Creating Protected Nature Areas May Help Prevent Conflicts!
Most of us feel comfortable and at peace in nature. This is why the International La Salle Institute for Sustainability of the Environment (ILISE/Victorin), headquartered in Chicago, USA, wants to use nature’s power to improve peace in the world. ILISE/Victorin believes that we can promote human justice and human rights through sustainable development education and projects.
Dr. Martin Montoya, FSC, Executive Director of International La Salle Institute for Sustainability of the Environment (ILISE/Victorin) created the “Green Loop” concept with the purpose of promoting hope for peace among young people through activities in natural areas as a neutral place, and henceforth expand coexistence across the local community involved.
For this reason, Dr. Montoya conducted an investigation with several researchers from Lasallian universities to analyze various conflicts around the world, and to study the positive impact of introducing Green Loops across the globe. Using the research findings, Dr. Montoya designed the Green Loops plan.
This plan is a guide for actions that can help preserve and maintain natural areas and avoid radicalization. The aim is to improve the lives of young high-risk people that could be shattered by the current and future conflicts in a globalized world. For these reasons, according to this Green Loop plan, all institutions that have a nature area or are close to one, have an important community function. These institutions can become the best allies to improve tolerance and peace between local young people and their environment.
The “Green Loop” plan can be classified as an excellent and simple strategy to introduce social and environmental education in academic environments. The “Green Loop” plan entails five steps to be adopted:
- By determining the natural area
- Identifying on the people involved and possible conflicts
- Consolidating the Education for Sustainable Development
- Establishing eco-friendly environmental activities
- Using communication, and being transparent.
Currently there are three Lasallian educational centers implementing this Green Loop plan. These centers are located in high conflict areas around the world:
- Bahay Pag-asa Youth Center in The Philippines
- St. Paul Secondary School in Kenya,
- Socio-educational center of Fratelli-Rmeileh in Lebanon.
The coordinators of these educational centers strongly believe in the philosophy of the Green Loops plan to help them save nature and bring about armistice among settlers in places where local conflicts currently exist. In addition, Green Loop projects have the invaluable support of De La Salle Solidarietà Internazionale ONLUS in Rome, Italy, who is sponsoring this initiative to find grants support.
A Green Loop being established in an unsettled area can help contribute to a peaceful coexistence. Expanding the Green Loop plan in these natural areas around the world, can be beneficial in bringing people together with the same hope for peace, as well as to help set aside differences and avoid conflicts. If your educational center would like to implement the “Green Loop” plan, please feel free to reach out to De La Salle Solidarietà ONLUS: www.lasallefoundation.org, firstname.lastname@example.org