The Ramsar Convention Secretariat at the "Fête du developpement durable" in Geneva
Promoting sustainable development in Geneva
On Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th June 2007, the beautiful Botanic Garden of Geneva, Switzerland, hosted for the first time the very well known sustainable development festival (Fête du developpement durable). The 6th edition of this very much appreciated event offered two full days of debates, concerts, artistic interventions and an incredibly lively atmosphere bringing together individuals and local, regional and international organizations involved in the promotion of sustainable development and nature conservation. Again this year, the Ramsar Convention Secretariat was present together with the World Conservation Union (IUCN) amongst more than 60 stands focused on the themes of biodiversity, renewable energies, climate change, social responsibility, organic food, recycling, etc. At the Ramsar and IUCN stand the volunteers provided information and distributed brochures, stickers, and leaflets about the importance of wetlands and biodiversity, their functions and values, the different approaches in Europe and in other regions worldwide, threats and finally future goals.
Besides that, they also interacted with visitors "testing" their knowledge through the Ramsar/IUCN poster quiz on the Convention's activities, biodiversity, and protected areas in Switzerland. All of them enjoyed this friendly approach and the visitors' bravery was always awarded with nice gadgets.
Overall throughout the weekend we could estimate that an average of 500 people visited the stand -- all of them with different backgrounds and interests; children and adults, professionals and non-professionals, people from the permanent missions to the UN and NGOs, colleagues and friends, Geneva citizens and visitors from around the corner and far away.
This very fruitful and successful initiative raised awareness of environmental issues and provided to the public concrete examples, tips and alternatives for leaving a lighter footprint and promoting sustainable development in the name of the environment, through little changes that each of us could make in our daily life.
The Ramsar Convention is looking forward to the next edition in June 2008!
-- Mila Llorens, Catherine Loetscher, Adrian Ruiz Carvajal,
Pragati Tuladhar, Monica Zavagli
The most assiduous volunteers at the stand: Mila Llorens and Monica Zavagli for the Ramsar Secretariat and Katharine Cross (IUCN)
The little kids and the World Wetlands' Day hat from the Pakistan Wetlands Programme: a real success on such a hot weekend!
In the back: visitors involved in the Ramsar/IUCN quiz. Front: Adrián Ruiz-Carvajal providing information on the Ramsar convention.
Interested visitors at the stand
With the heat produced by solar-reflection panels you can cook pop corn!
Educating children on recycling through games .
Interactive game to weight one's annual garbage production.
Mila, Monica, and Pragati