GEN’s Advocacy works through international and governmental bodies to improve policies and practices towards sustainability.
UN ECOSOC Status
Since 2000 GEN has had consultative status at the UN-Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) commission, and is represented at regular briefing sessions at UN Headquarters.
GEN is also a partner of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, UNITAR. GEN works within the framework of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development 2005-2014. GEN has been participating at COP since it’s 15th edition in 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark, and has sent delegations to every edition since COP21 in Paris, France.
The Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC means GEN has a special competence in, and is concerned specifically with some of the fields of activity covered by ECOSOC. This status gives GEN Advocacy the chance to join in the work of various committees relevant to its concerns to promote sustainable communities and practices worldwide.
GEN at COP25 in Madrid, Spain
As scientists warns that global temperature is already 1.1°C above pre-industrial levels, and young people are taking to the streets demanding that politicians take urgent action on this climate emergency, governments of 197 nations gather in Spain for the UN Climate Change Conference COP25. The Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) joins efforts with civil society at COP25 as a part of its ongoing work to catalyze communities for a regenerative future.
Kosha Joubert, Executive Director of GEN said: “Fridays for Future and the Extinction Rebellion have been raising awareness for the Climate Emergency and demanding real change. The Global Ecovillage Network is an expression of that real change, born from the hearts of people around the planet who long to be part of the solution, not the problem, and who are willing to get out of their comfort zones in order to step into their integrity.”
At COP25 in Madrid, GEN hosted a delegation with 11 community leaders from all of its 5 regions, including representatives from Brazil, Colombia, Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Australia, New Zealand, United States, Germany and the United Kingdom.
GEN’s main objectives at COP25 were to lift the voice of community-led initiatives and showcase ecovillage solutions for climate adaptation and mitigation, with examples of these are featured on GEN’s website at ecovillage.org/climate-solutions, as well as to reach out to governments, business representatives, and partners in order to scale up the work and impact of the ecovillages in the world. See Ecovillage’s Impact Assessment.
“Today, GEN reaches out to over 6000 ecovillages and eco-projects in 114 countries, in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and North America. We are present at the COP Conferences in order to influence governments to start supporting community-led responses to the Climate Emergency,” Ms. Joubert said. “And we agree, more political will is needed to instigate the changes demanded – it relies on us, the people of the world to stand up, raise our voices and start believing in our own capacity for transformative action.”
GEN’s schedule for COP25 was very busy. As part of the official programme, GEN hosted the exhibit “Communities and Culture: Critical for Transformative Climate Action“, on December 4 and 5 at Booth 19. This space provided a ‘home’ at COP25 for communities, business and government representatives to explore GEN’s efforts to catalyze communities for a regenerative future, supporting poverty reduction and climate resilience in our world’s materially and financially poorest places.
On Tuesday, December 4, the Global Ecovillage Network was invited by The Nordic Council to give a talk about “The Power of Culture, Nature and Community-led Development in response to the Climate Emergency.” GEN was represented by Kosha Joubert (Executive Director), Jennifer Trujillo (GEN President, CASA Colombia) and Kenza Isnasni.
On Friday, December 6th, GEN also hosted the side event “The Power of Culture, Nature and Community-led Development in Response to the Climate Emergency“. We demonstrated how ecovillages and heritage trust organizations can and are helping to scale up ambition, achieve the Paris Agreement, preserve natural and cultural heritage, protect the rights of nature, restore degraded ecosystems, sequester carbon, and lead to healthier thriving communities.
Speakers included Kosha Joubert (GEN Executive Director, Scotland); Jennifer Trujillo (GEN President, Colombia); Kenza Isnasni (GEN Advocacy Coordinator, Morocco), Andrew Potts (INTO & Climate Heritage Network), Sarah Sutton (Sustainable Museums), and Queen Quet (Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation), with moderation by Thalea Tane, (GEN Oceania & Asia Council Member, New Zealand).
Find out how the Global Ecovillage Network is having a strong impact on climate change, resiliency and adaptation all around the world, and discover how community-led solutions are helping regions and countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement National Determined Contributions (NDCs). Watch the full side event:
On Saturday, December 7, the Global Ecovillage Network was invited by the German Federal Environment Ministry (BMU) to support the launch of their new programme supporting local climate and biodiversity projects in developing countries and emerging economies. The programme, “Capacity Building and Finance for National and Local Action on Climate and Biodiversity (CBF)“ – implemented by GIZ over the next six years – aims to get small, context-tailored, innovative ideas off the ground while at the same time strengthening capacities of smaller organisations – a first in the history of the BMU’s International Climate Initiative (IKI).
Speakers included Kosha Joubert (GEN Executive Director, Scotland); Philipp Behrens (BMU); Nana Kuenkel (German Corporation for International Cooperation GmbH – GIZ); Angelica Shamerina (GEF Small Grants programme); Augustina Besada (Sustentar) and Sena Alouka (Jeunes Volontaires pour l’Environnement – JVE). The facilitator was Bernd Liss (GIZ).
On Monday, December 9, the Global Ecovillage Network was invited at the South African Pavillon to participate in the side event “Addressing Climate Change Through Community-Led Development“ and share successful experiences from Morocco, Colombia, Nigeria, Cameroon, New Zealand, and Scotland. We addressed the reality of the communities that are directly affected by climate change and that have on the ground, effective solutions towards a more regenerative future.
On December 10, the Global Ecovillage Network joined the Indigenous Peoples Forum (Pueblos Originarios) at the Green Zone of COP25 to participate in the side event “Addressing Climate Change Through Community-led Development – Coming Home to our Planet“. List of speakers included Kosha Joubert (Global Ecovillage Network – GEN, South Africa, and Scotland); Jennifer Trujillo (GEN President, CASA Colombia); Sonita Mbah (GEN Africa, Cameroon); Thalea Tane, (GENOA, Aotearoa – New Zealand); and Lovans Owusu Takyi (GHANA, GEN Africa).
At the Blue area of COP25, negotiations were sticky and focussed on issues of carbon trade rather than the radical transformation of human presence on this planet that is so desperately needed. Whilst, the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) signed or deepened agreements with 8 African Countries for the implementation of ecovillage development programmes.
Ministers of Environment from The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Togo, Liberia, Nigeria and Burkina Faso signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) for nation-wide implementation of GEN’s Ecovillage Development Programmes. An agreement with Democratic Republic of Congo was also signed. but with a letter of support from the President, rather than an agreement with the Minister of Environment.
The Minister of Environment of Nigeria, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, was impressed to get to know more about our work. Yaou Mey, head of Climate Change division of Togo, also enjoyed exchanging ideas with our delegation.
In combination with our existing programmes and more than 6000 communities and initiatives in 114 countries, GEN has grown into a tapestry of hope, with each of our projects on the ground as a possible entrance point.
COP24 in Katowice, Poland
The world’s governments met at COP24, 4 years after the Paris Climate Summit, to attempt to increase commitment towards ending our global climate crisis and meeting the Paris agreement. The focus of COP24 was to scale up government ambition: increasing financing and implementation at the local level for carbon drawdown, sequestration, and increasing eco-system services. At COP24, the Global Ecovillage Network delegation showed how ecovillages are already living laboratories of climate resilience worldwide.
The GEN delegation of 10 people from 7 different countries, representing all GEN regions, was in Katowice, Poland to share best practices and success stories at the UN’s 24th annual climate change conference, the 3 – 14 December. Examples of these are featured on GEN’s website at ecovillage.org/climatesolutions. Our booth (#83), press conference on December 7th and side event on December 13th, “Essential Climate Solutions: Community-Led Development and Cultural Heritage for Climate Resilience and Regenerative Communities,” featured leading figures from the ecovillage and regenerative futures movement.
GEN participated in the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) from the 9-18th July 2018 in New York. It was a platform on sustainable development following up and reviewing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the global level. The GEN delegation held an exhibit as well as a side event “Heritage for Sustainability: Implementing SDG 11.4 through local voices and global agendas for cultural and natural heritage” with Rob Wheeler as one of the speakers. Find out more at our GEN at HLPF page.
GEN returned to Bonn, Germany on 6 May 2018 to participate in the UNFCCC’s Talanoa Dialogue. Member States and non-State Actors took stock of global climate action through a round table dialogue by addressing three questions: (1) Where are we now? (2) Where do we want to go? (3) How do we get there? Find out more at our GEN at Talanoa Dialogue page.
Our COP23 message centered on how ecovillages are living laboratories pioneering beautiful alternatives and innovative solutions that enable villages, regions and nation states to fulfill the promise of the SDGs, the Paris Climate Agreement, and the outcomes of COP23. Our interview with GEN Africa delegates below and side events listed on our COP23 page offer powerful evidence to the transformative potential of ecovillages.
Watch the webinars featuring GEN experts from our delegation in Marrakesh, or take a look at our COP22 page to see our side-events and learn more about the newly launched GEN Consultancy and the Pan-African Ecovillage Development Program.
At COP21 we highlighted and featured some of the best of what is being done in ecovillage communities around the world. While we welcome the efforts of governments to limit global warming to 2 degrees and to adopt a strong binding agreement in Paris, we believe that it is essential that humanity do much better than this. Take a look at our COP21 page to learn more about our advocacy work or check out the coverage of the event.
GEN was present at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, taking place from 20-22 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
We have uploaded two files that are worth reading (see the links below).
- Implementing Sustainable Development in an Integrated Manner.doc: Implementing Sustainable Development in an Integrated Manner
- NGO Statement on Rio 20 Process GEN SignOn 01.rtf: Open Letter: NGO Statement on Rio+20 Process
COP16 in Cancun, November 2010
In Cancún, on the final day, what seemed at first another impasse suddenly broke open with some astonishing and foresightful developments. Quite the opposite of another Copenhagen and more akin to what happened to the World Trade Organization when they met here many years ago, Cancún showed the power of small, rhyzomal networks to bend the arc of history.
GEN at the UN 2007 – 2009
The Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC means GEN has a special competence in, and is concerned specifically with some of the fields of activity covered by ECOSOC.
This status gives GEN the chance to join in the work of various committees relevant to its concerns to promote sustainable communities and practices worldwide.
GEN’s activities at the UN during the period 2007 – 2009 have been dominated by participation in the preparatory stages of the 15th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC CoP-15). GEN’s principal representative at the United Nations, Albert Bates, has participated in the COP meetings in Bonn, Accra and Poznan.
Albert is presently part of the NGO caucus on climate change (ClimateCaucus.net). In furtherance of the Declaration of the 60th Annual NGO/DPI Conference, he co-authored the chapter on Tipping Points for the Civil Society’s Report to the Secretary General on Actions to Eliminate Climate Change.
The NGO/DPI Executive Committee and the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CONGO) oversee progress of the Report and its Working Groups. GEN’s Albert Bates is part of the Working Group on Tipping Points. If that report is delivered to the Secretary General with an oral presentation at CoP-15, as it may likely be, Mr. Bates would possibly participate in the reading or oral summary.
Albert Bates has been involved with UN-NGO processes since the UN World Conference on the Environment in Stockholm in 1972. After publication of his seminal reference work on climate change, Climate in Crisis: The Greenhouse Effect and What We Can Do (1990, foreword by Al Gore), he actively participated with NGOs in association with ECOSOC during the Second World Conference on the Environment in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. He was the credentialed representative for GEN in Istanbul in 1997 and for a coalition of environmental NGOs with consultative status at Johannesburg in 2002.