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Press Release - please disseminate

Friday, November 26, 2010
Cancun, México

Global Ecovillage Network to host weekly "Carbon-Negative Communities" seminars at Klimaforum in Cancun Climate Summit

As in every United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting since Kyoto, the Global Ecovillage Network will have a presence at the upcoming Cancun summit to highlight the role of the built environment and decisions of town planners and home-builders affecting climate change. 

It is our understanding that the human-caused carbon-cycle imbalance has already exceeded safe limits and that we must act immediately to reduce our level of greenhouse gas emissions to zero and below. While energy, industry and transportation tend to get the most attention, the catastrophic imbalance is also a product of land-use change, buildings, urban sprawl and agriculture, which need to be redressed through a holistic approach to human habitat. This is the premise, and promise, of ecovillages, eco-cities, and eco-regional planning.

The GEN seminars at the Klimaforum, located at a polo field nestled in thick rainforest between Puerto Morelos and Leona Vicario, will take place each Wednesday morning from 10 to 12 and will involve veteran ecovillagers from six continents. A special focus this year will be case studies and lessons learned from actual experience applying bioregionalism, permaculture, and carbon farming to benefiting the health and productivity of settlements, farmed soils and managed forests.  GEN's UN Representative and Head of Delegation at COP-16, Albert Bates, will describe recent ecovillage experiments with land and forest restoration using carbon farming and biochar.

GEN's Klimaforum presenters include:

o      Albert Bates, founder of the Ecovillage Network of the Americas, past president of the Global Ecovillage Network, author of Climate in Crisis (1990) and The Biochar Solution: Carbon Farming and Climate Change (New Society Publishers 2010), and a resident of The Farm in Tennessee
o        Marti Mueller, resident of Auroville, in Tamil Nadu, India and Chairperson of GEN's international advisory board
o       Alberto Ruz Buenfil, founder of Ecoaldea Huehuecoytl, in Ocotitlan, Mor. Mexico and convenor of the Consejo de Visiones, La Caravana Arcoiris y Paz, and a councilmember of the Ecovillage Network of the Americas
o     Elliott Saxby, resident of Findhorn ecovillage in Scotland, instructor of Gaia Education Associates, and member of NextGEN
o     Aili Pyhala, from Finland's Global Footprint Network and the secretariat of GEN Europe, specializing in GEN-Africa and the connection with indigenous villages, including the 14000 ecovillage project of Senegal
o      Nicolas Métro, founder of Kinomé and its Trees and Life program working on the design of a pilot project with 10 ecovillages in partnership with UNDP-GEF in Senegal
o   Maria Martinez Ros and Hector Reyes, founders and residents of Ecoaldea Gratitud, the first ecovillage in Quintana Roo.

Event Information:

Dates:  Wednesdays, December 1 and 8, 2010
Time:  10-12.00
Room:   Main auditorium (seating capacity of 300 persons)
Venue:  Klimaforum

GEN will also be participating in Agriculture and Rural Development Day, Saturday, December 4, and at the Side Event at Cancun Messe Friday night on the mitigation potential for global agricultural systems and soils.


Maria Martinez Ros, GEN COP-16 Liaison 44-998-224-7290
Albert Bates, GEN COP-16 Head of Delegation 01-931-242-7277

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