We Need Some Eco-Sanity: First Impressions of Durban
I arrived in Durban on Saturday, after an early morning flight from Cape Town. The Durban airport was all decked out for COP 17, welcoming everyone to the conference. Some of the advertisements seemed slightly less sincere, however.
We were dropped off at our accommodation, which is experiencing some serious Internet issues at the moment so I apologize for the lower quality photos in the next few posts.
Sunday was the Interfaith Rally, which I wrote about in my last post. On Monday, the Youth for Eco-Justice program officially began. Joy Kennedy, Program Coordinator for the Poverty, Wealth & Ecology program at The United Church of Canada (and who happens to be my supervisor) came by in the morning to present “The Triple Crisis”: Global Perspectives on Finance, Development and Environment.
Joy talked about how the Earth Community is in crisis, and how we need to globalize resistance. She inspired us and challenged us to live faithfully in the midst of Empire. “What’s on your placard?” she asked us, after telling us about an awesome placard that said “Fossil Fuels are SO Last Century!” I haven’t thought of anything yet, but I liked Joy’s phrase that “we need some eco-sanity.”
Joy was a big hit – everyone loved her and told me I was lucky to work with her. Of course, I heartily agreed! 😉
We also spent some more time getting to know each other – there are over 30 participants in this program, from all over the world, so we bring many different contexts to the table. I heard about subsistence farmers in South Africa, eco-feminism and eco-theology in the South Korean context, and sustainability issues for youth in Brazil, among others.
I truly feel privileged to be part of this program, learning from so many different people from so many different countries. I feel like I’m making some really good friends, and I’ve already been invited to Palestine, Nigeria and Brazil – the travel budget’s going to be tight next year!! 🙂