Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation: Manila, 31 August 2005
The honorable Chief Justice Hilario Davide, trustees of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, distinguished guests, fellow awardees, ladies and gentlemen, good evening.
“Humanity & Nature,” a workshop on traditional and alternative perspectives about humanity’s relationship with the environment was held on August 4th at the ASEAN People’s Forum (ACSC/APF) in Dili, Timor Leste.
Topics discussed included Sombath’s work and philosophy, holistic education, gross national happiness, traditional wisdom, and agro-ecology. A video from an earlier workshop on these issues was also shared.
Government-appointed CSO representatives from the Lao PDR also briefly attended, apparently to monitor who was participating. Others stood for a picture of solidarity just after the event.
Dear Uncle Sombath,
I have not written to you in a long time, since you disappeared. That hit me inside, in my heart. It made me wonder what I should do about my work, because you were always my role model, ever since I was a PADETC volunteer while in secondary school.
The first time I saw you was when you explained your work to a group of youth volunteers from Vientiane. At that time, Pui Duangkhae was the team leader mobilising volunteers who were interested in learning about the environment in Phu Khao Khwai. We met at the bamboo garden, and you and Uncle Outhin briefed us before we went to the park. Your words at that time greatly impressed me. You said we needed the forest, but the forest did not need us. Those words made me think that we must preserve and care for the forest, and it was the beginning of my journey as an environmental volunteer. We started by removing garbage from the steams in the Phu Khao Khwai Protected area in 1996. (more…)
This presentation was part of the Sombath Symposium on “Humanity and Nature: Traditional, Cultural and Alternative Perspectives”, the objective of which was to present and discuss knowledge and practice drawn from different cultures and traditions that can serve as an alternative foundation to the predominant growth-driven development model.