Minister of State Müntefering on the opening of the Humboldt Season in Colombia and Ecuador by Federal President Steinmeier

14.02.2019 - Press release

During her visit to Colombia and Ecuador, Minister of State Michelle Müntefering issued the following statement today (14 February) on the opening of the Humboldt Season by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier:

Humboldt saw the whole world as interconnected. ‘Everything is interaction,’ he wrote. He regarded nature as ‘a republic of freedom’. He did not only focus on the smaller elements of nature, on blossoms, plants and stones, but also had the big picture in mind, for example when he investigated the impact of the climate on humankinduntersuchte!

This is very topical today, in an era of globalisation and worldwide digital connectivity. 2019 is the year to rediscover Humboldt.

Background information

Michelle Müntefering, Minister of State for International Cultural Policy at the Federal Foreign Office, is accompanying Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Elke Büdenbender on their visit to the Republic of Colombia and the Republic of Ecuador from 11 to 16 February 2019.

The visit to Colombia and Ecuador marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Alexander von Humboldt and his travels in Latin America 220 years ago.

Humboldt’s legacy to science, ecology and civilisation creates close links between Germany and the two countries. Their shared cultural traditions and values provide a good basis for tackling challenges such as climate change and biodiversity conservation together.

The season of events, Humboldt y las Américas, will explore how Alexander von Humboldt can serve as a role model to us in addressing these issues. It was opened in Ecuador as one of the most important parts of Humboldt’s travels in Latin America by its patron Federal President Steinmeier. The Humboldt Season is an initiative by the Federal Foreign Office. It is being coordinated by the Goethe-Institut and carried out in close cooperation with local partners from civil society, intermediary organisations in cultural relations and education policy and research institutes.

Minister of State Müntefering will also meet local Humboldt Season project partners in Quito. The aim of the projects is to promote mutual intercultural understanding and tolerance, sustainability, innovation and a forward-looking approach as well as transdisciplinary links and knowledge transfer in the spirit of Humboldt and to strengthen exchange between Germany and Latin America.

The target countries of the numerous transnational and transdisciplinary projects are the countries where Humboldt travelled (Venezuela, Cuba, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Mexico) and other countries in Central and South America.


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