Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia

The International Environment Forum, a Baha'i-inspired professional organization for environment and sustainability, held its 20th International Conference at Nur University in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, on 7-9 October 2016. The theme of the conference was "Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals as Communities and Individuals. About 20 specialists in the field from academia, government, international organizations and non-governmental organizations participated throughout the conference, while the opening session attracted over 170 people including many students. See the full report on the IEF web site.

The city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra in the eastern part of Bolivia, with a population of about 1.5 million, has a beautiful old town centre with a central square and cathedral, and a lively night life with many celebrations and music in the square.

cathedral . central square . city hall on the square
The cathedral; central square; city hall on the square

central square . Nur University
There are always many people in the square; Nur University where the IEF conference was held

IEF Conference

conference opening . part of audience . speakers
Opening ceremony; part of the audience; some of the keynote speakers from Costa Rica, Norway, Sweden and Colombia

opening by Nur Univ . Rector at opening, William Shoaie . Griselda, William, Janvier
The opening; welcome by William Shoaie, Rector of Nur University; university faculty

First Plenary Session

Griselda Torrico . Dahl opening keynote . Arthur Dahl
Introducing the first plenary session, with the UNEP representative and myself as main speakers

Panel with Javier translating . panel . audience
Since the conference was entirely in Spanish, Javier Gonzales translated for me; half of the audience

Saturday Conference
conference room . William Shoaie . Victoria Thoresen . mug
The audience on Saturday; keynotes by Rector William Shoaie and Victoria Thoresen; mug made for the occasion

Christian Bomblat . Roberto Vilde . Fabiana Mendez . Eliana Peca . Alicia Jimenez . poster
Speakers came from government and civil society; the conference poster

audience discussion . Alicia Jimenez . audience discussion
There was a lively discussion with the audience
luncheon . Victoria, Willy, Alicia . audience
A festive dinner in a local restaurant encouraged informal exchanges

Julio Mantilla . Juanita Hernandez . Johana Botero . Kenneth Ochoa . Patricia Vilchis Tella . Cristina Arcos
The presentations touched on many dimensions of local sustainability

Sunday general discussion

general discussion . general discussion . general discussion
Sunday morning was devoted to a general discussion on possible future directions and potentials for collaboration

general discussion . general discussion . general discussion
A set of questions to consider helped to structure the exchanges, which everyone found useful

The International Environment Forum held its Annual General Assembly after the close of the conference.

Everyone went away feeling that they had looked at the Sustainable Development Goals in a new and constructive way.

Return to travel 2016 page - Return to personal home page

Last updated 22 February 2017

Photographs copyright © Arthur Lyon Dahl 2016