Thursday, May 24, 2007

International Ontopsychology Association, A Success Story

The History of Creation and Development of Ecobiological Projects

The International Ontopsychology Association (A.I.O. – NGO in Special Consultative Status with the ECOSOC of UN), in order to implement educational projects, chose unattended areas in developing countries or difficult regions and build educational centres. During this activity, its President, Prof. Antonio Meneghetti created a new model of environmental education, able to conjugate urbanization interventions with human development. This proposal founded and made true by A.I.O. is called: ECOBIOLOGY. This educational and environmental project has been applied to and developed in various countries, with different economic, social and ecological realities.
We would like to describe the success of two of them: Lizari (Latvia) and Recanto Maestro (Brazil).
According to the 7th UN Millennium Development Goal, Ensure environmental sustainability, integrating the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources, AIO had in mind to create a model of intervention able to bring the possibility of mutual help between the human being and nature. It is a new environmental education in the ecobiological meaning. and became a successful contribution to the sustainable development, appreciated and recognized by local governments as a new humanism of the environment.
Ecobiology means: eco: home, environment; bio (life), logy (study): knowledge of the organic life. It means to know how to live our life with quality in osmosis with the naturistic ecosystem. This kind of environmental education allows the human being a better relation of health and a qualified humanism of reciprocal respect among people and cultures. It studies strategies for a sustainable future, as the participation of the citizens, the behaviour and the involvement of the local communities, the empowerment of equality, of the many and different visions among rich countries and developing countries, the role of youth and companies, all together in the construction of better conditions of life for the human being.

Situation before the initiatives began
The places chosen are abandoned areas, neglected sites often risking to become a deposit of trash, or with strong depopulation of the rural areas occurred – for example – after the independence or after a war. They are countries from the third world, in areas with serious problems of communication, poverty and other social issues that usually discourage an intervention.

Establishment of priorities
1) Contact with local people (it is not an external intervention, but basically the development of the resources of the locals themselves, so that they "learn their place" through a self-sustainable perspective).
2) Beginning of the construction with public funds and then involving private investors (Lizari, Latvia) or beginning with self-financing and then involving public funds (Recanto Maestro, Brazil). This help to Develop a global partnership for development, in which public and private sector cooperate together, as stated in 8th UN Millennium Development Goal.
3) Environmental education. Ecobiology. It is possible always and everywhere. The main difficult is mental behaviour. It means that ecobiology could be more than a possible solution for the usual problems of nature devastation when there are urbanization works, more than just the maintenance of nature just as it is, but rather a concrete and functional symbiosis among the human being and the environment. Ecobiology teaches the human being how to connect the alive macrocosm with our daily microcosm in order to reach the following objectives: to save biological and natural resources not easily renewable and to live a bio-organic style causing minimum environmental impact, facilitating also with clean creativity and productivity the osmosis of the naturistic habitat.

Formulation of objectives and strategies
The objective is to get together the formula: urbanization intervention, environmental knowledge and human development, in order to put in practice a new model of environmental education, able to be placed also in the architectural and building fields, with social benefits and achievements.

Mobilization of human resources
Ecobiology is born as a good environmental practice whose goals are the development of an equal, democratic and participative society, respectful of this planet and to promote peace among people, human beings and other life species. And these projects embodied this vision, because they are build by a unique example of a variety of people coming from all over the word, from rich and poor countries with different cultures, different social and economic status, that together moved and sustained everything. There is a synchronicity of all the different aims (investment, knowledge and curiosity of different cultures, study, friendship, etc) of the people interested in the project, and each one of them brought his/her own contribution. These projects became a kind of "international piece of land".

The whole process is also a phase of discovery and survey of every single form, structure and element. As many people takes part in the practical work, the local people has the chance to know all the materials used, the chemical and physical vitality with new one. For local people the building phase is a sort of education that then they will carry on autonomously and they will transmit to other local people. They also learn simple functional solutions to make possible that an urbanization project follows some precise directives, being able not only to preserve nature, but absolutely to save it sometimes (how to mangle waste stuff, preserve water etc). The ecobiology education proposes to construct without destroying the environment, to use building, organic energy and bio-architecture to achieve the important effect of social growth and well-being in the surrounding communities.

Promotion of social and humanistic development
Besides the building activity, the main aim of the ecobiological intervention is to develop a place to become an educational or cultural centre, a school or a university or a faculty. These places are used as workshop, services for the whole community, indoor and outdoor spaces for cultural events that range from conferences with universities to political and social meetings, to economic activities, art exhibitions etc. All the local people are encouraged to start or to complete their primary study, according to the 2nd UN Millennium Development Goal, Achieve universal primary education. Plenty of them, not only girls and boys but also adults, start attending high school or get a university degree. All local people learn different languages due to the international community that sustain the project.

The History of Creation and Development of Ecobiological Project
A Centre of Education, Art, Unique Architecture,
Rural Tourisms and Valuable Recreation

Presented by:
Nina Linde (Adviser of the Minister of Education and Science of Latvia and designate AIO representative to UN)
Supported by:
Pamela Bernabei General Secretary of A.I.O. and designate AIO representative to UN)

2002 (Historical background, Choice of the area)
Latvia at the beginning of accession to the European Union. Complicated stage of renewal of state independence has had a negative impact on the economic situation of Latvia, namely the shutdown of manufacturing enterprises, undeveloped infrastructure, the elimination of working places and a bad condition of rural economy.
Lizari 2002Rural area on the periphery of Latvian districts finds itself in the very pitiable condition and only farseeing and penetrating look to the unique possibilities and hidden resources of Latvian plains could perceive perspectives of forgotten countryside.
The International Ontopsychology Association (A.I.O. – NGO in Special Consultative Status with the ECOSOC of UN), in order to implement an ecobiological project, chose an unattended area in the region near by Jelgava, in the Vircava district, 60 km from the capital of Latvia – Riga. This area has been named LIZARI.

2003 (First steps in the LIZARI Project)
Initially it was an abandoned place surrounded by some ruins of a cattle-shed and many years standing oaks located on the plain close by the bank of a little lake.
A former agricultural area was transformed into a construction base. The process of transfiguration of the area has started with the building of a house on the foundations of the remained ruins of the cattle-shed wherewith giving a new life to a derelict land.

2004 (European Structural Funds, Enlargement of the Complex)
Latvia starts making its first steps in acquiring financial means of the European Structural Funds. A.I.O. has worked out and successfully performed one of the first initiatives supported by the European Structural Funds in a country with economic transition aiming into transformation and development of rural tourism, differentiation of its service and quality and increase of employment of rural population; thus contributing to the 1st UN
Millennium Development Goal (Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger). The Project of European Structural Funds “Creation of a Touring Base LIZARI” was implemented from November 1, 2004 to October 31, 2005 in a total value of 860.771 LVL where 155.193 LVL formed European and state co-financing. Than A.I.O. created the connection with private investor who were interested in rural tourism, which is very appreciated in Europe. But Latvian people did not know it. It was a winner idea. The international investors contribute with 700.000 LVL in the project. They will have a share, but everything is organized and direct by the local people, who were trained and educated.
Lizari 2005 - HOTEL
Lizari 2005 - RestaurantAs a result of a concrete initiative on the plain area is standing a unique complex consisting of:
- hotel with 38 rooms with all conveniences
- restaurant – pizzeria in total area of 173 m2 where guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner
These two activities keep the interest of investor in continuing their investment.
Lizari 2005 - The well- a complete new Internet and telephone line has been build, reaching for the first time this region and now all the little communities around benefit from the use of this kind of communication. This also significantly works towards the 8th UN Millennium Development Goal’s last sub-aim “In cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies— especially information and communications technologies”
- two wells have solved the problem of potable water, because little rivers are polluted by the agricultural chemical product (we are still working on it with local authorities)
Lizari 2007 - Multifuncional hall- modern utilities, local hitting, public service

2005 - 2006 (Multifunctional halls)
Along with implementation of the European initiative, A.I.O. has build a multifunctional hall, consisting of a hall for 60 people and a hall for 100 people where a business school established its headquarters.
The Business School FOIL has launched its work implementing education programmes for Latvian young people, business people, chief managers, business consultants etc. Successful implementation of the European initiative together with international private investors has an effect not only on the development of a region but also become a valuable model of skilful realisation... for Latvian business people.

The Business School FOIL is implementing an accredited by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia education programme “FOIL Management”, which up to now takes persistent place in the market of training, education and business consulting .

The complex has been supplemented by one more exclusive artistic work, a Glass Pyramid, which serves as a lecturing hall for teaching high substances of life.
It represents the embodiment of geometry of eternal life: “The Pyramid has a metaphysic meaning. It helps human to meet a spiritual experience becoming afterwards his inner part of the mind.”
2006 (Territorial improvement, Institutional Partnerships)
The improvement of the territory of the complex LIZARI is proceeding.
Several administrative buildings for personnel, information and business office, houses and flats for local and foreign residents are under construction.

2007 (Ecobiology, Education, Art and Architecture)
The ecobiological centre LIZARI is constantly in the process of renewal and development.
Today this unique complex has become an international ecobiological centre of education, art and unique architecture that offers to Latvian and foreign customers high quality tourist and education services.

Innovative Initiative in fostering youth’s leadership skills

On the territory of LIZARI the International Ontopsychology Association, in cooperation with the Baltic Ontopsychology Association, is starting its work, launching a new initiative supported by the European Social Fund “Development of Individual Abilities of Youth with Law Key Competences and Facilitation of Their Initiative in Business Launching”. By providing young people with advice, practical means and opportunities for starting a business, this Initiative encourages youth employment, thus actively contributing to the 8th UN Millennium Development Goal's 5th sub-aim “In cooperation with the developing countries, develop decent and productive work for youth”.

Impact of the innovative practices created by the LIZARI Project

As a result of creation and development of the complex LIZARI attracting means of private investors, European and state budget co-finances are evident the following achievements:

1) Development of economic activity in the rural area. Possibilities of employment out of the traditional rural economy are enlarged, the level of unemployment is decreased and the new working places have been created 38 permanent working places and 67 temporary – during seminars and training organization.

2) Increase of incomings of local population from alternative incoming source. Incomings collecting not only people who are working in LIZARI, but also other entrepreneurs, farmers, partners supplying customers with different kind of services (transportation, communication etc.).

3) Improvement of Vircava district’s environment preserving its historical landscape. Creating a touring base for recreation and education was reconstructed a former granary and new buildings were built strictly following architectonic demands, respecting and preserving landscape and history of the area.

4) Facilitation of a general economic development of the region. As a result of the work of a new complex in the region have been created not only new working places but the amount of foreign tourists and local visitors has been also increased. Thereby the region constantly enriches with income taxes, land taxes and property taxes. Coincidently the amount of registered enterprises that are paying taxes and co-operating with LIZARI has been raised and their economical activity in the region has been doubtlessly expanded.

5) Development of tourism and relevant fields in the Zemgale’s region and Latvia in general. Rural tourism and education gained one more attractive and unique establishment for tourists. The complex equipped with the infrastructure is able to attend up to 100 people at the same time. Thus providing exclusivity of the offered service based on the personal access.

This and the previous achievements are strictly in accordance with the 7th UN Millennium Development Goal's first sub-aim “Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources”.

6) Provision of youth with practical trainings in terms of real life situation, facilitation of their responsibility, motivation and work experience.
Young unemployed in the age of 19-24 is a special target group in a country in transition like Latvia. The number of unemployed in the age of 19-24 is one of the important indicators determining development level of the European Union regions.
According to statistics of the State Employment Agency in Latvia were registered 22.400 unemployed in the age of 19-24 (namely 12.8% of the total number of unemployed). The largest density of young unemployed is in regions situated near by the capital. Active young population either moves for living and work to Riga or migrates to countries with higher welfare level (for ex. Ireland). A small rank of youngsters living in regions becomes alcohol addicted, asocialized and isolated.

Entry of entrepreneurs of the European Union level in Latvian regions gives a chance for unemployed youth. Thus the complex LIZARI attracted local young population into its construction, up-keeping and service. It decreased the unemployment level among the youth of Jelgava district, thus eliminating depression and poverty and implementing a sustainable development.

In order to approximate quality of professional preparedness and competitiveness of youngsters to the level of the European Union and the world level, LIZARI became a meeting centre for active youth from various countries – Russia, Lithuania, Estonia, Italy, Germany, England etc. Youngsters are fruitfully practicing the new experience gained through education in their countries each.

International Centre of Humanist Art and Culture

Presented by:
Soraia Schutel, Secretary of Recanto Maestro International Centre and designate A.I.O. representative to UN

Supported by:
Pamela Bernabei General Secretary of A.I.O. and designate A.I.O. representative to UN


The economical, social, political and educational development of humanity is actually the more discussed theme in the international meetings as the social Forum, Economic Forum and many of others forums that bring the world to discuss the solution to the “human being” problem and its infinite applications.
Today, there are places all over the world which are carried ahead by free entrepreneurial activity, without public resources, and which co-operate with the human development in its integral sense. In Brazil, one of those places is called Recanto Maestro, the third district of the city São João do Polêsine in the state of Rio Grande do Sul.
Recanto Maestro 2007
Recanto Maestro 1987
Recanto Maestro
from “The Hell” to a Centre of international reference

Recanto Maestro was born from the President of the International Ontopsychology Association, Prof. Antonio Meneghetti’s scientific, managerial and artistic free activity. He recognized the potential of this place and developed in 20 years a marvellous centre of art and humanistic culture, now recognized and loved by important brazilian institutions and citizens of the world. He was able to see what no one could see, this place grows up year after year, and it is now totally different from what it was before.

Left away by local people, who used to name it “The Hell” because of its unproductivity and disasters – mountains moving from its places because of the rains – and since it was far away from everything and everybody, slowly, this place became the promoter of excellent chardonnay, forestry in every single part to stop the constant erosion. From this simple ecobiological idea, the former improductivity area has now become a centre of international reference.

Partnerships and local employment

Developed from national entrepreneurial activities together with free professionals’ one, without public resources and always respecting local institutional rules, Recanto Maestro grows at a high velocity. Based on the tandem “hard work – intelligence”, people engaged in the project found no limits nor obstacles in participating in the construction of this international centre of art and humanist culture. This is particularly relevant for the 8th UN Millennium Development Goal (Develop a global partnership for development), and especially for its last sub-aim “In cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies— especially information and communications technologies”.

Strictly in accordance with the 1st UN Millennium Development Goal (Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger), the companies and associations created in Recanto Maestro favour the employment of local people, thus co-operating with the eradication of poverty from the area and the local economic development, and offering the possibility of improving the population’s life quality and the buying power, which serves the aim of developing local commerce and creating new businesses. This noticeably works towards the 7th UN Millennium Development Goal (Ensure environmental sustainability)’s last sub-aim “Achieve significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers, by 2020”. There are hotels, restaurants, schools, offices, and a big Congress Center. Many companies and association have their headquorters in Recanto Maestro. Hundreds of local persons works in Recanto Maestro.

Recanto Maestro and Young People

For this reason, the companies here installed promote a qualified fostering of their collaborators through courses or through school, university or specialization studies, thus working towards the 2nd UN Millennium Development Goal (Achieve universal primary education).
One of the fundamental factors of this place is the solution to the exodus of teenagers from rural areas to urban towns. This is particularly relevant, since in this region, owing to lack of motivation and of possibility of growing, many teenagers are moving towards big cities.

Recanto Maestro’s Urbanization

Recanto Maestro is also involved in the urbanization of the area. Public streets are constructed and kept in good condition without using means from the district. As a consequence, Recanto Maestro’s main street is the most used by the people of the region. The District thus verified that Recanto Maestro consistently supports the improvement of public resources to the benefit of the whole community. This remarkably contributes to the 7th UN Millennium Development Goal (Ensure environmental sustainability)’s first sub-aim “Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources”.
The concept of “ecobiology” is at the basis of the Recanto Maestro Project. This means that all the interventions on construction, urbanization etc. are carried out with particular care for the relationship between human being and natural environment.

Recanto Maestro and Women
Innovative Initiatives contributing to the 3rd UN Millennium Development Goal (Promote gender equality and empower women)
Any Rothman (Brazil)
CEO of Capo Zorial
Another subject which is very discussed nowadays is the role of women in society. Congresses, manifestations, exigencies… Even if women already occupy a place in the labour market in almost all the world, they still protest for equality of rights, payment, hierarchy in the market etc.

The area surrounding Recanto Maestro, called “Vale Veneto” (which indicates the Italian origin of its inhabitants), is particularly rich in beautiful girls. However, these young women are generally doomed to fail in their life, since they only rely on their beauty without cultivating their intelligence.
In Recanto Maestro, femininity is not seen as fragility, but rather as a way of practical intelligence, sensitivity and capacity to bring ahead an opera of a great social utility. And the local women have understood the lesson of Recanto, in fact the roles of responsibility and leadership of the companies and associations of the district are occupied substantially by women (85%), which – instead of wasting time in discussing their rights and duties – simply work and do more.
International Congress Centre "Capo Zorial"
Some of the roles performed by women in Recanto Maestro:
- executive
- manager
- secretary
- clerk
- chef

Here are some events on the subject of “woman” and her femininity, which were realized in Recanto Maestro. These events gathered together hundreds of women of decisional power and action in national and international society.

1) June, 01, 1996: Residence “Psychology of Femininity”
2) October, 26 to 31, 1996: Residence “Women”
3) November, 12 to 16, 1997: Residence “From a superficial life to femininity grace of intuition and leadership”
4) April, 08, 2000: Conference on “Femininity – between eroticism and leadership”
5) April, 27, 2004: Residence for Women

Soraia Schutel (Brazil)
Secretary of Recanto MaestroMaybe the problem of women in the labour market does not reside in the market in itself, nor in man: it depends on how a woman places herself, what she wants to exalt in the market: her capacity and intelligence, or instead her femininity? Both of them are beautiful things, but very distinct and with a right place to be played in. Maybe woman’s problem is this: what does she want…?

Recanto Maestro testifies that woman intelligence, applied to great projects, can improve and develop all the surrounding environment (people, places, society).

Impact of the innovative practices created by the Recanto Maestro Project

Today, thanks to the combination of potential, master intelligence and available operative hands, Recanto Maestro is a district of 100 hectares within the community of São João do Polêsine – RS and has gained the respect of the local society and the government of the State. Moreover, it is a privileged place, which is admired by leaders from all over the world.

Headquerters of one of the international companies located in Recanto MaestroThrough a single intelligence applied, Recanto Maestro shows the solution to local human problems, giving an example to public institutions and society bystander, which only need to recognize, respect and support the importance of the activity and entrepreneurial facts of those people who bring progress to any place to which they move.

Recanto Maestro is the result of a managerial intelligence that does not wait for public resources, but walk together and cooperate with its development, becoming an example to others of how to eradicate the more discussed problems all over the world: poverty, education, social development, work etc. Local institutions have learned Recanto Maestro lesson and now they compete to find a way to cooperate with this district. In this way, the strengthened collaboration between private and public institution is the guaranty of a faster local and socialgrowth.

“Wealth does not come from the prosperity of a land or of a sea, but from the encounter of evolution and technique. Whichever the region, its wealth is determined by the work and collaboration of intelligent human beings, coherent in their rationality and volition.”

No comments: