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GEN's consultative status with ECOSOC


Since 2000 GEN has United Nations ECOSOC consultative status and is represented at regular briefing sessions at UN Headquarters.

UN Ecosoc is the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. (see history of GEN, 2000-2001)



GEN at the UN climate meeting COP16 in Cancun November 2010



In Cancún, on the final day, what seemed at first another impasse suddenly broke open with some astonishing and foresightful developments. Quite the opposite of another Copenhagen and more akin to what happened to the World Trade Organization when they met here many years ago, Cancún showed the power of small, rhyzomal networks to bend the arc of history.

Read the final report (pdf).

Click here to follow our participation


UN Photo #106192CThe Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC means GEN has a special competence in, and is concerned specifically with some of the fields of activity covered by ECOSOC.
This status gives GEN the chance to join in the work of various committees relevant to its concerns to promote sustainable communities and practices worldwide.


GEN at the UN 2007 – 2009

GEN’s activities at the UN during the period 2007 – 2009 have been dominated by participation in the preparatory stages of the 15th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC CoP-15). GEN’s principal representative at the United Nations, Albert Bates, has participated in the COP meetings in Bonn, Accra and Poznan.

Albert is presently part of the NGO caucus on climate change (ClimateCaucus.net). In furtherance of the Declaration of the 60th Annual NGO/DPI Conference, he co-authored the chapter on Tipping Points (http://excelser.net/climatecaucus/tipping_draft.htm) for the Civil Society’s Report to the Secretary General on Actions to Eliminate Climate Change.
The NGO/DPI Executive Committee and the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CONGO) oversee progress of the Report and its Working Groups. GEN’s Albert Bates is part of the Working Group on Tipping Points. If that report is delivered to the Secretary General with an oral presentation at CoP-15, as it may likely be, Mr. Bates would possibly participate in the reading or oral summary.
Albert Bates has been involved with UN-NGO processes since the UN World Conference on the Environment in Stockholm in 1972. After publication of his seminal reference work on climate change, Climate in Crisis: The Greenhouse Effect and What We Can Do (1990, foreword by Al Gore), he actively participated with NGOs in association with ECOSOC during the Second World Conference on the Environment in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. He was the credentialed representative for GEN in Istanbul in 1997 and for a coalition of environmental NGOs with consultative status at Johannesburg in 2002.

You can download GEN's annual report 2007-08 by clicking here (pdf 528kb).

GEN's activities at UN level in 2006/ 2005


Angus Robertson MS Donald Lunan Planning and Development Manager of Moray Council May East CIFAL Findhorn Project Director Bernard Hoarau UNITAR/ CIFAL Network Programme Director back row: Jonathan Dawson, Global Ecovillage Network James Gibbs HIE Moray Chief Executive

Spring 2006

United Nations Training Centre for Moray, Scotland

Findhorn has had a long association with the United Nations Institute of Training and Research (UNITAR) and is now in the
process of becoming one of its international network of sustainability training centres, under the CIFAL programme, for mayors and other local government officials. The Findhorn Ecovillage offers real life case study experience," a crucial factor for educators such as Professor Kessler from Oxford Brooks University whose students visit the Findhorn Foundation for "a crash course in sustainability". While there are many bodies providing training in sustainable physical planning, the Findhorn Ecovillage also offers education in the social and community aspects of sustainability gleaned from 44 years as a learning community.

- from left to right: May East/Findhorn Foundation, Carlyle Menezes/ UNESC, Marcelo Todescan/ ENA Brazil, Franco Werlang/Gaia Village

July 2005

New Education for Sustainable Development Partnership

By the shores of the South Atlantic, at the recently inaugurated Gaia Village Training Centre in Garopaba beach, Brazil, a memorandum of Understanding and Partnership has been signed between the Global Ecovillage Network, the Findhorn Foundation and the University of Extremo Sul Catarinense (UNESC). This is the result of a synergetic year of curriculum development with Brazilian sustainability educators and practitioners as well as UNESC teachers led by May East, Director of International Relations of GEN. Over the next 12 months UNESC will be aligning financial and institutional support for the first Brazilian University led Ecovillage Training to start in July 2006.

- Official launch of the UNDESD, March 1, at the United Nations New York headquarters

March 2005

GEN in the launch of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UNDESD) 2005

It is expected that the DESD would be implemented in thousands of 'on the ground' local situations, involving the integration of the principles of sustainable development into a multitude of different learning situations, including formal and informal education. In this context over the next ten years we in GEN expect to be working closely with UNESCO, and assist in setting standards for the decade.

Some of the planned programmes include our Ecovillage Designer Education (EDE). This curriculum is intended to serve the purpose of educating for the transition to a globally sustainable culture. Under the umbrella of the DESD, one of the first pilot programmes is intended to take place in Cuba later this year.

December 2004

GEN is represented at the Club of Budapest World Wisdom Council


The Club of Budapest World Wisdom Council meeting December 2004 reached a high note of inspiration and inquiry. It is a privilege for the ecovillage movement being represented in the dialog of some of the leading edge thinkers of our time. May East is representing the GEN as ambassador of the World Wisdom Council.

World Wisdom Council, the Budapest declaration: Wisdom at the Tipping Point (pdf 104kb)
May East (GEN) is one of the ambassadors of the Club of Budapest World Wisdom Council representing the ecovillage movement.

Click here for reports from GEN events in recent years at UN level:
Reports from 2000-2004 and Sideevents (pdf).

These reports sorted by year are a partial narrative of GEN’s participation in the work of the Economic and Social Council and its subsidiary bodies, major conferences and other meetings, activity carried out in cooperation with the bodies and specialized agencies of the UN and initiatives undertaken by the organization in support of the overall goals and objectives of the UN.

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