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SUSTAINING ALL LIFE at COP25 in Madrid, Spain

 

Who We Are

After our experiences at the COPs (Conference of the Parties, United Nations talks on climate change) in Paris, Marrakech, Bonn, and Katowice in the last four years, Sustaining All Life attended COP25 in Madrid, Spain in December 2019. We had another successful conference, connecting with many climate activists from around the world.

 

Our goals were to share our theory and practice with those directly involved in decision-making and agitating for climate action now. We worked to help people see the connection between climate change and capitalism, racism, sexism, classism, and the oppression of indigenous peoples and young people. We made spaces where people from the different oppressed groups who are often denied a voice in the mainstream climate movement and in the media, could share their experiences, their activism, their hopes and struggles, while being listened to with respect. 

With the change of the COP from Chile to Spain, there were many challenges with logistics and last minute changes, but we were able to hold events highlighting Latin American experiences of climate change and the connection with social justice issues. Our workshops, forums, and classes were held in the Green Zone (civil society), Blue Zone and other locations.   We also participated in the Social Summit for the Climate.​ Descriptions of our events and related handouts are below.

The key issues discussed by governments were the necessity of increased efforts by every country to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and increased financial aid from the wealthy nations to those who cannot make the needed changes without assistance.  

Follow us on Facebook: Sustaining All Life, on Twitter at #SustainAllLife, and on Instagram at sustaining_all_life.

 

Workshops

Our workshops communicate our perspectives about topics related to climate change. They offer tools of active listening that we can use to free ourselves and others from emotional hurts that interfere with our thinking and engagement in the climate emergency. Our workshops are interactive, giving everyone the opportunity to share our experiences and listen to each other.

After each workshop we offer a support group for one hour. 

A flyer listing the schedule of these events is here.

Indigenous Peoples and the Fight for the Environment In Latin America

Thurs. Dec. 5 @ 1:00-2:30pm (Indigenous Peoples Pavilion, Green Zone)

As Indigenous peoples, we have always defended natural resources and Indigenous territory--fiercely leading the fight to recover the environment. We model balancing care for all life forms rather than generating profits at all costs. We must recognize our leadership and build bridges and alliances to stop genocidal policies.

Eliminating the Effects of Racism in the Environmental Movement

Wed. Dec. 4 @ 4:00-5:30 (Convergence, 88 Hortaleza St.)

Wed. Dec. 4 @  Green Zone

Thurs. Dec. 5 @ 12:00-1:30pm (Novotel, Room Calathea 1)

Sat. Dec 7 @ 3:30-5:00pm (Social Movement for the Climate)

Racism has had a deeply damaging and divisive effect on everyone. It shapes and perpetuates the inequities of our society. Understanding and healing the effects of racism on us as individuals is a necessary step in creating a movement that can sustain all life and restore the environment.

Climate Change and Institutional Violence

Thurs. Dec. 5 @ 2:30-4:00pm (Green Zone)

(LIVESTREAM: FACEBOOK)

The societally conditioned drive to exploit and accumulate resources has kept us repeating destructive patterns laden with violence against humans, other living species, and the planet. To end divisions and reclaim our connections, we must recover from current and past injuries caused by capitalism and its violence.

Sustaining Ourselves as Activists and Organizers

Tues. Dec. 3 @ 4:00-5:30pm (Convergence, 88 Hortaleza St.)

Tues. Dec. 3 @ 5:00-6:30pm (Green Zone)

Fri. Dec 6 @ 12:00-1:00pm (Convergence, 88 Hortaleza St.)

To build and sustain a strong environmental movement, we need to have a place to share about the impact of the climate emergency on ourselves and about any discouragement we feel about taking action. We can share our passion for our work as we learn tools to support our climate activism.

Women and Climate Justice

Fri. Dec. 6 @ 2:00-3:00pm (Green Zone)

To build and sustain a strong environmental movement, we need to have a place to share about the impact of the climate emergency on ourselves and about any discouragement we feel about taking action. We can share our passion for our work as we learn tools to support our climate activism.

Young People At The Forefront of the Climate Movement

Wed. Dec. 4 @ 2:30-4:00pm (Green Zone)

(Watch the livestreamed video on Facebook)

Young people are a revolutionary force and have been at the forefront of many important social movements, including the climate movement today. The lack of respect for young people’s thinking and leadership abilities can mean that the important abilities we have to offer are underutilized.

Parents Take Action for Climate Justice

Fri. Dec 6 @ 11:00-12:00pm (Green Zone)

Parents know that the climate crisis must be solved to meet the current and future needs of our children. The demands of parenting and worries about our children can feel overwhelming and make it hard for us to think clearly about next steps as climate activists and as parents.

Expressing Climate Grief

Mon. Dec. 2 @ 3:00-4:00pm (Youth Zone 2 COP25)

Thurs. Dec. 5 @ 4:00-5:30pm (Convergence, 88 Hortaleza St.)

Sat. Dec 7 @ 12:00-1:30pm  (Social Movement for the Climate)

The environmental crisis brings feelings of loss, fear, and frustration. Unless these feelings are healed, they interfere with our initiative, our hope for the future, and the intelligence and energy we need to respond effectively to the climate crisis. Openly expressing our emotions about the crisis can help us think better and take concrete action.

The Environment and Health

Fri. Dec. 6 @ 4:00-5:00pm (Green Zone)

Our economic system, with its emphasis on consumption, damages our inherent ability to be integrated with and feel close to other living beings and the environment. As a result, we experience illness and stress and forget the importance of a healthy environment. We can recover our natural connections and fight more effectively to reverse the effects of climate change.

Catholics and Catholic-Heritage People Caring for the Environment

Fri. Dec. 6 @ 12:00-1:00pm (Green Zone)

Catholics have a long history of bold action for justice, and we want to play a key role in the climate emergency. We cherish the earth—our common home—and all its peoples. We treasure all creation. Solving the climate crisis will depend on building relationships among all people, of all religions. We can recover our connections to everyone and our ability to care for the planet.

Side Event:  Reclaiming A Sacred Earth:  Women & Youth Fostering Restoration and Healing

Wed. Dec. 4 @ 6:30-8:00pm (Room 6)

Momentum is building in civil society, especially among women and young people, to take major steps to address climate change and heal the grief, fear and frustration many experience.  A change in consciousness is needed to awaken deep care and respect and help us see the sacredness of the earth.

 

Forums

Sustaining All Life forums offer individuals 3-5 minutes to speak about the impact of climate change on their people, share important moments in their activism, and more.  Periodically the flow of speakers is paused for the opportunity for the audience to exchange listening with one another in pairs.

Voices of Latin America

Tue. Dec. 3 @ 3:00-5:00pm (Youth Zone 1 COP25)

(Watch the livestreamed video on Facebook: Part 1 and Part 2)

Sat. Dec. 7 @ 5:00-6:45pm

People from Latin America will speak from their personal experiences on how their countries and communities are being im­pacted by climate change now and share their experiences of organizing in Latin America to end the climate emergency.

Climate Change: Impact on Developing Nations

and Frontline Communities

Thurs. Dec. 5 @ 5:00-7:00pm (Novotel, Room Calathea 1)

People from developing nations and frontline communities will speak from their personal experiences on how their countries and communities are being im­pacted by climate change now.

Indigenous Voices

Wed. Dec. 4 @ 5:00-7:00pm (Novotel, Room Calathea 1)

Indigenous people will share personal stories of how they and their land are affected by climate change, and how they organize to stop it. Everyone can use this unique opportunity to hear directly from those experiencing environmental genocide.

Young People Leading in the Climate Emergency

Mon. Dec. 2 @ 4:00-6:00pm (Green Zone)

(Watch the livestreamed video on Facebook)

Many young people are playing a central role in our organizations and movements, including the climate movement. Come listen to young activists speaking of their experiences and personal challenges as they organize against climate change and for climate justice.

 

Classes

Introduction to the Tools of Sustaining All Life

Tues. Dec. 3 @ 4:00-5:00pm (Green Zone)

Wed. Dec. 4 @ 4:00-5:00pm (Green Zone)

Thu. Dec. 5 @ 4:00-5:00pm (Green Zone)

Participants will learn our theory about the nature of human beings: our inherent intelligence, goodness, and cooperative, caring, and enthusiastic nature; the negative feelings and rigid behaviors we develop as a result of early hurts and societal oppressions; and our natural ability to heal from hurtful experiences using the process of emotional release. Participants will be paired together to listen to each other in equal turns with respectful, non-judgmental attention. In the safety and confidentiality of these short “sessions,” we can access past hurts and current upsets, including experiences of oppression and environmental injustice; and the burnout, discouragement, and stress sometimes felt in working on the climate emergency.

After the COP, Sustaining All Life will hold introductory classes in many locations worldwide, as well as online classes. Contact us for more information: sal@rc.org.

 

Sustaining All Life (SAL) Daily Schedule

Monday, December 2, 2019

12:00-1:00pm    Catholic Gathering (Green Zone)

1:30-2:30pm      Youth Gathering (Green Zone)

3:00-4:00pm     Workshop:  Expressing Our Climate Grief  (Youth Zone 2 COP25)

4:00-6:00pm     Forum: Young People Leading in the Climate Emergency (Green Zone) (LIVESTREAM: FACEBOOK)

4:30-5:30pm     Women's Gathering (Green Zone)

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

12:00-1:30pm     Workshop: Indigenous Peoples and the Fight for the Environment in Latin America (Novotel, Room Calathea 1)

2:00-4:00pm      Forum:  Voices from Latin America (Youth Zone 1 COP25) (LIVESTREAM: FACEBOOK)

2:00-3:00pm      Class: Introduction to the Tools of Sustaining All Life (Green Zone)

4:00-5:30pm      Workshop: Sustaining Ourselves as Activists and Organizers (Convergence, 88 Hortaleza St.)

5:00-6:30pm      Workshop:  Sustaining Ourselves as Activists and Organizers (Novotel, Room Calathea 1)

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Workshop:  Ending Racism in the environmental Movement (Green Zone)

12:00-1:30pm      Workshop:  Expressing Our Climate Grief  (Novotel, Room Calathea 1)

2:30-4:00pm       Workshop: Young People Leading in the Climate Movement (Novotel, Room Calathea 1)

4:00-5:00pm      Class: Introduction to the Tools of Sustaining All Life (Green Zone)

4:00-5:30pm       Workshop: Ending Racism in the Environmental Movement (Convergence, 88 Hortaleza St.)

5:00-7:00pm       Forum: Indigenous Voices (Novotel, Room Calathea 1)

6:30-8:00pm       Side Event:  Reclaiming A Sacred Earth:  Women & Youth Fostering Restoration and Healing (Room 6)

Thursday, December 5, 2019

12:00-1:30pm      Workshop: Ending Racism in the Environmental Movement (Novotel, Room Calathea 1)

1:00-2:30pm       Workshop: Indigenous People and the Fight for the Environment in Latin America (Indigenous People's Pavillon, Green Zone)

2:30-4:00pm       Workshop: Climate Change and Institutional Violence (Novotel, Room Calathea 1) (LIVESTREAM: FACEBOOK)

2:30-3:30pm       Youth Gathering (Green Zone)

4:00-5:00pm      Class: Introduction to the Tools of Sustaining All Life (Green Zone)

4:00-5:30pm      Workshop:  Expressing Our Climate Grief (Convergence, 88 Hortaleza St.)

5:00-7:00pm      Forum:  Climate Emergency:  Impact on Developing Nations and Frontline Communities (Novotel, Room Calathea 1)

Friday, December 6, 2019

11:00-12:00pm     Workshop: Parents Taking Action for Climate Justice (Green Zone)

12:00-1:00pm      Workshop: Catholics and Catholic-heritage People Thinking about Care of the Environment (Green Zone)

12:00-1:00pm      Workshop:  Sustaining Ourselves as Activists and Organizers (Convergence, 88 Hortaleza St.)

2:00-3:00pm      Youth Gathering (Green Zone)

2:00-3:00pm       Workshop: Women and Climate Justice (Green Zone)

4:00-5:00pm       Workshop: The Environment and Health (Green Zone)

Saturday, December 7, 2019

 

12:00-1:45pm      Workshop:  Expressing Our Climate Grief  (Social Movement for the Climate)

3:30-5:00pm       Workshop: Ending Racism in the Environmental Movement (Social Movement for the Climate.)

5:00-6:45pm       Forum: Voices of Latin America (Social Movement for the Climate)

 

Our Delegation at COP25

Our international delegation consisted of 30 people representing Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Puerto Rico, Japan, Sweden, the Netherlands, and the US.  Diane Shisk (U.S.) and Iliria Unzueta (Mexico) led the delegation. 

 
 

Sustaining All Life Pamphlets (in Many Languages)

 

Sustaining All Life: Overcoming the Destructive Policies of the Past

English 

Español (Spanish) 

Nederlands (Dutch)
Norsk (Norwegian)
中文 (Chinese)
עברית (Hebrew)
العربية (Arabic)
Farsi
Hindi
Français (French)
Suomea (Finnish)
Polski (Polish)
Deutsch  (German)
русский (Russian)
日本 (Japanese)

Tools for Climate Organizing

English

Español (Spanish)

Tagalog (Filipino)

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