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Gaia Mater (the mother Earth) is an international network of humanist ecology, whose main object is solidarity, sharing of means, and protection of environmental equilibrium.
The activities of Gaia Mater have as first objective general interest and public benefit, by promoting voluntary service and voluntary work, and by developing social link everywhere. This NGO is an active intermediary of application of the objectives of the Belgrade Charter (United Nations Organization 1975) and of the Earth Charter (UNESCO 2000) on education and protection of environmental equilibrium.
Gaia Mater was admitted in 2006 in the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations Organization (UNO) under permanent consultative status (special list) from the recommendation of the UN Committee on NGO. Represented by Marc Carl, Gaia Mater chaired the Committee on Development of the Conference of NGOs (Geneva) in UN status from February, 2008 till February, 2009.
French representation was constituted in 1979, then reconstructed in 1998, by associations and militants already active since about twenty years in ecology, solidarity, and social economy. This representation, which benefits in France from a governmental agreement of national association of environmental protection, was at the origin of the swarming of the most part of the other representations, of which it formed many members, notably in the permanent west-African representations. The common NGO was born in 1998 during the reorganization of the French structure. This NGO was dissolved 31 December 2008 with the aim of reconstruction in foundation.
The functioning of this NGO is particular. A simple and light common central structure allows to all members a better use of the collective means, and preserves these means in general interest. One can find there the freely coordinated and independent spirit of functioning of LETS. It provides a function of linking, coordination of means, representation, information, and impulsion. It has principally an arbitration and relational role, without appropriation of the common means, directly allocated to the representations for their members holders of project. Such an organization with a very reduced administrative team and few expenses of structure, allows that almost all means are affected to the ground operations. The community of its first members constituted, in these conditions, the international organization Gaia Mater, which is the center of a network working by egalitarian cooperation of its representative members, which accomplish together activities of public interest, such as:
- north / south collaboration: action against desertification, afforestation,
- provisioning of equipment and means for the underprivileged groups,
- environmental recycling of waste, reconstitution of soil, alertness antipollution,
- development of solar and aeolian installations, production of drinking water,
- actions against misery and exclusion, with training and job creation in social economy,
- operations of town planning and architecture ameliorating social links
- sharing of knowledge, training, research works, publications, etc.
Budget and members
The cross-checking of figures declared with the UNO (Committee of NGO) and with the French Ministry of Ecology for 2005 reveals for Gaia Mater an annual international budget of functioning of 841.350 USD, including 813.353 $ appointed to the ground operations, the French central structure spending only 5.500 €, and the main part of means coming from donations and from European subventions. For all the representations linked to the common central network, France, Belgium, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Mali, the number of permanent members was 4.993 at the end of 2004, normally in total voluntary status. Cameroon asked for its membership in 2005. Other groups, notably in Poland, in Italy, and in Bolivia are independent of the common network