European Solidarity Centre in Gdańsk
September 29th 2019

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Conference Idea

Inspired by the remarkable history of the “Solidarity”, we believe that a united effort of millions of regular individuals can sweep away empires and change systems. We believe that it can also save our planet, and the people inhabiting it. Too long have those who benefit the most from environmental degradation caused by irresponsible exploitation of the Earth’s riches been oblivious to the irreparable damage that their ventures cause in distant regions of the world. As a part of the “Solidarity for the 21stCentury” framework, in 2019 we will gather the strength of “Solidarity” veterans, global activists for peaceful change, local governments, and others to call for solidarity with those places where environmental degradation is felt most and who more often than not face insurmountable difficulties in their struggle.

During the Lech Walesa Conference on Climate Solidarity, we will express our support in particular for the struggle of the Sapara people of the Yasuni National Park in Ecuador, who fight for the preservation of their homeland and for a more sustainable global approach to unique ecosystems. A film by Ewa Ewart, “The Curse of Plenty” has brought their story to our attention. On 29 September, together with Lech Wałęsa, Ms. Ewart and a number of respected figures of local and global reach, we will do our best to propel their voice to international attention. The presence of Sapara tribe representatives will make this message even more powerful.

Climate Solidarity also aims to create lasting solutions in everyday lives of local communities. The Lech Walesa Conference on Climate Solidarity will raise awareness of climate preservation at the lowest, and most impactful in this regard, level of government – the local government. Guided by the thought and inspiration of our patron, Lech Wałęsa, the leader of a popular movement that overthrew communism in all of Eastern Europe, who started his remarkable career by organizing strikes in his home city of Gdańsk, we believe that the most effective and impactful solutions can be implemented at the local level.

The local governments are those who know the specifics of their regions the best and are best suited to preserve local environment. Unfortunately, most worldwide action for protection of the environment, while also admirable, tends to take a global view, engage world leaders and debate grand strategies, while not giving enough consideration to local governments.

Special Guests

Antonella Calle – spokesperson for the Yasunidos movement

Manari Ushigua – chieftain and shaman of the Sapara tribe from Yasuni