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ECCO 2017: The Call to Planetary Resilience

Posted on October, 18 2017

From October 6 to 11, 2017, 250 activists from communities, ecovillages, and the permaculture movement met along with leaders of indigenous communities and representatives from more than 20 countries, at the IBC in Alto Paraíso de Goiás. It was time for the ECCO 2017.


This was the second International Meeting of the CASA Network since it's founding in 2012, and the first with the support and participation of the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), who brought representatives from 4 of their 5 member-regions around the world (Africa, Europe, Latin America, and Asia).

Visolela, from Namibia, representing GEN Africa.



CASA (aka CASA Latina) used the gathering to facilitate important activities for the network, perhaps the most important being its General Assembly. Member countries and working groups presented their projects and new strategies, as well as electing operational leaders for the next working cycle. The Network's Council members, something akin to Board members, representing 7 countries, were also chosen or renewed.

   CASA's 'General Assembly'










Another important moment was the presentation of the campaign for the Rights of Mother Earth. The campaign seeks to multiply the living examples, born in Latin America (Bolivia and Ecuador), which recognize the constitutional rights of Nature, showing how it is possible to adopt similar measures in any region of the world.

  Talks and group dynamics explore the rights of Mother Earth.


One of our favorite activities of the gathering was the collective creation of a new 'Constitution of Mother Earth'. This "Constitution" however, is not a mere document, but an act of political-spiritual theater with songs, dance and movement. It was beautiful! Take a look for yourself with the video that we produced here:



The Global Ecovillage Network also facilitated several activities including: GEN Ambassador Training, Regional Presentations, presentations of projects such as EmerGENcies and tools such as the Ecovillage Playing Cards.

The GEN General Assembly also took place during ECCO, with 60 participants from almost 20 countries around the world.

GEN General Assembly live participants (others connected online)



This year, the ECCO used the methodology of the Vision Council, a type of gathering that first took place more than 25 years ago in Mexico and then throughout Latin America. The Vision Council is composed of several thematic areas that are spaces for the exchange of experience, information and network building among the participants. Many of the activities were split into 6 councils: Communication and Free Media, Education for Resilience, Youth, Regenerative Ecology and Popular Permaculture, the Economy of Buen Vivir, and Sustainable Human Settlements.


A nice thing about the event was that it had a very holistic profile: in addition to the activities of the Networks and the Councils, there was space in the program for internal conflict resolution, moments for ceremonies, lots of sharing and several celebrations. The hot days were filled with meetings and projects, and the cool evenings featured talent nights, shows, music and dance around the bonfire and the full moon.



The Call of Planetary Resilience didn't hold back! The Brazilian Cerrado bioregion, in which the gathering took place, is going through a historically long and intense drought, which meant very dry, sunny days and strong gusts of dusty wind. During the gathering there was a fire in the area, and by the last day of the event one of the intense fires in the region put the IBC area at risk, and all the participants had to be evacuated from the premises.

Within a couple of hours an emergency task force was assembled, the entire camp was cleared out and the participants gathered in the city of Alto Paraíso, while a team worked with the local firefighters to contain the fire. After a few hours of work, the fire was had passed by and IBC was spared damages. But it was a real test of local resilience and a visible warning about the intensifying climate chaos that we are living around the Planet.

Some of the IBC team fighting the fire


The challenges we experience on Earth are present in the now. They are not a problem of the future, they are as much ours as of the next generations. The metaphor of this meeting for us only reaffirms how we need more and more exercises, models, examples, and practices to transform our culture and seek balance between human society and nature. And these practices always require work in community. That is why these spaces for knowledge exchange and construction of collective proposals are so crucial; keeping the knowledge alive and ampliflying it, to be able to scale up to other levels when the moment demands it.


Still moved by the joy of the meeting and the intensity of the ending, we left the ECCO more empowered to be part of a global movement that works for planetary change. And even more for knowing that we can do it TOGETHER. Thankful for the experience, for the learning, for the network!

¡Let's keep weaving!

Leticia, Ryan and Anahí


Additional images: CASA Brasil, IBC, NextGEN Europe


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