BC's The Land Conservancy hosts International National Trusts Organisations conference in Victoria

Tuesday evening reception hosted by TLC for the INTO conference Wed Oct 12-15, 2011
Bill Turner (TLC executive director) and I am are in the back row 2nd & 3rd from left. INTO Chair Simon Mole is back row 4th from right. – photo Deb Martin 

It was a very warm and welcoming reception on Tuesday evening Oct 8th.  Leaders from National Trust and conservancy organizations around the world came to Victoria BC, to attend the INTO conference organized by The Land Conservancy of BC.  I talked with people from Uganda, Seoul, Malaysia, England, India as well as representatives from Canadian Heritage.

Here is the news release from the conference:

NEWS RELEASE             

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  October 14, 2011

INTO Conference Says Protection of Culture Must Be Central to Durban Climate Change Summit

VICTORIA, B.C.
Protecting our culture – the people, places and stories that give us a
“sense of place” – should be a core commitment arising from the United
Nations Conference on Climate Change that will take place in Durban,
South Africa, November 2011.

More
than 260 delegates from 34 countries representing over 6 million
members sharing a common vision to safeguard the world’s natural and
cultural heritage are signing the Victoria Declaration on Climate Change as part of the 14th International Conference of National Trusts, October 12-15, 2011.

Opening
the INTO Conference ceremony, Simon Molesworth, Chairman of the
International National Trusts Organisation (INTO), shares: “All of the
debates of climate change miss that not only are we talking about the
survival of the planet and our species, but we are talking about the
essence of our being, the essence of our culture. Culture is not talked
about enough by our world leaders. They do not understand that the
maintenance of the concept of community of people is at risk. The
Victoria Declaration is a clear message to decision makers that if you
don’t focus on the impact of climate change on culture you have
destroyed the essence of the world
.”

Everything
is connected in the world around us and there is a cause and effect for
every action we take as global citizens. The issue of climate change is
no exception. There is scientific evidence supporting global warming
and the physical results are all around us, but the less recognized
effect is the loss of social sustainability – our culture that makes us
unique. People’s “sense of place” is directly connected to the historic
places in their communities and the stories of their past.

As
an example the nation of Tuvalu off the coast of Polynesia recently had
safe drinking water flown into the island from Australia because the
rising sea levels have contaminated the fresh water supply with salt.
There is a real threat that the over 10,000 Tuvaluans on the island will
have to be re-located to the mainland and this unique culture and
civilization will be lost forever. A culture moved, is a culture lost.

As part of the Victoria Declaration on Climate Change,
INTO members are asking global leaders to include in their strategies
on climate change not only changes in our physical environment, human
health and welfare, but to recognize the core strength and connectivity
of human beings requires maintenance of our cultural sustainability. It
is our responsibility to protect special places and stories so future
generations will have the same sense of pride and spirit many of us
enjoy today. It is culture that binds us together around the world.

Follow the conference in real time on twitter @2011can, hashtag #INTO2011. Photos will also appear at conservancy.bc.ca/flickr and video footage at conservancy.bc.ca/youtube. Click here for the full Conference Program.

Here are highlight stories from the INTO conference in Victoria – from the TLC website: www.conservancy.bc.ca

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