Educate. Connect. Inspire

Educate. Connect. Inspire

Apr 15, 2014

Nektarina Recap

Written by Anam Gill

Originated in 1968 the idea of sustainable development to be incorporated in a charter by Maurice Strong and Mikhail Gorbachev led to a lot of organisations stepping forward and try to make it a reality. The charter was created by a global consultation process endorsed by various organisations, representing the hope of millions to work towards a sustainable future which focuses on the well- being of human family at large.

It comprised not only of global connectivity which we as a human race have been sharing for a long time rather it also obligated to keep in mind the future of mother earth along in it's struggle for a better world for future generations.

On this road to forming a sustainable global community Nektarina founded in 2009, wanted to carry this message forward. The message was simple which is to create a sustainable global community respecting nature, human rights, economic justice that promotes a culture of peace. The only hindrance now was making it a reality not letting the message get distorted on the way like the Chinese whisper.

Mustering up courage along with other organisations Nektarina wanted to implement the four basic principles of Earth Charter in all it's projects since it’s inception. Enthusiastic to make a difference and ardent to make a positive contribution it developed projects that aimed at engaging people from all over the word, declaring responsibility to one another, the greater community of human existence and to future generations.

Projects like Nektarina Connect through Art, My Planet and Me and Nektarina Visual Essays invited people from all over the globe to participate using non formal, participatory methods like the medium of arts to express themselves focusing on caring for community with love, understanding and compassion. Young people, women and children participated wholeheartedly in all these projects. Using sustainable art that comprise the use of various mediums like photography, painting  etc to engage people, raise awareness, helping them to improve their lives and communities with a better understanding of living in a global community that disseminates the message of protecting the environment .

21st century is a century of peaceful coexistence. We must acknowledge the fact that we live in a pluralistic, diverse world. We stand at a moment in Earth’s history where we must choose our future. The future holds great perils and promises simultaneously as the world becomes increasingly interdependent. To move forward we must keep in mind that as a human family and earth community we must move forward with a common destiny. Bringing forth a sustainable global society that is founded on the values of universal human rights, respect for nature , economic security and justice and a culture of peace we must join together.

Keeping in mind the first principle of the charter that is respecting and caring for the community of life, Nektarina engaged various communities in all it’s projects focusing especially on the Roma rights.  The Roma people have been segregated since a long time and integrating them into the mainstream is a challenge in Europe. The campaigns and projects of Nektarina rejects the isolation of communities based on ethnicity, cast, creed and religion. Moving on with empathy, compassion and love to build just societies has been an essential objective of Nektarina. Projects like Connecting Through Art and Nektarina Web Magazine invites people encouraged everyone to voice their opinion. Connect through Art was a space especially for women from conflict areas to express themselves using art forms. Moreover the Visual Essay competition especially invited young people engaging them to learn more about issues relevant to their communities. To express their thoughts in creative visual styles invitations were sent to around 300 educational institutions from all over the world. Young people were asked to contribute on the issues of human rights, minorities, environment and integration.

Nektarina’s various educational campaigns centre on recycling, reducing carbon footprint and development of sustainable cities keeping in mind the ecological integrity principle of Earth Charter. The campaigns focused on protecting Earth ecological systems preventing harm as the best method to protect the environment.  To advance the study of ecological sustainability promoting open exchange and application of acquired knowledge Nektarina has dedicated a space for the publication of researches, articles, and other publications that stresses on the need to adopt patterns of production, utilization and reproduction that safeguards the ecological system.  All Nektarina’s publications including the web magazine are for everyone under creative commons licensing. The essential aspect behind these various projects and publications is to connect people from across the globe to share ideas, educating and inspiring them to work for a peaceful global community.

To promote social and economic justice strengthening democratic institutions and promoting a culture of peace and non-violence Nektarina came up with an initiative Education for Sustainability. The aim of this initiative is to make sustainability part of the educational institution’s curriculum. To inculcate in children the importance of a sustainable world that safeguards their future. Education plays a vital role in human development. Educating young people which will enable them to gain an understanding, knowledge, values and skills and address environmental and social changes issues. Education for sustainability is a step forward to include sustainable education in the “official” curriculum with the help of education ministries and departments, institutions and councils and boards relevant to the field of education around the world.

Children of today are our future, our hope for a better world. Letting them learn to think ecologically and developing a capacity to apply this understanding effectively to develop better communities is an essential measure in today’s age and time.  A true sustainable community is diverse, dynamic and continuously evolving. Starting off by educating children encourages us to dream and hope for thriving, sustainable human communities. We can learn this from the nature’s ecosystems which are sustainable communities of animals, microorganisms and plants. Education itself centres on environmental or sustainable education where students are taught that they are a part of natural world, now they should also be taught to protect the natural world. 
In Pakistan the local education ministry at provincial level tried to incorporate value education which was related to sustainable education in the public schools. With limited resources they developed curriculum and trained the teachers to pass on the knowledge of how children can take small steps that will make a big difference. Those small steps starts from saving energy my switching of unwanted lights, closing the water taps while brushing, keeping a litter free environment to the importance of recycling to name a few. 

A curriculum especially designed to impart knowledge on waste management, protecting the forests, looking after each other and thinking about a greater community, a global community will equip the children with a better understanding of the world. The project Education for Sustainability is in line with the fundamental principle of Earth Charter that talks about Integration of knowledge, values and skills needed for sustainable living into formal education. The importance of educating children to understand and act on the issues of sustainable world was seconded at Earth Summit. Keeping in mind that today’s students will be tomorrow’s leaders and decision makers helping them engage in debates , letting them acquire a better understanding of the world and global community will be a positive step for the future.  

We live in a unique time in history where the technological advancements are prodigious. These advancements added both to the progress and recession of world communities. Keeping in mind this juxtaposition we need to work towards an impact that only contributes positively. Living in a globalized world where the distances are becoming less with each passing year, globalization is bringing people and cultures together. We have transcended the geographical and national boundaries in communication.  This definitely proves the point that we are at stage where the problems associated with the Earth are no longer affecting one region or group of people rather we all are affected equally by the problems that affects the marginalised groups more. This is an important time in history where we have to take each other with us on our struggle to build a better world.

The Earth Charter is based on intercultural dialogue fostering the need for unified responsibility. Nektarina has been acting on this principle of integration. Nektarina comprises  of a multicultural team from all over the world including Pakistan, Croatia, France, India, Fiji, Trinidad & Tobago, Spain and people working in Nektarina have travelled extensively getting to know various cultures, equipping themselves with a better understanding of the world communities. Nektarina in upholding the Earth Charter principle of mutual respect and understanding by giving equal opportunity to everyone involved in it’s mission.

The principles and values in the Earth Charter reflect the influence of a rich diversity. The vision of shared values in the Earth Charter is especially focused on environment.  However, the inclusion of ethical vision reflecting the realization that political, socio-economic and cultural challenges are interrelated. Nektarina is trying it’s best to take everything together keeping in mind all the principles. Nektarina recognizes the interconnections between human rights and protection of ecosystems promoting a culture of justice and peace. This holistic understanding is reflected through Nektarina’s various projects and campaigns that do constitute sustainable development in it’s core.

At the heart of the Earth Charter is a tenet of respect for life on the recognition that all beings are inter-reliant and all life forms have value irrespective of their worth to individuals. Beginning with an attitude of respect for others and finding expression in caring, preventing harm and promoting well-being these tenets inculcate a sense of ethical responsibility. Earth Charter encourages everyone to identify with the global community as well as their local communities and to be compassionate towards the entire human family.

The ethics of Earth Charter and Nektarina are grounded in a shared vision of widely shared responsibility for the planet Earth and it’s inhabitants. Nektarina does believe that human existence is about being more not having more. The shared values between Nektarina and Earth Charter do focus special attention on the environment.  The vision is inclusive realizing that all global challenges facing the world today are interrelated. Nektarina asserts that the spirit of human solidarity lies in the kinship with all life, mutual understanding and gratitude. Keeping in mind the Earth Charter principles Nektarina believes in the vision of a peaceful and just world celebrating life joyfully.

Oct 29, 2013

Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival Report

By Renata Pumarol

The festival
I had the pleasure to attend the Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival (DREFF), which took place in Santo Domingo from September 4th to September 8th of this past year.
Sponsored and produced by the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development/ Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo. DREFF aims to raise awareness and deepen the understanding of environmental issues among Dominican audiences. At the same time, the Festival celebrates the beauty and diversity of the Dominican Republic’s natural heritage and offers insights into attitudes and actions that will contribute to its appreciation, conservation and sustainable use.

The program
The film festival opened on september 4th with the movie Mother caring for 7 billion which focused on the effects of the earth’s fast growing population and its effect on consumption and the environment. The film was very controversial, as it tapped into religion, economics, family planning and gender inequality.
After the film was screened, a conversation was followed with the writer and director of the film Christophe Fauchere.
On september 5th I attended, Reserva de la Biosfera: Jaragua, Bahoruco y Enriquillo, which was almost exclusively attended by students from a public school in Santo Domingo. The short film was designed to make students appreciate the beauty of their country, to value it and to protect it.
Funglode describes these three Biosphere Reserve:

  • Jaragua National Park: a marvelous concentration of beauty and biodiversity, this documentary presents the special geomorphology of this park including aboriginal caves, beaches of the southeastern coast, especially Bahía de las Águilas, as well as Oviedo Laguna and the varied flora grouped into 12 different endemic flora and fauna.
  • Sierra de Bahoruco National Park: a natural symbol of the Dominican homeland, this film shows the extraordinary variety of ecosystems and environments which, much like a surrealist painting, are combined in this peculiar sierra – the Hoyo de Pelempito, Loma del Toro, Zapotén and the characteristic elevated regional endemism that refreshingly unfold in this documentary.
  • Lake Enriquillo National Park and Cabritos Island: a unique spectacle of highly salinized and below sea level waters, inland islands, the American crocodile population and rich birdlife are on display in Lake Enriquillo and Cabritos Island, an unsurpassed Dominican landscape.
                     Also at this screening,a marvelous short film was showcased, called ¿Basura o Recurso? Experiencia de la República Dominicana. A short documentary film about Dominican Republic’s growing garbage problem, which is starting to impact some of its poorest neighborhoods. The film highlights how a cultural change is starting to happen, communities and individuals have started to see garbage as a resource, rather than disposable goods. Through various business and educational projects, the viewer watches besides the obvious benefit to the environment, recycling allows economic development through the creation of new businesses and industries.
On Friday september 6th, I had the pleasure to attend a great workshop on Nature Photography with two of the most recognized Dominican photographers, Eladio Fernández and José Alejandro Álvarez:

  • Eladio Fernández is a conservation photographer, a naturalist and an editorial producer of photography and illustrated children’s books. Eladio holds one of the most extensive image banks on the landscapes, flora and fauna ofthe Greater Antilles. His photographs have been published in the “Wildlife As Canon Sees It “ad campaign for National Geographic, and in Condor, Nature Conservancy and Living Bird, among others. His images are represented by NHPA stock agency.He currently produces books for a series of local and international corporate sponsors. Among his titles in print are: “Hispaniola: A Photograhic Journey Through Island Biodiversity” (Grupo SID / Harvard University Press, 2007), “Orchids of the Dominican Republic and Haiti” (AMCHAM 2007), “Jamaica: A Photographic Journey Through The Land of Wood and Water” (IMCA 2008), “Cuba, un encuentro con su naturaleza” (IMCA 2010) y “Reserva Científica Ebano Verde, un encuentro con la naturaleza” (APAP 2010). Eladio is co-author, together with Steve Latta and Chris Rimmer (et Al), of the field guide “Birds of the Dominican Republic and Haiti” (Princeton University Press, 2006).
  • José Alejandro Álvarez is an award-winning underwater photographer from the Dominican Republic, who has worked worldwide in some of the most beautiful and exiting ocean spots. Lately he has also become involved in the conservation of the marine ecosystems of his home country, using his images to raise awareness about conservation issues. Starting with scuba diving he developed his passion for underwater photography. He took photos in spectacular and extraordinary places as Isla del Coco, Malpeo, Fiji, Bali, Wkatobi, Caicos, Cozumel to name only a few. Álvarez is a founder member of the Fundación Espeleobuceo Hispaniola and member of the directors board of Reef Check Dominican Republic. In addition, he is co-author of the book Cuevas Sumergidas de la República Dominicana and author of the book Mar Azul.Both photographers gave a thorough presentation of their photographic work and their experiences while trying to take pictures of nature. The workshop was followed by the screening of the beautiful film The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom, by the two-time Academy Award nominated Lucy Walker. This inspiring documentary shares the journey of survivors in the areas hardest hit by Japan’s recent tsunami. They find the courage to revive and rebuild as cherry blossom season begins – a symbol of hope and new beginnings in Japanese culture.
    The movie was followed by a presentation and conversation with the director Lucy Walker, about her experience in Japan and why she was inspired to do this movie.
    On Saturday september 9th, was the closing event of the festival, and the annual Globo Verde Award. In this event, awards were given to organizers and filmmakers trying to raise awareness and have an impact on global warming and the environment. There was contest that called for young filmmakers to submit a short educational spot calling about the environment.

    Overall it’s a great film festival that makes an effort to be educational and is not afraid to be controversial. It is a good gathering of Dominicans that care about their future and their environment.

Sep 19, 2013

Kevin Buckland

In our June issue of Nektarina (S)pace magazine we featured an article by Kevin Buckland, an artist, artivist organizer and the "Arts Ambassador" for the grassroots global network He has worked with the International Youth Climate Network to promote creative communication and beauty in the call for climate justice across the globe. Harkening on the call to "make this movement as beautiful as the planet we are fighting to save,” he employs comedy, tragedy, farce, satire and a great deal of cardboard in his attempts to end empire and globalize justice.

If you missed the article, you can read it right here:


Nektarina (S)pace September Issue is out! Enjoy reading!

Aug 16, 2013

Nektarina (S)pace August issue is out, enjoy!

Jun 16, 2013

Call for participants: Creative Democracy

(shared post)

From 5th to 11th of August, around 1000 persons from 15 countries will gather in Halle (Saale), Germany, to make a statement for creative democracy – artists, dancer, musicians, activists, scholars, kids, youth, and adults from Germany, Belgium, Austria, Spain, Italy, France, Hungary, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Brazil, South Africa, Tunisia, Senegal and Zimbabwe. The festival celebrates Hip Hop culture and Street Art but invites any form popular art and culture. It is an open space of shared action and thought, that seeks to engage, empower and create in unison, with all those who feel the urgency to act now and here to transform the world. 

What's going to happen:

* open participatory cultural and political actions
* graffiti & street art: wall paintings, expositions & battles
* rap, slam & poetry: battles, jam sessions, open mics, recording of a world hip hop compilation
* break- & streetdance: open performances, circles & battles
* open forums & film screenings on the current cultural, political, economic and ecological crisis
* an alter-market for fair, ecological and self-produced products
chillin', barbecue, sun and good music!

Democracy, on the global level, is in crisis. The existing forms and spaces of political participation are not failing to tackle the local and global challenges of tomorrow: wars, poverty, inequalities, climate change, access to work, food and energy. We have the choice: either we resign ourselves to the continuation of the status quo, or we step up to reinvent the world. To sum up our current model of civilization with a quote by the economists Ignacy Sachs, Carlos Lopes and Ladislau Dowbor: “We are destroying the planet for the benefit of a third of the world population” (2010). If we want to overcome the deadlock of waste, resource depletion, inequality, overconcentration of wealth and destruction of our ecosystems, we need to recreate the way we live together on this planet. Grassroots-driven alternatives already abound. Now it's time to raise awareness for them and size them up

Hip Hop, and street art are open spaces wherein which all human beings can take part, regardless of their physical, economic, or cultural attributes. Breakdance, graffiti, rap and deejaying are four elements of hip hop culture. With the Breathe in-Break out! Festival (=BIBO), we put into practice the fundamental values of hip hop culture: mutual respect, non-violence, community and access. We enact hip hop and street art in spaces that are accessible to everyone: practice, open-mics, jam sessions, circles, and battles. We do not depend on expensive technical equipment or special locations. We live hip hop on the street, in the park and in public space. The more people participate, the better. For us, hip hop and street art are spaces of political, social, and cultural participation.

A central element of the BIBO is the active engagement of kids, youth and residents of Halle, behind the background of socio-economic evolutions that hit hard on the local communities since the fall of communism: urban exodus, high unemployment, racism, xenophobia, socio-geographic segregations of districts, and rising inequalities regarding the access to education, health care and jobs.

You are an artist, dancer, musicians, activist or scholar? You feel sympathy to our goals and want to get involved on an artistic and/or content level? Come as a participant to the BIBO 2013! For participants traveling from the above mentioned countries, we offer free accomodation and food. We refund up to 70% of your travel. Arrival: 4th of August at the latest. Departure: 12th of August the earliest. There are still free places! Contact

It would be awesome if you could spread that call amongs artists, activists and scholars who might be interested in coming.

More infos: and Facebook