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What can I do with the Earth Charter ?


It requires a new sense of global interdependence and universal responsibility. ... is a training kit, information, tools and tips to help in our daily choices. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: What can I do with the Earth Charter ?

What can I do with the Earth Charter ?
Respect and Care for the Community of
Life Ecological Integrity Social and
Economic Justice Democracy, Nonviolence, and
This tool is for anyone asking themselves
This is not the only answer, but it will help
guide you to your answer.
Produced by the International Secretariat, with
the extraordinary help of our network May 2003
Earth Charter International Secretariat PO Box
319-6100 San José Costa Rica Phone 506 205
1600 Fax 506 249 3500 info_at_earthcharter.org www
What can I do with the Earth Charter?
The Road Map
To implement the Earth Charter, you can go
through these 3 questions
  • More Information
  • Follow the links through the document
  • or see the Appendix on
  • The Earth Charter Text and its structure
  • General information on the Earth Charter
    Initiative (Origin, History, Structural
  • Examples of Earth Charter workshops
  • Tips to launch a project

If youre using the electronic version, you can
click on the icons below to
Click on the numbers or the specific groups and
individuals to reach that theme.
What is the vision of the Earth Charter?
There are enormous thought provoking words
in this document and what we should do is
instead of just reading through, reflect on what
those words mean so that we can be moved to
action". Prof.Wangari Maathai, Kenya
What is the Earth Charter ?
The Earth Charter is a declaration of fundamental
ethical principles for building a just,
sustainable, and peaceful global society. It
seeks to inspire in all peoples a new sense of
global interdependence and shared responsibility
for the well-being of the human family and the
larger living world. The Earth Charter is a
product of a decade long, worldwide,
cross-cultural conversation about common goals
and shared values. Through its preamble, 16
principles and 61 supporting principles divided
in 4 parts, and conclusion, the whole text of the
Earth Charter is understood as a path to
peace. (More about the Earth Charters Origin and
Structure in the Appendix)
Earth Charter and UN, Maurice Strong May
98 Let me be very clear, this is a People's
Earth Charter. It will have its power, it will
have its influence because it comes from people.
() That is even more important than putting it
on the UN Agenda. () It will become a symbol of
the aspirations and the commitments of people
Their Vision of the Earth Charter
  • Mikhail Gorbachev, President of Green Cross
    International, Co-Chair, Earth Charter
    Commission"In its essence the Earth Charter
    shifts the focus to people on the Earth, their
    responsibilities, their morals and spirituality,
    their way of consumption. To save humankind and
    all future generations, we must save the Earth.
    By saving the Earth, humankind saves himself it
    is that easy to understand!
  • Mirian Vilela, Executive Director of the Earth
    Charter International SecretariatThe Earth
    Charter Initiative is like the two sides of a
    coin, one is the theory and philosophy that gives
    the direction of where to go, and the other side
    is the practice. The Earth Charter calls for
    action with an integrated vision and can be used
    as an effective instrument for change.
  • One of our National Representative when consulted
    about the Earth Charter
  • The interconnectedness of every aspect of the
    Charter is critical.
  • If you want to know more, see
  • www.earthcharter.org/aboutus Presentations,
    Press Kit, Background Information, Frequently
    Asked Question,
  • www.earthcharter.org/resources Publications,
    Case Studies, Related Websites, Interviews,

What can I do in my everyday life with the Earth
Never doubt that a small group of
thoughtful, committed citizens can change the
world indeed, its the only thing that ever
has. Margaret Mead
Implement the Earth Charter values in your
everyday life
  • A logical process is to reflect upon the
    principles and vision of the Earth Charter,
  • What is the meaning of it and how that relates to
    your decisions in your everyday life or in your
  • It should be a constant exercise of action
    reflection action, with a gradual understanding
    and raising awareness of the notions of
    interdependence and responsibility.
  • Nice, but how?
  • The roots of the answer are included in the Earth
  • Preamble The Challenges We must realize that
    when basic needs have been met, human development
    is primarily about being more, not having more.
  • The Way Forward (Adopt and Promote those
    values) requires a change of mind and heart. It
    requires a new sense of global interdependence
    and universal responsibility. We must
    imaginatively develop and apply the vision of a
    sustainable way of life locally, nationally,
    regionally, and globally.() different cultures
    will find their own distinctive ways to realize
    the vision.
  • Explore ways this vision can help re-shape your
    value system,
  • ways to be more consistent between what you
    believe is good and your own lifestyle.

Dr Charlie Clements, Nobel Price for the Land
Mine Ban Treaty After too many chirurgical
interventions on civilians due to Land Mines, Dr
Clements decided with friends and contacts to
fight for our whole life, we thought, Land
Mines use and production. About 5 years later,
the Treaty was signed and simple citizens
received a Nobel Price for Peace, none of us
being president of any state.
if you think its not possible Read the story
of Charlie Clements on this page. if you need
more knowledge on the subject See the links next
page to UNESCOs and YouthXchange Projects if
you need some practical steps to help you
starting or to not reinvent the wheel See next
What can I do in my everyday life with the Earth
The Earth Charter, a guideline to action
oriented ideas
UNESCO uses the Earth Charter in Teaching
and Learning for a Sustainable Future (TLSF -
module Understanding Sustainable
Development) TLSF is a great link to learn more
on the challenges ahead. It helps students
better understand the world in which they live,
addressing the complexity and interconnectedness
of problems such as poverty, wasteful
consumption, environmental degradation,
population, health, conflict and human rights
that threaten our future. www.unesco.org/educatio
  • So many ideas and ways to act. One way to
    organize these examples and initiatives is to use
    the Earth Charter (!), sorting out the ideas with
    the 4 main parts of the Charter, indicating the
    principles they relate to
  • Respect and Care for the Community of Life
  • Learn from elders wisdom and kids creativity,
    respect the nature around you and become aware of
    its diversity.
  • Make sure your organization promote a good
    participatory process. (principles 1a, 3, and
  • Ecological Integrity
  • Reduce, Reuse and Recycle have your car
    checked, bike or use public transportation, use
    renewable energy in your home and office, watch
    your paper consumption,
  • Watch the origin of the products you buy avoid
    primary forest wood, where and how has your food
    been grown.
  • Think about quality of life versus quantity of
    belongings buy something if you need it.
    (principles 5, 7b, 7f, 8b)
  • Social and Economic Justice
  • Give some of your resources, time, money or
    knowledge, to underprivileged people or
  • Again watch the origin of the product you buy
    does the company and country of origin respect
    human rights and progressive labour standards?
    (inquire about it) (Principles 9b,c, 10a,c)
  • Democracy, Non-violence, and Peace
  • Be informed about your community or country
    reality and reflect on the relation between that
    and the Earth Charter.
  • Promote multi-cultural and inter-generation
    exchanges in your life, within your group and in
    its activities.
  • Join a local association in your field of
    interest. (Principles 13a, 13b, 16a)

Internalise the vision ! Designing your own
charter unites people around its value. In
Spain, a version for kids and youngsters was
written and translated in many languages. The
1800 employees of San José Municipality in Costa
Rica also have their version.
www.youthxchange.net a great link for youth (and
others) UNEP and UNESCO interviewed 10 000 youth
to explain how lifestyle choices in affluent
countries and the situation in developing regions
are closely interrelated. Over 2 billion people
need to consume more just to survive. Sustainable
Consumption (SC) is about how to consume
differently and efficiently. The output is a
training kit, information, tools and tips to help
in our daily choices.
How can I help the Earth Charter Initiative?
Help the Earth Charter Initiative in 2
steps This page will focus on Spreading the
word Next page on Engaging others
Promote and disseminate the Earth Charter and its
  • We receive many testimonies of how inspirational
    the Earth Charter is, you can use it as
  • a call to action and guide to a sustainable way
    of life that can inspire commitment, cooperation,
    and change.
  • an invitation to individuals, institutions, and
    communities for internal reflection on
    fundamental attitudes.
  • There are many creative ways to communicate
  • Provide copies of the Earth Charter text on
    brochures, downloading it, or using the Press Kit
    available on our web site. I gave an Earth
    Charter poster to my personal doctor, and he put
    one in his waiting room.
  • Use opportunities to spread the word Use your
    own experience and get ideas from successful
    activities. In Boulder, during the Earth Charter
    Community Summits, they pointed out local
    governments, schools and local businesses as main
    targets. The text besides expresses the fact we
    can all find our own way !
  • Special events are good occasions A new or an
    existing conference or event where the organizers
    could include the Earth Charter. Example In
    Vermont, the Ark of Hope was created as a refuge
    for the Earth Charter handwritten on papyrus. It
    received handcrafted books expressing individual
    and collaborative affirmations for Earth.
  • Use arts to communicate, poems, songs, drawings
    and paintings have been created from all over the
    world. In Brazil an Earth Charter monument has
    been erected. (see our art page)
  • Organize workshops. Use your own experience to
    help convey a powerful message.

The Earth Charter in my Daily Life   Beatriz
Coningham, Brazil It may seem naive but one very
simple way to support the Earth Charter is
simply to talk about it to the people that are
closer. I dont mean to convert anyone,
attitude with which I disagree, but simply to
inform them. () I am sure people in different
professions in different places will choose
different things to do.
Look in the Appendix for Examples of Earth
Charter Workshops and information on the
Initiative. Join others Be aware of actions
taken around you by local associations or
national representative. See on our web site
under Country Activities and Bulletins
The Links Press Kit www.earthcharter.org/aboutus/
press_kit.pdf Bulletins Reports
www.earthcharter.org/resources Join our mailing
list www.earthcharter.org National activities
www.earthcharter.org/country Ark of Hope
www.ark-of-hope.org Earth Charter Art Page
How can I help the Earth Charter Initiative?
Create activities to help others implement the
Earth Charter values
  • Tips and information
  • you can use to create
  • your activities
  • In Appendix, you will find
  • More information on the Earth Charter Initiative
  • The text its structure
  • Origin, History and Structural Information on the
  • Tips to launch a project and design a strategy
  • And remember
  • The Earth Charter International Secretariatcan
  • The Earth Charter web site provides a lot of
    useful information.
  • Where can you direct your efforts?
  • Incorporate the Earth Charter into your
    organizations mission statement, codes of
    conduct, programs, etc.
  • Use the Earth Charter as a framework or guide for
    local, national or regional planning.
  • Amplify the widespread political support
    expressed for the Earth Charter
  • How can you use the Earth Charter to help others
    towards sustainability?
  • To inspire and motivate in the first step of
    communication with the organization / people you
  • To educate others and help them understand the
    concept of Sustainable Development (see Unescos
  • To create constructive dialogue promoting
    reflection among all actors and sectors about
    ethics and sustainability.
  • To implement accountability measures, including
    the Earth Charter as a basis for developing laws
    and measurable indicators, and for improving
    governance and assessing progress towards
  • Where can you find some support?
  • Contact active groups with the Earth Charter in
    your country or region, and/or the International
  • Use the political support expressed during
    Johannesburgs WSSD and preparation process by
    governments, local governments associations,
    educational institutions and many others.
  • Find out and study the existing lobbying
    strategies and local activities used by other
    activists worldwide.

"I tend to get cynical about the state of the
world, so I need events like this to remind me
to have hope,and that individual actions are
important to create change". US Participant in
an Earth Charter Community Summit
Specific groups The next pages provide
information about specific groups, and the
actions that are or can be taken to help them
implement the Earth Charter values Educators Loc
al communities Youth Business
Transformative education is needed education
that helps bring about the fundamental changes
demanded by the challenges of sustainability. Syn
thesis- Earth Charter Education Advisory
Committee On-line Forum
The Earth Charter bridges the gap between
subjects There is much that remains to do in
bringing the concept of sustainability to the
education. The Earth Charter helps as an
instrument to bring the vision of
sustainability. Particularly the need to shift
our fragmented approach to education to a more
integral understanding that one field is
interrelated to the other. Educational
objectives when using the Earth
Charter Consciousness raising Deepening
awareness and understanding Example Several
childrens versions of the Earth Charter have
been developed and are made available to
educators from the earliest years of school
curriculum. Local and foreign language teachers
can use part or the whole charter as material to
work or discuss from. Application of principles
Looking at the values and their implementation
in formal or informal setting Example
Principles 5 and 7 referring to Ecological
Integrity can be used in the study of the notion
of Ecological Footprint in Science classes.
Call for action Gathering people and
organizations around its values Example With
800 different language groups, Papua New Guinea
represents the most diverse and unique cultural
heritage. Its 870 tribes used the Earth Charter
to create their Mama Graun Tribal Charter. In
the hands of a dedicated educator, the Earth
Charter is its own best resource.
  • Why does the Earth Charter provide a unique
  • for education ?
  • Because the Earth Charter
  • Was produced as theresult of a decade long,
    multicultural global dialogue.
  • Helps explain the interconnectedness of our
    planet and conveys a sense of universal
  • Articulates the principles for promoting a
    sustainable future
  • Provides the necessary pedagogical tool for a
    culture of peace

The Links www.earthcharter.org/education/stimulus
_material.doc Earth Charter Stimulus Material
for Creative Arts, English and other languages,
Mathematics, Science, and Technology. www.ecrefle
ction4action.org The Earth Charter A study
book of Reflection for Action developed in
chapter 12 a study guide for use in classroom
and small groups.
Teaching further the values of Earth Charter
Earth Charter Pathway to a sustainable
future? MSU Course This course focus on the
Earth Charter document as a vehicle for personal,
institutional, community, national and global
transformation. Students have the opportunity to
engage with a variety of speakers as they address
the fundamental principles of the Earth
Charter. One session out of two will be
structured as dialogue circles for shared
reflection on putting the Earth Charter into
action. www.ecofoot.msu.edu/new/earthcharterflyer
1- Use the Earth Charter in programs and
activities to explain what is Sustainable
Development Using the preamble to teach our
common critical challenges, our sense of
interdependence, and the need to live with an
ethic of universal responsibility. The rationale
is that once interdependence and responsibility
is accepted, people will be more likely to adopt
the 16 principles as a guide for action. A.
Brenes, Earth Charter Education Adviser. 2-
Teach about the Earth Charter itself and the need
for an emerging global ethics for the
common good From the history of the Earth
Charter, its integration in major international
text, through its main themes, or following its
principles, the Earth Charter is an educational
tool to promote a sustainable way of life.
Teaching about the Earth Charter can be achieved
in many ways Michigan States University (USA)
developed a full course (see on the right). 3-
Incorporate the Earth Charter in a Curriculum In
the Ubuntu Declaration, 11 of the world's
foremost global educational organizations and
scientific academies states that there is a need
to integrate a sustainable development focus into
the curriculum at every level of education,
starting in primary school. See Earth Charter
Curriculum Stimulus Material (link on the
precedent page) different areas of study with
each section including a main theme, background
on the topic, activities and outcomes.
The Earth Charter Education Advisory
Committee It has been set up to offer resources,
to manage new educational activities, new
questions from educators that want to use the
Earth Charter. www.earthcharter.org/education/com
Get support the Education Database It will
bring together the dispersed body of educators
and educational materials that have been
developed all over the world using the Earth
Charter as a guiding framework. This information
is classified by category, language, and country
and made available via our web-site so that can
be accessed by the world, with a description
field and accompanying documentation if
available. www.earthcharter.org/education/databa
Local Communities
The Earth Charter in your Local Community in 2
steps This page will focus on Seeking
Engagement Next page on Implementing the values
Seek the engagement of your Community
  • Using the Earth Charter as a guide in moving
    towards a sustainable community can help define
  • and values, and can lead to commonly shared
    vision and outcomes, even between diverse
  • 1- Define your strategy
  • The purpose may be to integrate the Earth Charter
    as part of the common vision or aspiration for
    the community.
  • One first step is to have all people of your own
    group understands the vision of the Earth
  • You can find tips on this page and in the
    Appendix Tips to launch a project.
  • 2- Use existing support and find inspiration in
    the actions of others (See the links below)
  • In Johannesburg, a major international
    association of Local Governments affirmed their
    support to the Earth CharterTo develop a new
    and deeper culture of sustainability in our
    cities and localities,() we ask all local
    governments to discuss endorsement of the Earth
    Charter. Use this support when promoting the
    Earth Charter.
  • Spains 8.104 municipalities received the Earth
    Charter from DEYNA Foundation. Only three months
    later, 142 had already endorsed the Earth
  • Starting in the USA, but becoming international,
    the Earth Charter Community Summits are helping a
    lot to create a momentum in local communities.
    After this years summit, the mayor of
    Minneapolis proclaimed September 28th to be
    Earth Charter Day, and in Boulder the Centre
    for Sustainable Business Education was created to
    help businesses with the transition to
  • How to best approach
  • a local community ?
  • Of course, things are different from one country
    to the other, and even within the same regions,
    but here are 2 tips that could apply to you
  • 1- Use your contacts and your existing
  • 2- To reach everyone faster, here are key
  • Schools mobilize the kids, the parents will
  • Local Businesses they have a big impact on the
  • Associations they bring together active people.
  • Local Governments, since they are in charge of
    many decisions.

Links www.iclei.org/rioplusten for
Johannesburg Call and Local Government
Declaration, also web site of our partner
ICLEI www.earthchartersummits.org to find out
more of the local outcomes of the Earth Charter
Summits, and get more ideas on peoples local
actions. www.earthcharter.org/communities/communit
ies.htm to find more on the Earth Charters Local
Community program
Local Communities
Getting key actors of your Community
to implement the Charter Getting endorsements
is a big step indeed, but the values need to be
implemented to lead us all towards
sustainability. You can help each of those
organizations and, with their help, the local
population to 1. Understand the vision by
having workshops put together for their members
and others. This is especially essential to
understand the concept of sustainable
development. 2. Use the Earth Charter in their
strategy planning process (see on this page). 3.
Use it to create and rate their activities (see
Implement the Earth Charter in your Community
You can also use the Earth Charter as a values
framework for assessing progress towards
sustainability and for designing professional
codes of conduct and accountability systems.
  • Rating your activities with the Earth Charter
  • To monitor your progress towards sustainability,
    or to identify the main needs
  • 1- List all your activities, with eventually some
    decomposition in major tasks
  • 2- For each task or activity
  • Note the relevant principles or sub-principles of
    the Earth Charter
  • Rate yourself for each principle, fixing
    objectives, identifying gaps
  • Design a strategy towards your goals, keeping in
    mind the interconnectedness of the similar
    efforts you might have to do for different tasks.

Why is the Earth Charter important? Because
people live on the Earth. 4 years old US Citizen
Youth Activism and the Earth Charter
  • Youth is given a special place in the
    international movement towards sustainability, as
    the ones who will live with the consequences, and
    as agents of change. You can use the ideas
    described in other sections of this document, and
  • here are some specific ideas and resources you
    can use and projects you can join
  • IYECC activities Implementing the values is
    becoming a higher priority through
  • Earth Charter Youth Groups Young people getting
    organized to act locally more efficiently.
  • Local Projects are going on in many places, as an
    Earth Charter Youth Forum in Mato Grosso, Brazil,
    Dec 2002
  • Participation in international Youth initiatives,
    as in the Youth Caucus for the World Summit on
    Sustainable Development. It proved being
    efficient since the Earth Charter was part of
    youth declarations during the Summit.
  • Networking (see also links below)
  • Opportunities other age groups have less is
    educational projects students have to write or
    create the Earth Charter is a never ending
    subject and thats a way to do your work while
    promoting those values you endorsed!
  • Schools, universities, and youth associations
    generally understand quickly the importance of
    the Earth Charter. They are important places to
    have its values promoted and implemented.
  • Support
  • Many national programs support youth projects,
    especially the ones linking North and South
    countries around sustainable development and
    peace. Get information locally and use the Earth
    Charter for a deeper content.

IYECC The International Youth Earth Charter
Coalition is made up of a core-group of young
people from different countries committed to the
Earth Charter, and active in bringing it to a
larger number of young people worldwide. Individu
als and groups can join the IYECC with the only
criteria of actively promoting the Earth Charter
locally and internationally. We are aiming at
having a cultural diverse group with a thorough
understanding of the Earth Charter
Process. www.earthcharter.org/youth
Links 2 IYECC Partners www.EarthYouth.net a
network of young people acting for a more
sustainable planet, working together on projects,
and sharing experiences. Some of the most active
international youth organizations are in the
section About us / International
Partners. www.YouthEmploymentSummit.org the
launch of a Decade Campaign of Action, so that an
additional 500 million young adults, especially
youth facing poverty, will have productive and
sustainable livelihoods by the year 2012.
Business has not been part of the main focus of
the Earth Charter Initiative so far. Mainly due
to our other priorities, it explains the lack of
case studies. Here are a few ideas and please
contact us if you want some support in your
Why and how to implement the Earth Charter in
  • For businesses, the Earth Charter can be a values
    framework for assessing progress
  • towards sustainability and for designing
    professional codes of conduct and accountability
  • Endorsed by the World Federation of Engineers,
    and Calvert ethical investment firm,
  • the Earth Charter complements other initiatives
    like ISO 14001 and Agenda 21, by offering
  • the needed ethical framework, the simpler
    guidelines around the large amount of
  • At what level can you use the Earth Charter?
  • You can build the ethical code of conduct of your
    company on the Earth Charter. ManyOne Networks is
    guided by the principles found in the Earth
    Charter We believe that the Earth Charter
    represents the most complete and balanced
    expression of global social priorities yet
    achieved. We believe that every organizations
    first responsibility is to the world as a whole,
    not to its narrower self-interests.
  • You can use it for for your Strategic Planning
    and to assess if your projects answer todays
    challenges. See examples of Joondalup and TRCA
    in the Local Communities section
  • You can promote the use of the Earth Charter to
    educate your employees on sustainable
  • Business companies can make significant
    contribution to society through its activities,
  • its social investment and philanthropy
    programmes, and its engagement in public policy.
  • The way in which a company manages its activities
    and its relationship with other
  • sectors is vital to the contribution it may
    offer to society as a whole.

A few reasons for a business to implement the
Earth Charter 1- For many companies, hiring and
keeping employees is a major cost. People will
stay longer if they feel the ethic of their
company suits theirs. 2- Customers are more and
more demanding on the social responsibility of
companies. The loss in publicity of a bad
campaign is worth a lot of investment to be more
sustainable. 3- Leading companies in the field
are realizing that the return on investment is
very quick lower consumption of resources,
better efficiency of employees, and better
acceptance by the public are some of the reasons.
Links on Sustainable Development for
Businesses www.wbcsd.org World Business Council
on Sustainable Development www.naturalstep.org A
non for profit organization that helps businesses
and governments integrate sustainability. www.sus
tainablebusiness.com Information and networking
in the field
The Earth Charter (1/3)
  • The Earth Charter
  • is made of
  • Preamble
  • 16 Principles divided in 4 parts
  • Conclusion The Way Forward

Preamble We stand at a critical moment in Earth's
history, a time when humanity must choose its
future. As the world becomes increasingly
interdependent and fragile, the future at once
holds great peril and great promise. To move
forward we must recognize that in the midst of a
magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms
we are one human family and one Earth community
with a common destiny. We must join together to
bring forth a sustainable global society founded
on respect for nature, universal human rights,
economic justice, and a culture of peace.
Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the
peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to
one another, to the greater community of life,
and to future generations.
Earth, Our Home Humanity is part of a vast
evolving universe. Earth, our home, is alive with
a unique community of life. The forces of nature
make existence a demanding and uncertain
adventure, but Earth has provided the conditions
essential to life's evolution. The resilience of
the community of life and the well-being of
humanity depend upon preserving a healthy
biosphere with all its ecological systems, a rich
variety of plants and animals, fertile soils,
pure waters, and clean air. The global
environment with its finite resources is a common
concern of all peoples. The protection of Earth's
vitality, diversity, and beauty is a sacred
trust. The Global Situation The dominant patterns
of production and consumption are causing
environmental devastation, the depletion of
resources, and a massive extinction of species.
Communities are being undermined. The benefits
of development are not shared equitably and the
gap between rich and poor is widening. Injustice,
poverty, ignorance, and violent conflict are
widespread and the cause of great suffering. An
unprecedented rise in human population has
overburdened ecological and social systems. The
foundations of global security are threatened.
These trends are perilousbut not inevitable.
The Challenges Ahead The choice is ours form a
global partnership to care for Earth and one
another or risk the destruction of ourselves and
the diversity of life. Fundamental changes are
needed in our values, institutions, and ways of
living. We must realize that when basic needs
have been met, human development is primarily
about being more, not having more. We have the
knowledge and technology to provide for all and
to reduce our impacts on the environment. The
emergence of a global civil society is creating
new opportunities to build a democratic and
humane world. Our environmental, economic,
political, social, and spiritual challenges are
interconnected, and together we can forge
inclusive solutions. Universal Responsibility To
realize these aspirations, we must decide to live
with a sense of universal responsibility,
identifying ourselves with the whole Earth
community as well as our local communities. We
are at once citizens of different nations and of
one world in which the local and global are
linked. Everyone shares responsibility for the
present and future well-being of the human family
and the larger living world. The spirit of human
solidarity and kinship with all life is
strengthened when we live with reverence for the
mystery of being, gratitude for the gift of life,
and humility regarding the human place in nature.
We urgently need a shared vision of basic
values to provide an ethical foundation for the
emerging world community. Therefore, together in
hope we affirm the following interdependent
principles for a sustainable way of life as a
common standard by which the conduct of all
individuals, organizations, businesses,
governments, and transnational institutions is to
be guided and assessed.
Respect and Care for the Community of
Life Social and Economic Justice Eco
logical Integrity Democracy,
Non-violence, and Peace
The Earth Charter (2/3)
The 16 Principles are supported by 61
sub-principles. This is a shorter version of the
Earth Charter. You can find the complete version
in many languages on www.earthcharter.org
COMMUNITY OF LIFE 1. Respect Earth and life in
all its diversity. 2. Care for the community of
life with understanding, compassion, and
love. 3. Build democratic societies that are
just, participatory, sustainable, and
peaceful. 4. Secure Earth's bounty and beauty for
present and future generations.
In order to fulfill these four broad commitments,
it is necessary to II. ECOLOGICAL INTEGRITY
5. Protect and restore the integrity of Earth's
ecological systems, with special concern for
biological diversity and the natural processes
that sustain life. 6. Prevent harm as the best
method of environmental protection and, when
knowledge is limited, apply a precautionary
approach. 7. Adopt patterns of production,
consumption, and reproduction that safeguard
Earth's regenerative capacities, human rights,
and community well-being. 8. Advance the study
of ecological sustainability and promote the open
exchange and wide application of the knowledge
JUSTICE 9. Eradicate poverty as an ethical,
social, and environmental imperative. 10. Ensure
that economic activities and institutions at all
levels promote human development in an equitable
and sustainable manner. 11. Affirm gender
equality and equity as prerequisites to
sustainable development and ensure universal
access to education, health care, and economic
opportunity. 12. Uphold the right of all,
without discrimination, to a natural and social
environment supportive of human dignity, bodily
health, and spiritual well- being, with special
attention to the rights of indigenous peoples and
PEACE 13. Strengthen democratic institutions at
all levels, and provide transparency and
accountability in governance, inclusive
participation in decision making, and access to
justice. 14. Integrate into formal education and
life-long learning the knowledge, values, and
skills needed for a sustainable way of
life. 15. Treat all living beings with respect
and consideration. 16. Promote a culture of
tolerance, non-violence, and peace.
The Earth Charter (3/3)
The Earth Charter is a declaration of fundamental
principles for building a just, sustainable, and
peaceful global society in the 21st century. It
seeks to inspire in all peoples a new sense of
global interdependence and shared responsibility.
The Way Forward
As never before in history, common destiny
beckons us to seek a new beginning. Such renewal
is the promise of these Earth Charter principles.
To fulfill this promise, we must commit ourselves
to adopt and promote the values and objectives of
the Charter.   This requires a change of mind
and heart. It requires a new sense of global
interdependence and universal responsibility. We
must imaginatively develop and apply the vision
of a sustainable way of life locally, nationally,
regionally, and globally. Our cultural diversity
is a precious heritage and different cultures
will find their own distinctive ways to realize
the vision. We must deepen and expand the global
dialogue that generated the Earth Charter, for we
have much to learn from the ongoing collaborative
search for truth and wisdom.   Life often
involves tensions between important values. This
can mean difficult choices. However, we must
find ways to harmonize diversity with unity, the
exercise of freedom with the common good,
short-term objectives with long-term goals.
Every individual, family, organization, and
community has a vital role to play. The arts,
sciences, religions, educational institutions,
media, businesses, nongovernmental organizations,
and governments are all called to offer creative
leadership. The partnership of government, civil
society, and business is essential for effective
governance.   In order to build a sustainable
global community, the nations of the world must
renew their commitment to the United Nations,
fulfill their obligations under existing
international agreements, and support the
implementation of Earth Charter principles with
an international legally binding instrument on
environment and development.   Let ours be a
time remembered for the awakening of a new
reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve
sustainability, the quickening of the struggle
for justice and peace, and the joyful celebration
of life.
Respect and Care for the Community of
Life Ecological Integrity Social and Economic
Justice Democracy, Non-violence, and Peace
The Earth Charter Structure
"The Earth Charter embodies our shared destiny.
By adopting the principles of the Charter, we,
the community of Earth in all its diversity,
reinforce our commitment to protect our common
home". Princess Basma Bint Talal of Jordan
Find your way through the layered structure of
the Earth Charter
A preamble briefly describing the major
challenges and choices facing humanity. 16
Principles divided in 4 parts. The 1st principle
is the foundation of the next 3 and of all the
other principles in the Charter. The 2nd, 3rd,
and 4th principles in Part I (Respect and care
for the community of life) deal with the three
major spheres of human relationship and ethical
responsibility relations between human beings
and the greater community of life, relations
among human beings in society, and the relations
between present and future generations. 12 main
principles in Parts II, III, and IV spelling out
more fully the meaning of the first four
principles. The titles of these three
parts--"Ecological Integrity," "Social and
Economic Justice," and "Democracy, Non-violence,
and Peace"--indicate the inclusive nature of the
Earth Charter vision. 61 supporting principles
dealing with critical issues are clarifying the
meaning of the 16 main principles. The
conclusion, entitled "The Way Forward, is a call
for commitment and action. The whole Charter is
understood as a path to peace, defined in the
last principle as "the wholeness created by right
relationships with oneself, other persons, other
cultures, other life, Earth, and the larger whole
of which all are a part."
"The Earth Charter vision reflects the conviction
that caring for people and caring for Earth are
two interdependent dimensions of one task. We
cannot care for people in a world with collapsing
ecosystems, and we cannot care for Earth in a
world with widespread poverty, injustice,
economic inequity, and violent conflict". Prof.
Steven C. Rockefeller, Chair, Earth Charter
Steering Committee
The Earth Charter Initiative General
Information (1/2)
The Earth Charter includes the outcomes of 7 UN
summits Children New-York, 1990 Earth
Summit Rio, 1992 Human Rights Vienna,
1993 Population and Development Cairo,
1994 Social Development Copenhagen,
1994 Women Beijing, 1995 Habitat Istanbul, 1996
  • Origin and history of the Earth Charter
  • In 1987 the United Nations World Commission on
    Environment and Development (Brundtland
    Commission) issued a call for creation of a new
    charter that would set forth fundamental
    principles for sustainable development. The
    drafting of an Earth Charter was part of the
    unfinished business of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit.
    In 1994 Maurice Strong, the Secretary General of
    the Earth Summit and Chairman of the Earth
    Council, and Mikhail Gorbachev, President of
    Green Cross International, launched a new Earth
    Charter initiative with support from the Dutch
    government. An Earth Charter Commission was
    formed in 1997 to oversee the project and the
    wide international consultation process.
  • An Earth Charter Secretariat was established at
    the Earth Council in Costa Rica. A new phase in
    the Initiative began with the official launching
    of the Earth Charter at the Peace Palace in The
    Hague on June 29, 2000.
  • Mission of the Earth Charter Initiative
  • The mission of the Initiative going forward is to
    establish a sound ethical foundation for the
    emerging global society and to help build a
    sustainable world based on respect for nature,
    universal human rights, economic justice, and a
    culture of peace.
  • The goals of the Earth Charter Initiative are
  • To promote the dissemination, endorsement, and
    implementation of the Earth Charter by civil
    society, business, and government.
  • To encourage and support the educational use of
    the Earth Charter.
  • To seek endorsement of the Earth Charter by the

The World Summit on Sustainable
Development (WSSD), Sept. 2002, was one of the
main benchmarks of the Earth Charter Initiative.
During that occasion the Charter received major
and various support including the opening speech,
8 nations heads of states interventions, the
main Local Communities and Education
organizations worldwide. The Charter was in the
first drafts of the political declaration, and
influenced some of the final version a lot
remains to work with for the future. WSSD
Report http//www.earthcharter.org/wssd/summit_rep
ort.doc Preparatory Process Report http//www.eart
  • More on the Earth Charter
  • www.earthcharter.org/aboutus
  • Background Documents
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Overview of Activities
  • PowerPoint Presentations
  • Information on the Earth Charter Commissioners

The Earth Charter Handbook A 2001 publication
with in-depth information on the Initiative in 6
main parts What is the Earth Charter?
(FAQ) Organizational Structure Activities and
Programs How you can participate History Examp
les of the Earth Charter in Action www.earthcharte
The Earth Charter Initiative General
Information (2/2)
Earth Charter International Secretariat PO Box
319-6100 San José Costa Rica Phone 506 205
1600 Fax 506 249 3500 info_at_earthcharter.org w
Organizational Structure The Earth Charter
Commission, established in 1997, oversaw the
consultation and drafting process. It will meet
infrequently in the future, and only for
decisions concerning major changes in the goals
and governance of the Initiative. A short
biography of each member is available
on www.earthcharter.org/aboutus/commissioners.htm
A Steering Committee has been established to
oversee the operations and programs. It is formed
by members of the Earth Charter Commission and
co-chaired by Kamla Chowdhry (India), Yolanda
Kakabadse (Ecuador), Ruud Lubbers (The
Netherlands), and Steven Rockefeller (USA). The
Earth Charter International Secretariat works
with the global network of the Earth Charter, and
coordinates its major programs from Costa Rica,
on the campus of the University for
Peace. National Focal Points and Local Contacts
In many countries, organizations and/or
individuals work with the Earth Charter,
disseminate it and promote its implementation.
They are active in some or all of the programs of
the Initiative, and usually have their own Earth
Charter related projects. It is helpful to
contact them before starting new projects to
understand local opinions and ideas on what has
been done, what works or not. Activities and
contacts by country are available on
The International Youth Earth Charter Coalition
supports youth organizations and individuals
working to bring the Earth Charter and its values
to young people. Thanks to its actions, youth
declarations in WSSD included the Earth
Charter. www.earthcharter.org/youth
Examples of Earth Charter Workshops
  • Example 3
  • Dream your community in 30 years.
  • What are the problems you are facing to achieve
    that dream?
  • What solutions can you find? What values do you
    need ?
  • Compare them to the Earth Charter or draft your
    own Charter before comparing.
  • Example 1
  • Below is a sequence of reflections you can follow
  • illustrate with pictures, graphs and concrete
    examples to answer
  • Why values? Why the Earth Charter? How do you
    inspire people to use it?
  • The Challenges we faceMahatma Gandhi Mother
    Earth has enough for everyones need, but not
    enough for everyones greed. The Earth Charter
    Once basic needs have been met, human
    development is about 'being more' not having
  • What is preventing us from solving themMany
    people think that to change the unsustainable way
    we live, it's not the resources or knowledge
    needed we lack, but motivation, political will,
    and compassion.
  • We need a common statement of ethical valuesWe
    need to build bridges and bring different groups
    and culture together We are at once citizens of
    different nations and of one world in which the
    local and global are linked (The Earth
    Charter)The different aspects of human
    development (social, ecological, cultural,
    spiritual, political, economic) need to be
    balanced, and this is what the integrated vision
    of the Earth Charter offers.
  • Building on existing instruments The Universal
    Declaration of Human Rights, over 50 years old,
    is still very valuable, but is limited to human
    rights. The Earth Charter can be a next step to
  • The Earth Charter (Origin, History, Mission and
    goals) (Information in the precedent pages) It
    does not belong to any group and was developed
    through a global dialogue. It is at the same time
    a document, a process and a movement.
  • When people are worried with the fact that
    they've never heard of it, I quite often say that
    I feel we're at the beginning of our own 50-year
    process of learning,
  • education and awareness-raising. That somehow
    reassures them.

Example 2 An Earth Charter Introductory
Workshop During the workshop, the group explored
their shared values, deepened their understanding
of sustainability and interdependence, and came
up with ways to take daily actions to contribute
to a sustainable way of life.  (Promoting the
Earth Charter) is not about carrying the document
around like a set of rules, but about how we
connect with the values in it, and share those
with others.  The structure of this workshop
can be found on www.earthcharter.org/youth/EC_in
Tips to launch a project
What you know, You dont say. What you dont
say, You forget. These basic tips on projects
are here to avoid the above.
From the idea, to the realization
  • One suggestion for developing a project (again,
    there are other ways)
  • 1. Decide what you want to do.
  • Do you want to work locally or further (scope of
    your involvement)?
  • Who in the society do you want to reach (your
    target audience)?
  • What outcomes do you want to have?
  • Do you want people to know about the Earth
    Charter or to implement its values?
  • 2. With the resources you have (financial,
    knowledge, time, ), develop a few ideas.
  • Avoid starting with a huge plan if you are not
    used to such activities.
  • It might be wise to work as a team, or as an
    association. At least seek for support and
    advices around you.
  • 3. Make a quick survey to find out what has been
  • In the scope of your project who can help you,
    who to create a partnership with.
  • Seek for advices with others in the Earth Charter
  • 4. Write a precise mission for your projects,
    with defined objectives.
  • See Basic Knowledge on Projects on this page for
    a few advices.

Basic Knowledge on Projects A project is
something unique, from its content and/or its
environments, and has a defined beginning and
end. Its mission statement must be clear and
shared by all actors. It can be useful to be
precise regarding what is and what is not in the
projects scope. Its objectives reflect Who
gets What When. Achievable deadlines are
necessary. The strategies and planning following
from the objectives must be built and agreed on
by all actors in concert.
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