Association of American Geographers AAG - My Community, My Earth
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My Community, Our Earth Engagement with Rio+20

The My Community, Our Earth: Geographic Learning for Sustainable Development (MyCOE) program celebrated its 10th year anniversary at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, showcasing a decade of youth-led projects  on sustainable development from around the world. MyCOE activities organized during the conference included:

MyCOE Display at the UN Major Group on Youth and Children Exhibit Hall
The interactive MyCOE display shared 144 youth-led sustainable development projects from countries including: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, El Salvador, Ghana, India, Italy, Mexico, Moldova, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Russia, Spain, Tanzania, Togo, the United States and Venezuela.

Project themes featured in the display included food security, climate change, water, sustainable cities, community empowerment, youth leadership and hunger and poverty alleviation. The display included the winning projects from MyCOE's Rio+20 Competition. More about this competition can be seen by clicking here.

The display format included lightweight, low-footprint and highly-mobile technologies to share with more attendees across larger spaces with less equipment. Staff used battery-powered hand-held mini projects and iPads connected to the MyCOE website and project galleries. The display area also included a space to connect to past, current and future MyCOE participants who were able to attend Rio+20.


Featured Presentation at the Youth Innovators of Tomorrow Event
The Youth Innovators of Tomorrow Event was organized by the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the UN Major Group on Scientific and Technical Communities. Over 1,000 people attended the event from June 11-15, with another 1,000 watching the live webcast and many more interacting via social media. 

MyCOE's featured presentation took place on June 15 as part of an interactive "open space" discussion. Representatives from various groups spoke about innovative solutions that youth around the world are creating to to solve sustainable development issues. To view the presentation, please click here.

Side Session on Geography and Spatial Technologies Empowering Sustainable Communities
The side session on Geography and Spatial Technologies Empowering Sustainable Communiies was held on June 19, 2012 in the U.S. Center. Organized by the US Department of State, US Department of Agriculture, Association of American Geographers, Esi and NASA, the side event showcased the MyCOE sustainability partnership, USDA's programs and produts creating communities around food security and sustainable agriculture, NASA's and USGS' earth observation satellites and the 40th anniversary of Landsat and major private sector cloud-based contributions and resources such as Change Matters, for tracking changes on the earth using Landsat images made freely available by Esri.

The session was streamed live over the internet and a recording of the session is available here.

Outreach and Engagement with International Government Agencies, Non-profits and Other Partnerships 
MyCOE engaged with and distributed information to individuals and venues in the various country and regional pavilions during Rio+20. This included the spaces and centers of Brazil, the European Union, the Mountain Pavilion, Japan, United Arab Emirates and the United States. Information about MyCOE was also shared through the Eye on Earth events and the UAE Pavilion. MyCOE representatives also attended approximately 51 sessions, dialogues and events.

Substantial information was exchanged at the ICIMOD (International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development) exhibit in the Mountain Pavilion, given the new collaboration in the MyCOE / SERVIR Global Partnership, for which ICIMOD serves as a partner hub.

In addition, in celebration of the many youth-led projects submitted in celebration of Rio+20, 130 postcards were mailed to students and classrooms around the world, as a memento of their participation in this historic occasion.

Participation in the Win a Date with History Competition 
AAG Staff, Astrid Ng, was selected as a Youth Juror for the "Date with History" contest, judged by prominent figures like Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Timothy Wirth, Linkin Park and Leonardo DiCaprio. The contest was an opportunity for young people from aroudn the globe to inspire leaders and decision-makers to act boldly and urgently on key issues impacting the planet. This effort encouraged global youth ages 13 to 30 to upload video speeches telling the world about the "Future We Want". An inspiring young visionary on world change was selected by peer voting online as well as a diverse jury of prominent celebrities, environmental activists and thought leaders. The winner, Brittany Trilford, was invited to attend the Rio Earth Summit to address the leaders assembled. To view her speech, please click here

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