1st APGN Congress, Kyoto, Japan, February 11th-13th, 2005

Sowing Greens Seeds in the Asia Pacific Region

 

a report back from Kyoto by Mike Feinstein
 
Overview/Summary
 

The breadth and depth of the Global Green movement was on display February 11th to 13th in Kyoto, Japan, as the Asia-Pacific Green Network was formally organized into an ongoing network of Greens, from Pakistan to the Pacific, and from Mongolia to the Tasmanian sea.

 

Just days before the effective start date of the Kyoto Protocol Treaty on Climate Change, more than 100 Greens gathered from 23 Asian and Pacific nations, along with 300 more from Japan, and Green observers from Europe and the Americas.

 

The historic meeting united representatives from established Green Parties, as well as Green political groups which are not yet fully fledged political parties, but are involved in electoral politics on some level, or plan to be -- anbd it followed upon the first Asia Pacific Green Politics Workshop, held in Brisbane, Australia (April 2000), at which the Asia Pacific Green Network was first loosely founded.

 

The primary aim of Kyoto in 2005 was to now formalize the Asia Pacific Greens Network, with its primary functions to  

  • facilitate information exchange and networking  
  • cooperate politically towards implementation of the Global Green Charter
  • participate in the Global Greens

 

Twenty-seven Green parties and organizations from 23 countries were accepted as provisional APGN members, with a formal Membership Panel established to help determine ongoing membership later in the year. Three Greens were also elected to serve as the APGN’s representatives on the 12-member Global Greens Coordination.

  • Ms. Margaret Blakers (Australia), 2001 Global Greens conference organizer and current Global Greens Coordination member
  • Ms. Satoko Watanabe (Japan) Asia Pacific Greens Kyoto 2005 organizer
  • Mr. Solomone Fifita (Tonga, working in Samoa), Pacific Green movement

 

In an unplanned but welcome occurrence, the Asia Pacific Young Greens Network was also launched during the weekend, and was recognized immediately by the APGN.

 

The weekend featured a series of issue-based workshops on Saturday at Kyoto Campus Plaza, on social justice, democracy and the environment. These were followed on Saturday night by a march in support of the Kyoto Protocol, and then a festive party.

 

Several resolutions were passed on Sunday morning, followed by a big group picture taken inside massive Kyoto Station. Japanese Greens then held a major meeting, with the decision taken to form a formal national Green network called Greens Japan, in order to prepare for starting a national Green Party.

 

(Currently on the local level, among the two major Japanese Green electoral movements, the Rainbow and Greens Japan has 120 councilors and Kanagawa Network Movement 34.)

 

On the global level, the APGN is the fourth such major Green organization across the planet. It follows the creation of the  

  • European Coordinatation of Green Parties (1984, Liege, Belgium), which then became the European Federation of Green Parties (1993, Majvik, Finland) and then the European Green Party (Rome, 2004)  
  • Federacion de Partidos Verdes de las Americas/Fedearation of the Green Parties of the Americas (1997, Isla Behla, Brazil), and
  • African Green Federation (1998, Nairobi, Kenya) The APGN proceedings were run professionally and cordially by a Meeting Management Group, consisting of Mr. Kosuke Shimizu (Rainbow and Greens Japan), Ms. Kerrie Tucker (Australian Greens), Mr. Olzod Bum-Yalagch (Mongolia Green Party), Ms. Won J. Byun (Korea Greens), and Ms. Anne Larracas (Phillipine Greens).

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Opening Ceremony - Performance

by Yae, Welcome by Matsuya

The APGN meeting officially began on Friday afternoon, February 11th, 2005 at 4pm.

 

The opening ceremony featured a spellbinding musical performance by Japanese singer and environmentalist Yae. As her voice and presence filled the room, time seemed to stand still, bringing the room together and setting the atmosphere for the historic Green weekend to come. (click here for video) The session was held at the Kyoto International Community House, chosen because of its reputation asa well-known cross-cultural center in Japan, bringing Japanese and other cultures together since its opening in 1989.

 

Building upon this cross-cultural theme was Mr. Kiyoshi Matsuya, co-Spokesperson of the Rainbow and Greens Japan and MP in the Shizuoka Prefecture, who gave the formal welcome after Yae’s stirring performance. Matsuya said that the roots of Kyoto 2005 grew out of the 2001 Global Greens meeting in Canberra, Australia, and that the positive experiences of so many Japanese Greens there, made it natural for them to want to host the APGN follow up.

 

Since Canberra, he noted, the world has been disrupted by 9-11, the Trunami -- and U.S. unilateralism.

 

"The challenge for the Asia Pacific Greens Network,” Matsuya suggested, “is to unify the disrupted world and promote further global cooperation. The APGN can contribute to the future of the earth,” he said, “with activities based on peace and sustainability.”

 

Roundtable of Nations

 

Next came presentations by each participant nation, from Australia to Vanuatu, in alphabetical order (click here for video

 

On behalf of the Australian Greens was Kerrie Tucker.

 

  • A former elected member of the ACT Legislative Assembly (Australian Capital Territory), Tucker began by telling how Greens in Australia have been a national party for 13 years. Today they have five senators, 15 state legislators, and 80 members of local government.
  • Dr. Davaajiin Basandor spoke next. An engineer and environmentalist, he told of his party – the Mongolia Green Party - being the region’s third oldest, going back all the way to its founding in 1990. Today the Mongolian Greens have 3,000 members nationwide, last contested national elections in 2004, and already have six seats on the municipal and provincial level.  
  • Among all groups present, the Korean Greens had the second largest delegation of Greens in Kyoto - twenty people - other than the host Japanese.  
  • By comparison, the Nepalese Greens had a different experience than all other Greens in attendance, as they found themselves arriving in Japan just as King Gyanendra of Nepal pulled a coup d’etat at home, assuming all powers and dismissing the government.
  • According to Ms. Kamala Sharma, a social worker and political activist, when the Green Nepal Party was founded seven years ago, it made corruption and clean government key issues. Now she noted, these issues were more important than ever.  
  • From New Caledonia came Mr. Didier Barôn of Les Verts Pacifique. With his country’s people focused on independence, there was little room for a separate Green Party yet, he said. But Les Verts Pacifique is still active, standing with the aboriginals on independence and working to turn New Caledonia's endangered coral reef into a World Heritage Site.  
  • New Zealand Green MP Mr. Ian Ewen-Street spoke about the priviledge of being in Kyoto at the time that the Kyoto Protocol as going into effect. As one of nine Green MPs (out of 126), he spoke of Green successes in New Zealand like being a Nuclear Free Country and remaining free of genetic engineering. Now the party’s main priority is renewable energy. An active Green internationally, Ewen-Street attended the 2004 U.S. Green Party convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  • 'Organizing the young' was the theme for Mr. Ali Shikh Liaquat of the Pakistan Greens. With 65% of Pakistan’s population under 35, its critical for Pakistan Greens to focus on young people. Hence their campaign slogan: ‘Move for Change; Next Generation Politics”. Already Pakistan Greens boast one deputy mayor.  
  • Across the region in the South Pacific, the Papua New Guinea Green Party has six hundred members, according to Ms. Monica Hasimani, a former Secondary School Teacher and Green Party organizer. The main issue Greens are focusing on there is fighting copper mining on the island.  
  • From Polynesia, attendees heard from Ms. Moena Thibral, of the Green Party Heiura Les Verts. She spoke of her nation’s many political problems for such a small nation, and one also under French rule.
  • From Sri Lanka came Mr. Prasanna Cooray. A founding Green Party, Sri Lanka member and party secretary, Cooray said the Tsumani presents a key opportunity for his country to rethink development around Green principles. Already, the Green Party in Sri Lanka has been involved in opposing dam building on the island nation, and plans to participate in elections for the first time in 2006.
  • On Taiwan, the Green Party began in 1996, and was started by environmentalists, feminists and animal rights aactivists. said founding member Ms. Yenwen Peng In 2006, they hope to win seats next year when the country moves to a form of Proportional Representation for its electoral system. Currently Taiwanese Greens are trying to stop two large CO2 intensive developments in their nation, by utilizing international pressure. Taiwan is more sensitive to international pressure, explained Peng, because it doesn’t have international recognition from many nations.  
  • Last but not least came Vanuatu. The Green Party there - La Confédération des Verts du Vanuatu (Vanuato Green Confederation) - began five years ago, according to Mr. Silas Yatan. Today Vanuatu Greens have six parliamentarians and seven local councilllors, and participate in the national coalition government, with party leader Mr. Moana Carcasses as foreign minister.

 

Nations without Green Parties Represented

 

Among nations without Green Parties, attendees also heard from several interesting speakers, including Tuenjai Deetes, Senator of Thailand, who had also been in Canberra in 2001 at the Global Greens meeting there. Deetes was elected as an independent because there is no Green Party yet in Thailand, because of the obstacles of the political system to form such a new party. There is a peoples’ movement for green politics called the Thai Greens Coalition of which she is a member. Her main efforts in office have been to oppose a massive dam and hydroelectric power project proposed for her country.

 

Other reports came from Green movement representatives from Cambodia, East Timor, Fiji, India, Samoa, the Soloman Islands and Tonga.

 

International Observers
 

Following the national reports, attendees then heard from observers from the United States and Europe.

 

Mike Feinstein, webmaster of www.globalgreens.info and a former Green Party Mayor of Santa Monica, California said “we want to say hello to you from the Green Party of the United States, from the other side of the Pacific. And to let you know we are honored to observe your meeting. And to let you know that Greens in the United States do not support the Bush Administration nor United States unilateralism on this planet. And that we are here with you today to show that we believe we are all one human family and we are one family with all the species on the planet. The future will be Green. Arigato.

 

Catherine Greze, representing the European Federation of Green Parties/the European Green Party, talked about seeing many familiar faces from Canberra and how that was evidence of the growth of the Global Green movement.

 

She gave an inspirational recount of how she attended the World Social Forum in Mumbai, India in 2004, and was present at a gathering of more than 100 people who had all read the Global Green Charter, because it had been translated into Hindi, and they knew it almost by heart.

 

Then in 2005, the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil brought together Greens in the Americas. Greze recognized the breakthrough electoral rise of the Canadian Greens in 2004, who received record high percentages and qualified for significant public funding for the first time; as well as the recent successes of the Brazilian Greens, who now have 54 mayors and seven MPs.

 

"The political outcome of this APGN meeting was important," she said, because if Greens are stronger on this side of world, they are stronger also in Europe, and we all need that energy."

 

Delegates Get Down to Work, Discuss, March, Party

 

After the opening comments, delegates accepted the draft meeting procedures, affirmed the Meeting Management Group (which would provide Secretariat support for the meeting) and discussed the draft Simple Rules, after which they tabled them over to Sunday morning’s session, at which they were passed with a few amendments.

 

Australian Green Senator Mr. Bob Brown -- who also played a major chairing/hosting role at Global Greens 2001 in Canberra, Australia -- moderated Friday’s opening discussion. His co-chair was Watanabe. After concluding the day’s buiness, attendees moved upstairs for a party, featuring Japanese music, a buffet dinner and more welcoming speeches to entertain the crowd.

 

On Saturday the moved to the Kyoto Campus Plaza for a variety of workshops and panel discussions on issues of peace, social justice and the environment.

 

Then on Saturday night, attendees got out of meeting rooms and onto Kyoto’s pedestrian and bike friendly streets, for the Kyoto Protocol Appeal Walk. Attendees marched from the Kyoto Campus Plaza to the Kyoto Station (where from Japan’s famous Skinkasen bullet trains speed across the nation).

 

Good Karma

 

Greens marching in favor of the Kyoto Protocol was not remarkable. But the timing of the APGN meeting right before the Protocol’s February 16th effective start date was.

 

The Kyoto Protocol was first negotiated in 1998, but could not go into effect until after at least 62 nations signed it. The February 16th effective start date only came when Russia announced on November 17th, that it would finally sign the landmark environmental treaty, thus starting the automatic 90 day countdown to the effective start date.

 

But the APGN meeting date has been set many months earlier. According to APGN Organizing Committee Co-Chair Watanabe, “this was a positive sign for the Greens and the planet. The Green Goddess is smiling upon us.” APGN

 

Provisional Membership

 

Sunday morning got delegates out of bed early and into the Kyoto Campus Plaza, to do the formal business of the APGN.

 

First they accepted an amendment that allowed for regional parties and not just national parties. They then accepted as provisional members 27 groups from 23 countries, by provisionally accepting all of the groups represented in Kyoto:

 

 

Australia: Australian Greens

Cambodia: Sam Rainsy Party

East Timor: Haburas Foundation

Fiji: Pacific Concerns Resource Center (PCRC)

India: Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam “Earth is a Family"

Indonesia: Working Group on Power Sector Restructuring ( WGPSR)

Japan: Rainbow and Greens Japan
Kanagawa Network Movement
Greens Japan

Korea: The Korea Greens

Mongolia: Mongolyn Nogoon Nam/ Mongolilan Green Party

Nepal: Green Nepal Party

New Caledonia:Greens in New Caledonia/Les Verts Pacifique

New Zealand: Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand

Pakistan: Pakistan Greens

Papua New Guinea: Papua New Guinea Green Party

Philippines: Phillippine Green Party
Philippine Greens

Polynesia: Heiura, Les Verts Polynesiens (Polynesian Green Party)

Samoa: Pacific Green Movement

Solomon Islands: Solomon Greens

Sri Lanka: Green Party, Sri Lanka
Green Movement of Sri Lanka

Taiwan: Green Party Taiwan

Thailand: Thai Greens Coalition

Tonga : Human Rights and Democracy Movement of Tonga (HRDMT)

Vanuatu: La Confédération des Verts du Vanuatu/ Vanuato Green Federation

 

 

APGN Regular Membership

 

At the same time that the provisional members were approved, a formal Membership Panel was elected to help determine regular membership status, which will occur later in the year.

 

By May 30th provisional members will have to submit constitution/by-laws, including ratification date, description of organizations membership and activities, recent financial statement and other supporting information. Criteria will include whether an applicant does:  

  • abide by Global Green Charter 
  • actively involved in electoral politics (where democratic structures and processes exist;  
  • welcome and involve women and men as active and equal participants
  • be open to all ethnic, religious and other minorities- operate in a democratic and open manner with clear rules and procedures 
  • be financially honest, open and accountable
  • have a significant number of members.

 

APGN Membership Panel

 

The APGN Simple Rules tabled on Friday morning contemplated between five and seven members for the Membership Panel. By the 6pm Saturday evening deadline, six candidates had applied. On Sunday morning, the Management Group recommended that since there were six nominees, that the number of seats be six and all be accepted.

 

There was a request from the floor by the Korean delegation that all seats be voted upon individually. The MMG then recommended that all six stand for election, with a 2/3 vote needed individually on all six.

 

There were three votes allotted to each country, rather than just one. This was because many Asia Pacific countries do not have a formal Green Party and instead were represented in Kyoto by more than one Green movement group. Having three votes allowed each country to divide up their votes internally.

 

With 69 votes cast (3 per country, 23 countries), 46 was needed to be elected. The result was:

 

66 Ms. Miriam Solomon, Australian Greens

65 Ms. Moena Thibral Heiura, Les Verts, Polynesia

61 Mr. Olzod Bum-Yalagch, Mongolian Greens

59 Inwhan Jung, Korea Greens

54 Mr. Suresh Nautiyal, “Earth is a Family”, India

47 Mr. Ali Shikh Liaquat, Pakistan Greens

 

Everyone was elected.

 

APGN Representation on the Global Greens Coordination

 

As one of four Green networks/federations on the globe, the APGN is entitled to three seats on the 12-member Global Green Coordination (GGC). Filling these seats provided the most interesting exercise in democracy for the young APGN.

 

During Friday’s opening session, delegates approved a GGC selection process where

  • once nominations came in by the Saturday evening 6pm deadline, the Meeting Management Group would review them and make a recommendation to the delegates at Sunday morning’s vote.
  • delegates were then free to accept or reject that recommendation, meaning there had to be a fall-back election process in place. Anticipating this, the Meeting Management Group set up an independent, neutral election sub-committee on Saturday afternoon, to design and conduct theprocess.

 

Selected were Rachel Siewert, Senator-elect of the Australian Senate and Mike Feinstein of the Green Party of California. The two worked with Kerrie Tucker of Meeting Management Group to ensure a smooth, open and transparent election process.

 

Ballot papers were prepared in advance using Australia’s Optional Preferential Voting system. Voting cards listed the six nominees - Margaret Blakers, BenCyrus Ellorin, Solomone Fifita , Ali Liaguat, Vijay Pratap, Satoko Watanabe. Each country was given three votes to cast, just as with the Membership Panel vote.

 

The Meeting Management Group’s recommendation was to approve Blakers and Watanabe together, first, then separately decide among the other four. As anticipated, delegates chose to vote directly on all six candidates instead, rather than accept the Meeting Management Group’s recommendation.

 

Each nominee then spoke to the plenary session for one minute each. Following that, each country cast their vote, with three votes allotted to each country, rather than just one, just as with the Membership Panel election.

 

After the first preferences were counted, Blakers was elected. When the surplus support for Blakers was transferred Watanabe cleared the threshold and became representative number two. After eliminating candidates from the bottom of the ranking and transferring their support, Mr. Solomone Fifita (Samoa) was elected on the fifth round. He had also had the third most first-preferences on the first count.

 

As it turned out, delegates selected the very people the Management Committee recommended - Blakers and Watanabe -- but wanted to do it for themselves, even if the results were going to be the same.

 

As a result of this process, Blakers continues in her role as a primary organizer on the Asia-Pacific and Global Green levels. Blakers has served as APGN rep since the Global Greens were created in 2001.

 

Stepping down after one term each on the GGC were Olzod Bum-Yalagch of the Mongolia Green Party and Chen-Yan Kao, Green Party Taiwan.

 

Given Blakers and Watanabe’s long standing organizing roles in the Asia Pacific region, it was not surprising they were chosen, Fifita was the newcomer. In his one minute speech, he said:

 

"I am Solomone Fifita from Tonga. I am now working in Samoa. I have about 20 years of working experience in the environment and energy areas. During this time I have done various consultancy assignments for UN agencies, the European Union, Asian Development Banks and others. Also during this time, I have studied in the Phillippines and Thailand where I obtained my Master of Science. So I am quite familiar with Asia and working with Asians. I don't talk too much, I get things done on the ground." Fifita also participated strongly in the renewable energy workshp.

 

In addition to his personal strengths, Fifita benefited from a Pacific Island dynamic in this election. For many in attendance, a key concern was to have representation from the South Pacific, to balance diversity with the larger nations.

 

Pacific Islanders often feel that because Pacific Islands are small, they are often forgotten when merged into regional Asia politics. Yet there are issues specific to their Pacific island environments need to be brought to the attention of the world.

 

Therefore, Pacific Island delegates united around Fifita for the GGC, as well by successfully nominating Moena Thibral (Polynesia) to the APGN Membership Committee. As Fifita reflected afterwards, “this helped make the network really look like one for Asia and the Pacific Islands.”

 

In sum, the election process served to mix experience and new blood, geographic, gender and ethnic diversity. It also reflected the basic, different levels of Green Party development in the region: an established national party (Australia); a country running some candidates, but struggling because of the political/electoral system to launch a national party (Japan); and a Green movement group.

 

Young Greens  

 

One of the weekend`s most promising -- but unplanned developments -- was the founding of the Asia Pacific Young Greens Network, and its recognition by the APGN. This capped a week filled with young Green energy.

 

First the weekend before, there was a pre event called "Moegi-Kikaku", organized by young Greens and others of their generation, that brought together more than 70 students and young people to talk about how they can be involved with political activities in their daily life. Among the speakers was 32 year old Kazumi Inamura, a Green Councilor in Hyogo Prefecture. Then on Thursday evening’s came the official pre-meeting party, a coffeehouse concert at the Café Independent, hosted by Moegi-Kikaku on Sanjyo-Gokomachi St. in Kyoto's Nakagyo-ku District.

 

Saturday morning featured the Young Greens Workshop, entitled “Shared Future: Challenges of Asia-Pacific Young Greens.” Twenty-one year old Ms. Caroline Ayling (New South Wales, Australia) gave the opening presentation, focusing on turning energy into action. The key, she said was getting Young Greens out in the field, through events, concerts, film screening nights and open mike nights -- rather than just sitting in meetings with their elder peers. She also proposed that Young Greens choose a project – like working in an impoverished village in the Philippines – travel there, stay a while and make a difference.

 

Next came Impressive presentations by Young Korean Greens Ms. Won-Jung Byun and Mr. Chang-Lim Lee, utilizing Power Point to tell about their organizing activities, including demonstrating against the Iraq War and the sending of Korean troops. Young Korean Greens, they said, are building community through activism - reading, eating and meeting together, having discussions on politics and getting out in the streets.

 

Other Young Greens making presentations were Mr. Hemanta Luintel (Nepal), Mr. Rior Santos (Philippines) and Mr. Ali Shikh Liquat (Pakistan). Also heard was 32 year old observer Mr. Leonardo Alvarez, a former national Green legislator from the Partido Verde Ecologista de México, who told about the success of young Mexican Greens running for office, and how the Greens are increasingly perceived as a young person’s party in his country.

 

The workshop was chaired by 26 year old Ai Nonoue a Green City Councilor in Takatsuki-city, Osaka. Representing the organization ‘Rainbow and Greens”, Nonoue is one of three Greens in their 20s – all women - elected to city councils across Japan. Another sixteen Green Councilors are in their 30s, including five women.

 

Later in the day, with the leadership of several others as well - Kazumi Inamura and Sumiko Iwasaki (Japan), Dulgun (Mongolia), Rachael Ruegg (New Zealand), and Calvin Wen (Taiwan), the Young Greens voted to form a formal network, create an email list and seek recognition from the APGN on Sunday morning, which they received.

 

"It is the organizers hope", said Iwasaki, "that since APYGN was founded, it will strengthen not only the international network between Asia Pacific Young Greens, but also the domestic network within the Young Greens in each country."

 

Resolutions

 

On Sunday morning, delegates also passed resolutions on climate change and renewable energy, peace and security, minority rights and participatory democracy, indigenous peoples’ rights and culture, and on decreasing waste.

 

Delegates also suppored resolutionsfreeing kidnapped Colombian Greens’ presidential candidate, Ingrid Betancourt and her colleague Clara Rojas, supporting a World Heritage Site for areas of New Caledonia, and saving Tasmania’s old growth forests from destruction for paper mills in Japan.

 

They also passed two resolutions specifically related to Taiwan – to oppose the projects of the Eighth Oil Refinery Plant and the Formosa Steel Plant in Yunling County, Taiwan, and to dismantle chinese missiles aimed at Taiwan.    

 

APGN in the Global Greens Context

 

Back in 1989, Green Parties were organized almost exclusively in Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and a few countries in the Americas (Brazil, Canada, Mexico, U.S.). Since then, Green Parties have spread across the globe, appearing today in approximately 90 countries.

 

In the Asia-Pacific region, Green growth has been most prevalent over the last five to eight years, leading to the founding of the APGN in 2000 and its formalizing in 2005.

 

Of the four Global Green federation/networks around the globe, the APGN is the only one that explicitly provides full membership for both Green political parties and Green political movements that are not yet full political parties.

 

This reflects the nature of the Green movement in the Asia-Pacific region, where the number of Green Parties is growing, but where there are also many countries in which there is not yet a formal Green political party.

 

A similar situation exists in Africa, where several African Green groups are also not yet fully-fledged political parties either, but are recognized nevertheless, even though the by-laws do not call it out as such.

 

Today the Green Party is the largest political party on the globe, based upon the number of countries in which it exists. The Greens continue to grow across the globe, across cultural differences and despite legal and political challenges, suggesting there is a common response growing to the unsustainability of our lifestyle as a species.

 

Kyoto 2005 Organizing Committee

 

With much thanks, the Organizing Committee of Asia Pacific Greens Kyoto Meeting 2005 should go acknowledged:

Satoko Watanabe (Kagawa Prefectural MP) (Co-Spokesperson of the Rainbow and Greens Japan )

Kiyoshi Matsuya (Shizuoka Prefectural MP) (Co-Spokesperson of the Rainbow and Greens Japan )

Kosuke Shimizu (International Coordinator of the Rainbow and Greens Japan )

Shuji Imamoto (Policy Advisor of the Rainbow and Greens Japan )

Assisted by Margaret Blakers, Australian Greens and Eva Goes, Green Forum Foundation (Sweden).

Dozens of Japanese Greens also served as valued volunteers all weekend long.

 

Related Symposium: From Bonn to Kyoto towards China

 

As with many international Green Party gatherings, there is an associated Green educational event. This one was called International Symposium "Renewable Enery 2005: From Bonn to Kyoto towards China 2005 "

 

Jointly organized by the Heinrich Boell Foundation (Germany) and Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (Japan), it was held earlier on opening day also at the Kyoto International Community House, with particular help from Boell Foundation members Heike Loschmann (Director, Thailand and South-East Asia Regional Office), Mrs. Barbara Unmuessig, (Executive Co-director) and Mr. Klaus Linsenmeier (Head of International Relations) and Jorg Haas (Desk officer for Ecology and Sustainable Development, Berlin office).

 

Among the speakers was Jürgen Maier, now of the Citizens United for Renewable Energy and Sustainability (CURES). Meier played a key role in early Green Party history, as he was International Secretary of the West German Greens between 1987 and 1991, a time which (in addition to their success domestically) Die Grünen played a leading role internationally among Green Parties.

 

Meier’s participation - and the presence of the the entire Symposium - itself was a living example of the connection between the Green movement and the Green Party, between Green issues and Green politics. As was the entire weekend itself.