Planet Earth Lisbon Event 2009 (PELE2009)On 20 22 November 2009 a worldwide event was held to highlight the main results of the IYPE and to launch new initiatives building on the IYPE legacy. Invited by the Government of Portugal, the Planet Earth Lisbon Event 2009 (PEL2009) was organized by IYPE, the Portuguese National Committee for IYPE and Bombazine, a professional event organizing company.
PEL2009 brought together scientists, politicians and industrial leaders to celebrate the closing of the International Year of Planet Earth triennium (2007-2009), to evaluate the results of the IYPE and to look ahead. This forward look dominated the event and was reflected in the PEL2009 subtitle: Planet Earth, Present for the future!
A new initiative, The Planet Earth Institute, built on the legacy of the International Year of Planet Earth and with a much longer and wider reach, involving a worldwide network of National Committees and International Partners, was presented and discussed with the Board, the National Committees and the International Partners.
In the Opening Ceremony, held in Teatro Camões at the Parque das Nações in Lisbon, messages and statements were given by the President of the Republic of Portugal, the President of the UNESCO Commission and National Committee of Portugal, the President of the IUGS, the Assistant Director General of UNESCO, the Executive Director of the IYPE Secretariat, the President of the European Commission, the former President of the Republic of Portugal, the Portuguese Minister of the Environment, the Cape Verde Minister of Education, the Minister of Research & Higher Education of Norway, the Tanzanian Minister of Education and Vocational Training and by the Executive Secretary of the CPLP countries.
The conceptual themes of PEL2009 were introduced by IYPE Goodwill Ambassador Aubrey Manning. These themes highlighted the issues of Renewable Energy, Sustainable Land and Water Management, and Ocean. Theme moderators began their 1.5 hours session by a message from one of the Young Earth Scientists who shared their personal views on the issue with the audience. For all themes representatives of politics, sciences and industry presented their views. A popular version of their presentations will be published in one of the IYPE magazines in 2010.
Moreover, separate conferences were held for the National Committees, the International Partners, the Youth and Africa. All conferences enjoyed significant attendance and reports are in the process of completion.
PEL2009 was attended by 650 participants, including 350 international delegates. Free tickets and accommodation were provided to one representative and two students of all 80 IYPE National Committees. In total the Organizing Committee provided free flight tickets and hotel rooms for 201 delegates. The exhibits were accessible for two days to the general public and attracted 4500 visitors.
One of the PEL2009 highlights was the Geo-Song performed by some 200 students from 80 nations. Seventeen of the National IYPE Committees, including Angola, Austria, Canada, Brazil, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Tanzania, UK and USA, were recognized and awarded for their outstanding achievement in implementing IYPE’s aims and ambitions. Moreover, IUGS and UNESCO were awarded as the IYPE initiators, Ruud Lubbers and Ricardo Salgado as IYPE Patrons, BESA as Bank of the Planet 2009, speakers and moderators, and five companies for their contribution to sustainable development issues. The Kamu Suna Ballet Company gave a special ‘Love the Earth’ performance for the PEL2009 participants.
During the event an exhibition was open in the ‘Knowledge Pavilion’ where the Organizing Committee invited twenty-five organizations to share with all visitors their activities, educational projects and other events, accompanied by the sound of Portuguese traditional music. The whole PEL2009 event was promoted through a variety of opportune outreach activities and materials, including a special book where the activities of IYPE International partners and National Committees were summarized.
The event was well covered by the Portuguese and the international media.
Main sponsors of the PEL2009 were: BES, EDP, REN and BESA. The Kamu Suna Ballet Company performance was financed by the Government of the Netherlands.