Monday, 8 December 2008

Oaxaca Mexico - environmental conference 19-23 Feb 2009

Oaxacan traditional costumes: photo by Teyacapan
Rolene Walker of Walk With Earth announces a conference for grass roots environmentalists in southern Mexico, in collaboration with the Universidad de la Tierra. She writes,
"It will be February 19 to 23rd in Oaxaca. On Thursday we will have a couple of speakers, On Friday will be site visits to permaculture, water treatment, waste management, and reforestation sites. There will also be presentations by the enviromentalists on Mayan medicine, women´s cooperatives, reforestation projects, preservation of corn seed varieties. Saturday and Sunday there will be workshops and booths by the different organizations, including demonstrations on building dry toilets, alternative energy supplies (solar, biodigesters), rain cachement systems, etc. It will be in a local park, and open to the public. We are inviting groups from 50 organizations outside Oaxaca and all the groups in Oaxaca City. Most of these groups can´t pay for this kind of conference, so Walk With Earth has agreed to pay $5,000.00 US for ground transportation and food for people coming from out of town. Universidad de la Tierra is providing lodging in a local church and with families. WWE has decided it is so valuable to do this conference, that even if it means we have to cut the walk short by a couple of months, it is worth it. It is so exciting to be part of this conference, to let them see how much is going on in southern Mexico, and that they have much to teach the rest of the world.

"Oaxaca is the most advanced area in ecological terms I have seen in Mexico or the United States. There is an indigenous community that has planted 475,000 trees, and aims for a million. There are 20,000 "dry" toilets that separate urine from excrement, use them for fertilizer and compost, and eliminate the need for new sewers. They have a great public transportation system that uses big buses, small buses, vans and collective taxis. There are solar panels and windmills. A trash company in Morelos handles 1000 tons of trash a day and recycles 79%, selling the inorganic stuff to different vendors, the PET plastic they make into thread that can be used to manufacturer things, and uses bacteria from Colombia to make compost of the organic stuff (including disposable baby diapers) in one months time. Most importantly, there are eighteen indigenous cultures that still treat the earth as sacred space."
If you are interested in more information, email Rolene. If you can help with the expenses of the conference, you can make a contribution via Paypal on the website See also Wikipedia article, LABD, LANIC on Oaxaca.

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