TEDxNairobi 2013: The City Rebooted
A stellar cast of speakers, each provocative and with memorable quotes and moving stories, left audiences inspired during the TEDxNairobi Event hosted by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) on 30 October 2013 at its Nairobi Headquarters.
The event focused on how we can change the operating systems that govern our lives in the city. By 2030 most of us will be living in cities, alongside five billion other people, mostly in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The way we live in these “mega-cities” will put a strain on the world’s resources, promote conflict in our communities and threaten the well-being of our planet. However our cities also generate jobs and income.
With good governance, they can deliver education, health care and opportunities for social mobilization and the empowerment of women. The challenge for us in the next few decades; is learning how to exploit the possibilities that urbanization offers, without damaging the lives of millions in rural communities.
The UN-REDD Programme sponsored the following four out of the nine speakers who attended the event:
Peter Lee, Executive Director of Global Forest Watch Canada, spoke about a powerful new remote sensing tool that is supporting conservation by providing free and easily accessible, near-real time deforestation alerts.
Martha Isabel (Pati) Ruiz Corzo, Champion of the Earth 2013 and director of the Grupo Ecologico Sierra Gorda in Central Mexico, captivated the audience with her energy and passion for nature. Through her work and advocacy, a third of the State of Querétaro is now protected as a Biosphere Reserve engaging more than 34,000 people in community environmental education programs, solid waste management, soil restoration, productive diversification, and conservation. Pati, a trained musician, ended her talk with a stirring song to Mother Nature.
Prof. Virgilio Viana, CEO Fundação Amazonas Sustentável, Brazil, took the audience deep into the Brazilian Amazon, where the concept of paying for keeping nature’s services flowing has been rolled out across a large area, with startling results.
Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General of the UN spoke about the transition towards a green economy. Mr Steiner highlighted the fact that we live in an age where transformation is not only a necessity, but also an obligation. We all are a part of this journey.
At the evening reception that followed the successful event, ICRAF Director General Tony Simons pointed to the unsustainability of current trends of development and urbanization.