Event in India - Convergence on a Finite Planet - photos from the day

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Project partner SCAD was joined by colleagues of the CONVERGE project in India last week for an international conference on Convergence on a Finite planet.  From the Schumacher Institute's perspective, traveling to India to discuss the question of rights and responsibilities with a developing-world congregation put us irreparably in contact with the inconvenient reality in the west of both our privileged existence and the huge resource required to service it.

A person in the UK has an ecological footprint on average 5.4 times that of a person living in India. With a world average biocapacity of 1.8 global hectares per person, India uses half of its 'fair share' and the UK uses around 3 times its fair share...

Around 150 people - from predominantly India, but also Belgium, Italy, Japan, France and the UK came together at the SCAD Francis Xavier Engineering College to address themes of Convergence - global equity within planetary limits. Presentations initially focused on bringing environment and human development closer together - we heard learnings from the Gandhian tradition, and the Mayor of Tirunelveli presented the sustainable development plans and achievements of the city. The event continued to explore sustainable development with a focus on future generations, and then appropriate technology development for Convergence. The event progressed with a workshop to elucidate from the group their views on which themes ought to be included in the new Sustainable Development Goals and concluded with the creation of the Tirunelveli Declaration - requesting that certain aims be considered for the future SDGs. This document will be available from the Converge website soon.

The event was a great success and much enjoyed by the participants who called for greater opportunity for people from these many walks of life to sit and discuss together - we hope to continue our exploration of the concept of Convergence with this group on our return in April and further through the Converge Alliance and Observatory. As a positive legacy from the event, we were able to raise funds to plant 250 trees in SCAD through the women's groups tree planting scheme.