The elective group Gymi for Change at the Liechtenstein Gymnasium organized a Sea of Lights on March 8, 2022, at the Lindahof in Schaan, to create general awareness for our climate.
A tree made of candles was set up in the middle of the event to show the vital role trees play in our ecosystem. Students had prepared a varied program with their teacher Peter Mennel, with inspirations given by Chief Seattle, a poetry slam by Leonie Prater, a video contribution by Greta Thunberg and wonderful musical accompaniment by Nina Navarro.
Tobias Gassner, the spokesperson of Klimastreik Liechtenstein, was on-site and called for political engagement and to stand up for one's own opinion.
Finally, Marsha Lampert from Integrity.Earth shared some of her thoughts on the topic. She talked about how we face the challenge of holistically giving back more than we take, and that this requires more than just sustainable thinking. And what does that even mean? If we only transform capital (e.g. natural capital into infrastructure) and call it sustainable without thinking about resources or quality, we will soon find ourselves without a livelihood. If sustainable thinking is linked to profitability, then our natural resources will not be taken into account, respectively they will continue to be exploited. Ecology must be placed above the social, and the social above the economic. This is with reference to the SDG goals (Sustainable Development Goals) of the UN, which were signed by all member states, also Liechtenstein, already 7 years ago.
Marsha spoke about the need to think regeneratively, in whole systems and incorporate sustainability, with responsible planning and targeted consumption. This certainly requires perseverance, patience and commitment. We won't be able to do it alone, we need cooperatives by shaping the shift in thinking together. Many together can achieve more, but this also means that we have to work on solutions together. This takes time, which is important to reach a good result. It also takes courage to make decisions, assesses their consequences and looks for possible points of contact. The most important thing is certainly the subsequent observation of the impact that our decisions have on the entire ecosystem.
With our projects Energy Vision, Regenerative Consulting, Integral Way of Living, Regenerate Mesoamerica and the Food Cooperation we want to shape this rethinking. Our way is a holistic one, we think systemically, our actions are cooperative and transparent. This is also reflected in our way of working, our constantly growing team and the expansion of our partnerships. We act decentralized, everyone has an opinion and should express it, decisions are made together, tasks can be taken over individually.
As an insight from this evening we take with us: "Be the change, you want to see in the world". This sentence of Mahatma Gandhi stands for setting a good example. Small steady steps, staying in ongoing dialogue, acting collaboratively and thinking holistically and systemically. In the words of Wangarai Maathai, who has advocated for the Green Belt Movement in Kenya, "We depend on a functioning ecosystem because environmental degradation leads to fewer resources and a deterioration in the quality of life for all of us. The biggest challenge is to organize and coordinate activities with each other and inspire others to do the same."
Concrete measures that students and other individuals in Liechtenstein can implement to protect and promote tree diversity include, for example, planting local trees with the support of the Hortus association or the Landesforstbetrieb Unterau in Schaan. The Biohof in Ruggell is also committed to preserving fruit trees and offers trees in pots for Christmas. You can also get involved in the recycling of wooden furniture and any products that otherwise often end up in the incinerator.
The Day of the Forest on March 21 gives us the opportunity to once again draw attention to the need for a change. Maybe with our efforts and actions, we can delay the Overshoot Day, which this year is already on May 13th for Switzerland and Liechtenstein.