Travel 2015

After a month and a half without traveling, I began a series of short trips to conferences in Europe without much scenic interest. The third week of February I attended a French Baha'i Winter Camp (see separate page) in the Alpine resort of La Chapelle d'Abondance. I was then three days in Madrid for 3 lectures, but with no time to take pictures. The second week of March I was in Paris for 5 days for the International Conference of the Partnership for Education and research about Responsible Living (PERL) at UNESCO, which was also the 19th Annual Conference of the International Environment Forum (see separate page for conference pictures). The first week of April I went to the Netherlands to give three talks at my friends the Vinkhuyzens, and then attended The Justice Conference at the de Poort Conference Centre (see separate page). In mid-April I returned to Paris for an expert meeting on coastal marine resources called for by the International Resource Panel hosted by UNEP. The first week of May the extended family gathered in Plomodiern, Brittany, France for the funeral of my mother-in-law, Francine Caillard. From the end of May to July, I hardly stopped traveling. The last week of May was the spring ebbf - Ethical Business Building the Future event near Lisbon (see separate page). Then after one day at home I was off to Baku, Azerbaijan, to facilitate a UNEP-sponsored workshop for the government and academic partners on an integrated approach to the Sustainable Development Goals (see separate page), followed immediately by a week at a retreat near Bourg-en-Bresse, France, on nature and spirituality at the Domaine de la Garde, and a visit to the Royal Monastery of Brou (see separate page). The next morning I was off to Haifa, Israel, for consultations at the Baha'i World Centre, and could make a photo album of that beautiful spiritual centre (see separate page). The following week I represented the International Environment Forum at the Global Ethics Forum, which at least was in Geneva (see separate page). The third week of July I was off the the French Baha'i Summer School near Angers (see separate page). Again, the first week of August was the turn of the German Summer School in Tambach (see separate page), where I taught a class. In mid-September, I had to go to Nairobi, Kenya, for a GEO6 authors' writing session at UNEP headquarters (see separate page). Early October was the annual conference of ebbf in Barcelona where I gave a keynote (see separate page). Then there was a lecture in Frankfurt, Germany and the International Resource Panel and World Resources Forum meetings in Davos, Switzerland, with no time to take pictures. The last week of October I went to Belgrade, Serbia, for the European Center for Peace and Development Annual Conference to give a paper and moderate the associated Youth Forum (see separate page). In mid-November I went to Brussels for a EESC/UNEP/EEB Conference on the Sustainable Development Goals (see details at, giving a presentation on Europe and the 2030 Agenda: Regional Assessment, and at the end of the month I made a short trip to Vienna for a research meeting on sustainable lifestyles and education. The first two weeks of December were the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris, France, where I helped the International Environment Forum organize four events at which I spoke (see separate page), and visited the apartment where 'Abdu'l-Baha stayed when he first visited Paris in 1911. I then went to Shanghai for a gathering of researchers at Fudan University (see separate page) and finished the year at the Swiss Baha'i Winter School (see separate page) at Leysin in the Alps.

La Chapelle d'Abondance, French Alps

La Chapelle d'Abondance is one of a string of ski resorts in the Alpine valleys behind Evian and Thonon les Bains on the shores of Lake Geneva. We were about 50 international participants in the French Baha'i Winter Camp in February (see separate page) with classes, artistic activities and winter recreation.
Chalet Olinga . dogsleds 
The Chalet Olinga that hosted our camp; dogsledding in the valley

walking to the village . walking to the village
Walking to the village of La Chapelle d'Abondance

frozen waterfall . frozen waterfall
The frozen waterfall

views of the valley . views of the valley . views of the valley
When I climbed the mountainside with snowshoes, there were wonderful views of the valley

Madrid, Spain

In Madrid at the end of February, I lectured on "40 Years of International Sustainability Governance" at the EOI Business School, and on "Ecological and Economic Principles for a New World Order" at the Nehal Foundation and the Baha'i National Centre.
Lecturing in Madrid
Lecturing at the Baha'i National Centre, Madrid

Paris, France

The International Conference of the Partnership for Education and research about Responsible Living (PERL) and 19th Annual Conference of the International Environment Forum was held at UNESCO Headquarters (see separate page for conference pictures). One afternoon, we were taken on a tour of the French Senate in the Palais de Luxembourg. That was the only tourism we had time for.

UNESCO . UNESCO . Ecole militaire
UNESCO Headquarters where the conference was held; Ecole militaire across the street from UNESCO, with Eiffel Tower in the background

We were treated to a visit to the French Senate in the Palais de Luxembourg, where we were briefed on the Senate Commission on Sustainable Development, Infrastucture and Regional Planning.
Palais de Luxembourg entrance . Palais de Luxembourg Cour d'honneur . Palais de Luxembourg
Palais de Luxembourg, seat of the Senate; cour d'honneur; our group

Senate entrance . Escalier d'honneur . Salle de conférences
Entrance to the Senate; escalier d'honneur (ceremonial staircase); Salle de conférences (Conference Room)

Salle de conférences . Salle de conférences . Salle de conférences
Salle de conférences

Salle de conférences ceiling . Salle de conférences ceiling . Salle de conférences
Salle de conférences with its ornate ceiling

Salle de conférences ceiling . Salle de conférences ceiling . Throne of Napoleon III
Salle de conférences ceiling; throne of Napoleon III when he presided over the Senate

 Salle des conférences . Paintings in Senate stairway . Painting in Senate stairway
Salle des conférences; paintings in a Senate staircase

Briefing on the Senate Commission on SD
Briefing on the Senate Commission on Sustainable Development

One evening, we had dinner in the UNESCO restaurant on the top floor, with a beautiful view over Paris.
view of Paris . view of Paris
View of Paris and Ecole militaire; UNESCO gardens and sphere

view of Paris . Eiffel Tower with lights
Paris through a window; Eiffel Tower sparkling with lights

The Netherlands

The Justice Conference was held on 3-5 April 2015 at the de Poort Conference Centre, Groesbeek, The Netherlands, on the theme "Advancing Justice: Spiritual Foundations and Practical Applications". See separate page for a report.

Justice Conference . Arthur Dahl . Justice Conference
Me speaking at The Justice Conference on "Justice and Global Policy Change for Environmental Stewardship"

Paris, France

On 13-16 April I went to Paris for an expert group meeting on marine and coastal resources to advise the International Resource Panel hosted by UNEP. We met in UNEP's Paris office near the Saint Lazare train station. The meeting was to scope a possible panel report on resource efficiency and sustainable environmental management in the coastal zone. It included senior experts from around the world and was chaired by the former European Commissioner for the Environment. I presented a paper on "Resource Efficiency Improvements and Marine Resources Management in the Sustainable Development Goals". The evening in the middle of our meeting we all went to a restaurant across from the train station famous for its Art Nouveau decor dating from 1895.

expert meeting on marine resources . expert meeting on marine resources
Expert group meeting at UNEP

expert meeting on marine resources . expert meeting on marine resources

Saint Lazare train station and restaurant
Saint Lazare train station . Saint Lazare train station . reataurant across the street
Gare Saint Lazare (train station) and restaurant across the street

art nouveau interior . art nouveau interior . art nouveau interior
Restaurant with Art Nouveau interior

Plomodiern, Brittany, France

On 1 May 2015, my mother-in-law Francine Caillard né de Moor passed away at her home in Brittany at the age of 94, three years after the passing of her husband Claude Caillard. The extended family gathered shortly thereafter for the funeral, followed by a gathering of family and friends to share memories of a wonderful woman who had raised 8 children, with dozens of grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even great-great.grandchildren. My own children had lived with their grandparents for a year in 1984 when we had to send them away from the troubles in New Caledonia, and we lived near them for a year after our move to France, so we were very close.

Francine Caillard ne de Moor
Francine de Moor, épouse de Claude Caillard
3 December 1919 - 1 May 2015

gathering in Plomodiern . gathering in Plomodiern
Family and friends gathered at the Caillard home to share memories of Francine

gathering in Plomodiern, Martine . gathering in Plomodiern
Martine at the gathering of family and friends

ebbf Spring Event, Lisbon, Portugal

Over 80 ebbf members and friends gathered in a beautiful hotel outside of Lisbon for the ebbf - Ethical Business Building the Future spring event on "Interconnected business: how can organizations improve people and people improve organizations". I took part in the ebbf Governing Board meeting and a consultation with some of our most active members before the event. For a full report, see the separate page.

consultation . opening of the event . spring event
The pre-event consultation; Jason Maude opening the event; part of the audience at the ebbf Spring event

UNEP Workshop, Baku, Azerbaijan

My short time in Baku, 3-5 June, did not leave time for tourism, but UNEP had me facilitate an Integrated Approach to Environmental Sustainability in Development Planning National Workshop that was useful and held back-to-back with a conference on climate change, described on a separate page.

Baku . Baku . workshop
Views of Baku, and the opening of the UNEP workshop

Bourg-en-Bresse, France

The spiritual week at the Domaine de la Garde in Bourg-en-Bresse the second week of June was a relaxing alternative to my other trips. We visited the beautiful gothic Royal Monastery of Brou nearby, exchanged spiritual perspectives among Christians, Buddhists, Sufis and Bahá'ís, and meditated on nature and spirituality. A more complete documentation of the Brou Monastery and of the week on nature and spirituality is on a separate page.

Royal Monastery of Brou . Royal Monastery of Brou . Royal Monastery of Brou
The Royal Monastery of Brou, built by Marguerite of Austria in 1513-1532 in memory of her husband Philibert le Beau, Duke of Savoy

Chateau de la Garde . group . group in session
Chateau de la Garde; the group gathered for a week on nature and spirituality; one of the sessions

mealtime . meditation in nature . me cutting up a fallen tree
The exchanges continued at mealtimes; the beautiful gardens were ideal for meditating in nature; I helped clear a fallen tree from one of the forest trails

Haifa, Israel

I was in Haifa for consultations on 14-17 June, and the weather was perfect for photographing the Bahá'í Shrines and gardens, with a more complete album on a separate page.

terraces and Shrine . Shrine of the Bab . me at the Shrine
Looking down the terraces towards Haifa; the Shrine of the Bab; me near the Shrine

Seat of the Universal House of Justice . International Teaching Centre . Archives Building
The Bahá'í World Centre on Mount Carmel: Seat of the Universal House of Justice; International Teaching Centre; Archives Building

Shrine of Baha'u'llah . Mansion at Bahji . gardens at Bahji
Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh; Mansion at Bahji where He spent his last years; gardens at Bahji

Global Ethics Forum, Geneva, Switzerland

I represented the International Environment Forum at the Global Ethics Forum 2015, which was held at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland, on 25-27 June. The 150 participants came from all over the world to discuss "Responsible Leadership in Action: The Value of Values". For a full report, see the separate page.

Christoph Stuckelberger . audience . Mayor of Geneva
Prof. Christoph Stückelberger, founder of GEF; part of the audience; address by the Mayor of Geneva, Madame Esther Alder

Angers, France

In mid-July, I enjoyed a wonderful week near Angers, in the west of France, at the French Baha'i Summer School, with about 400 in attendance including 40 from French-speaking Switzerland. There was a wonderful family atmosphere, and intensive and very enriching study (see separate page for more school pictures).

part of the audience . class in session . junior youth singing
A small part of the audience; some of the 30 participants in my class; the junior youth singing

Tambach and Schmalkalden, Germany

The first week of August I went to Tambach-Deitharz in Thüringen, Germany, for the German Baha'i Summer School (see separate page for school pictures). There were opportunities to walk in the forest and visit a nearby spring reputed to have healed Martin Luther almost 500 years ago. We also crossed the Thüringen forest to Schmalkalden for a garden show and visit to the old town centre and castle.

Lutherbrunnen, Martin Luther's spring near Tambach
Lutherbrunnen (spring) . Lutherbrunnen (spring) .

Lutherbrunnen (spring) . Lutherbrunnen (spring) . Lutherbrunnen (spring)
Marker at the spring quoting Martin Luther

Lutherbrunnen (spring) . walking in the forest
Panel explaining Martin Luther's stay in the region 500 years ago; walking through the forest from the spring to the stream

forest behind Tambach . forest . old and harvested forest
Spruce forest around Tambach; younger trees; mature trees and recently harvested area


The Thüringen garden show spread over a former industrial site that has recently been restored.
garden show . garden show . garden show
Visit to parts of the Thüringen garden show in Schmalkalden restored from a heavy industrial site

garden show . garden show . garden show bird houses
Flowers and bird houses at the garden show

Town of Schmalkalden
Schmalkalden . Schmalkalden . Schmalkalden
Church, market and narrow streets

Schloss Wilhelmsburg (Castle) in Schmalkalden
Schloss WIlhelmsburg entrance . Schloss WIlhelmsburg . Schloss WIlhelmsburg
Entrance to Schloss Wilhelmsburg, leading to the first gateway

view of Schmalhalden from Schloss WIlhelmsburg . Schloss WIlhelmsburg first courtyard . Schloss WIlhelmsburg gardens
View of Schmalkalden from the castle; the first courtyard; gardens below the castle walls

Schloss WIlhelmsburg  Schloss WIlhelmsburg  Schloss WIlhelmsburg tower  Schloss WIlhelmsburg
Castle courtyard; second tower; tunnel to the second courtyard

Schloss WIlhelmsburg kitchen . Schloss WIlhelmsburg kitchen . Schloss WIlhelmsburg kitchen
Castle kitchen

Schloss WIlhelmsburg . Schloss WIlhelmsburg . Schloss WIlhelmsburg
Gardens alongside the castle

United Nations Office in Nairobi, Kenya

In mid-September, I spend a week working at the United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON) in a UNEP "book sprint" with teams of authors writing the first draft of the next Global Environment Outlook (GEO6) set of regional reports (see separate page). UNON is the most beautiful of the United Nations Offices around the world, along with the United Nations Office in Geneva at the Palais des Nations.

UNON main entrance . UNON entrance . UNON
The United Nations Office in Nairobi campus is set in extensive gardens, with a curving road from the entrance lined with UN flags, and buildings separated by lawns and trees

UNON . UNON courtyard . new UNEP building
The main conference rooms are around a central courtyard; UNEP has a new building with an indoor garden path between its two wings

ebbf conference in Barcelona, Spain

The ebbf - Ethical Business Building the Future annual conference was held again in Barcelona, Spain, on 1-4 October, where I gave a keynote on "Scientific and Spiritual Dimensions of Unity and Collaboration" and was re-elected to the Governing Board (see separate page).

Arthur Dahl . ebbf Governing Board . informal discussions
Keynoting at the ebbf annual conference in Barcelona; the ebbf Governing Board; informal discussions

ECPD Conference in Belgrade, Serbia

The European Center for Peace and Development held its 11th Annual Conference in Belgrade, Serbia, on 24-25 October 2015, where I presented a paper on "The Sustainable Development Goals and their Implications for the Western Balkans", followed by a Youth Forum where I moderated two plenary sessions and provided the closing comments. See more details on the separate page.

Federico Mayor . Youth Forum . audience
Former UNESCO Director-General Federico Mayor giving a keynote; ECPD Youth Forum

Brussels, Belgium

On 11-13 November I went to Brussels at the request of UNEP for a European Economic and Social Committee/United Nations Environment Programme/European Environmental Bureau Conference on the Sustainable Development Goals: Implementation in Europe (see details at, where I gave a paper on Europe and the 2030 Agenda: Regional Assessment, with the presentation at I also took part for the International Environment Forum in the UNEP regional consultation on opportunities for engagement of major groups and stakeholders.

EESC Conference . Arthur Dahl . Arthur Dahl, Karl Falkenberg
The conference room at the European Union; me speaking; part of the panel

Vienna Workshop

The Global Research Forum on Sustainable Production and Consumption (GRF-SPaC) and the Partnership for Education and research about Responsible Living (PERL) with whom I have long collaborated, held a joint strategy workshop at the Vienna University of Economics and Business on 20 November 2015. The workshop was hosted by the Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development Vienna (RCE Vienna) at the Institute for Ecological Economics. IEF was represented by Victoria Thoresen, PERL Coordinator, and myself.

Vienna Workshop Vienna workshop

The topic of the workshop was the Sustainable Lifestyles and Education (SLE) program in the 10 Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP) approved at Rio+20 and implemented by UNEP in collaboration with many partners. Two specific projects developed during the workshop were the "Transform" initiative piloted by PERL and "Mobilizing Research for Sustainable Lifestyles" (MORE-SL). These will collaborate closely with the SLE Flagship projects "Igniting Business Investments in Sustainable Lifestyles" (IBIS) and "Transitioning Cities". For more general information, click on 10YFP and SLE.

The workshop agreed to an action plan for activities on sustainable lifestyles and education over the next two years while detailed funding proposals are being developed. It also developed specific activities on education, cities, scenarios, and communications and framing. Values were acknowledged as an important component of the transformation in lifestyles called for in the SLE program and the UN 2030 Agenda.

COP21 in Paris, France

The UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) kept me busy for 10 days in early December (see separate page), organizing and speaking in four different side events. I spent much of my time in the Climate Generations areas for civil society, but also met many people with whom I have collaborated over the years. The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), which I organized 35 years ago, had several side events, and I was able to meet with my old friend and present SPREP Director-General David Sheppard, and incoming Director-General Kosi Latu.
entrance, Climate Generations area . Climate Generations area . Entrance to Blue zone 
Entrance to the Climate Generations areas (Green zone); there were exhibits, films, booths and conference rooms for side events; the entrance to the main conference site

The International Environment Forum organized three side events in the Climate Generations area on the topics "Community resilience in the face of climate-driven extreme events, a Vanuatu case study", "Principles for accountability for climate change agreements" and "Values-based climate change education". We co-sponsored another side event on accountability in the Netherlands pavilion at the main conference site.

 IEF event . Arthur Dahl . IEF event 
IEF panels on community resilience, accountability and values-based education

Event in Netherlands Pavilion . Arthur Dahl . David Sheppard, Kosi Latu, Arthur Dahl
On the intergovernmental side, our debate on accountability; present, future and former directors of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)

I presented a paper on "Personal and professional accountability: an ethical challenge", reflecting on the role of a personal approach to accountability and responsibility among decision-makers and civil servants (see the paper at, and made other presentations in the different sessions.


After COP21, I visited the apartment where 'Abdu'l-Bahá, son of the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, stayed on his first visit to Paris in 1911 (see separate page).

apartment of Abdul-Baha . interior . Trocadero Gardens
Apartment near the Eiffel Tower; meeting room; Trocadero Gardens

Shanghai, China

In mid-December I had a meeting of researchers at Fudan University in Shanghai to plan future research strategies and collaboration (see separate page). For more pictures of Shanghai and Fudan University from last year, click here.

Shanghai, Bund waterfront . Shanghai, Bund waterfront . Shanghai, Bund waterfront
The Shanghai waterfront and the Bund

Leysin, Switzerland

The Swiss Baha'i Winter School was held on 26-31 December 2015 in the beautiful Alpine village and winter sports resort of Leysin, above Aigle in the Canton of Valais. With the unusually warm weather and lack of snow, it was more like a summer than winter school. For the school activities, see separate page.

Leysan . Leysan . Leysan
Village of Leysin with views of the surrounding Alps

Arthur Dahl, Sophie Menard, Marlon Walraven-Raming . Leysan . Leysan 
On a walk in the village

church . unity in diversity . church wall hanging
Leysin church with a wall hanging on unity in diversity

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Last updated 25 December 2015

Photographs copyright © Arthur Lyon Dahl 2015