Rotary Presidential Peacebuilding Conference 2018: Environmental Sustainability & Peace
What better way might there be to promote peace in the world than by ensuring environmental sustainability for all peoples? That was Rotary President Ian Riseley’s impetus and focus for the First Peacebuilding Conference in Vancouver, February 9‑11. Plentiful water, nurtured soil to feed the world, low carbon productivity and economy, and biodiversity were some of the breakout topics that educated and inspired some 1,000 attendees from all over the United States. The eminence of the attendees was remarkable — NGO executives, including, from the Jane Goodall Institute and my favorite speaker, Dr. David Suzuki; academic and professional experts in their fields; Mediation Beyond Borders, United Nations representatives; film producers; and many Rotarians, young and old, including Director John Mathews.
Engaging displays filled the House of Friendship. Cultural entertainment was by Squamish Nation Dancers (got Ian and John participating) and Langley Ukulele Ensemble. Sunday work projects were much sought after.
President Riseley has scheduled a series of six presidential peacebuilding conferences between February and June in Canada, Lebanon, the UK, Australia, Italy, and the United States, demonstrating Rotary’s dedication to this mission. Bellevue Rotary is a Peacebuilder club. May we, as its members, commit ourselves to support and participate in the projects that are forthcoming.