorn Foundation to disseminate information and raise public awareness about the purposes and activities and achievements of the United Nations and a out issues of global concern related to sustainability, environment, peace, shelter, and new world order.
- The Findhorn Foundation became an official member of the at UNESCO. The main goal of the programme is to create an international exchange network focusing on the riches of the natural environment and the cultural values of each member community. The Foundation was entitled to use the Planet Society member logo in its publications.
- The Findhorn Foundation in partnership with UNED-UK (UN Environmental and Development-UK Committee) actively participated in the process of the 'Earth Summit +5', preparing a comprehensive Citizens Report for the Committee between April and July.
- The Findhorn Foundation participated in the Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II), 'The Cities Summit', Istanbul, Turkey, in the NGO Forum, as founder member of the Global Ecovillage Network. John Talbott, the Findhorn Foundation representative, presented 4 different workshops on various aspects of ecovillage and community living.
- UNESCO through EPD (Environment and Population Education and Information for Human Development) supported the international conference entitled 'Ecovillages and Sustainable Communities: Models for 21st Century Living'hosted by the Findhorn Foundation "in an intellectual, technical and moral capacity". Mrs Antonella Verdiani, from UNESCO's Planet Society Network, addressed the Conference as an official representative of UNESCO.
- The Findhorn Foundation Ecological Village Project was awarded the 'We the Peoples 50 Communities' award given by the Friends of the United Nations and presented in NYC as part of the 50th Anniversary of the UN Celebrations. The award was made to 50 projects, selected from over 500 nominees around the world, in recognition of our contribution towards supporting the aims and goals of the UN and for creating Common Unity.
- The Findhorn Foundation hosted in Fndin association with the International Holistic University hosted the 'Art of Living in Peace', a UNESCO published curriculum and training. The Director of the Section for Humanistic Cultural and International Education at UNESCO writes in the preface of Pierre Weil's book The Art Of Living In Peace, published by Findhorn Press: "This publication by the Findhorn Foundation- well known in the world for its dynamism and conviction in creating peace, harmony and beauty on Earth in a holistic way - will undoubtedly represent a significant work in the field of peace education, showing that peace is a conquest, but not by force of arms."
- The Findhorn Foundation participated as an official NGO in the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, 'The Earth Summit', Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.