The Earth Charter: An Introduction

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The Earth Charter Initiative

is the collective name for the extraordinarily diverse, global network of people, organizations, and institutions that participate in promoting and implementing the values and principles of the Earth Charter.

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Earth Charter Initiative
Affiliates Endorsers Council Secretariat

Youth Network

Partners

Ambassadors

Advisors EC Commission Volunteers

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The Earth Charter document
is a declaration of fundamental ethical principles for building a just, sustainable and peaceful global society in the 21st century. It seeks to inspire in all people a new sense of global interdependence and shared responsibility for the well-being of the whole human family, the greater community of life, and future generations. It is a vision of hope and a call to action.
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The Earth Charter
Represents a Global Consensus on Shared Values and Ethics for Building a More Just, Sustainable, and Peaceful World
Core sustainability values + Shared ethical principles
2. Care for the community of life ... 3. Build democratic societies ... 4. Secure Earth's bounty and beauty ... 5. Protect and restore ... Earth's ecological systems ... 6. Prevent harm ... apply a precautionary approach 7. Adopt [sustainable] patterns of production, consumption, and reproduction ... 8. Advance the study of ecological sustainability ... 9. Eradicate poverty ... 10. Ensure that economic activities ... promote human development ... 11. Affirm gender equality ... ensure universal access

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Widely endorsed and inspiring call to action

1. Respect Earth and life in all its diversity.

I. Respect for nature II. Universal human rights III. Economic justice IV. A culture of peace

12. Uphold the right of all ... to a natural and social environment 13. Strengthen democratic institutions ... 14. Integrate [sustainability] into formal education and life-long learning ... 15. Treat all living beings with respect and consideration 16. Promote a culture of ... peace

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This is the promise of the Earth Charter:
By declaring what we must care about ... By describing what we must do ... By inspiring as many people as possible…

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More and more people will care ... More and more people will take action ... More and more people will inspire more and more people ...

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... to work for the wellbeing of all of us and our common home:

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A Brief History of the Earth Charter Initiative
1987 -1992 Origins - The Brundtland Commission calls for “a new charter
or universal declaration” on environment and development to “guide state and inter-state behavior.” UN Earth Charter process is stopped at Earth Summit; Rio Declaration adopted instead (1992)

1994 -2000

Phase 1 - Development and Global Consultation
Maurice Strong and Mikhail Gorbachev relaunch Earth Charter as a civil society initiative; drafting and consultation process begins (1994); Earth Charter Commission created (1997); 5,000 people contribute comments

2000 -2005

Phase 2 - Launch and Establishment
Final text approved and launched, and endorsement campaign begins (2000); Earth Charter promoted strongly at WSSD in Johannesburg, but not formally adopted (2002); local and grassroots action grows, important international endorsements continue (such as IUCN, 2004)

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Phase 3 - Expansion with Action Orientation
Strategic review conducted (2005); decision taken to expand the Initiative, with new international centers and programs, and intent to greatly increase awareness, impact, and active commitment to sustainable development

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A Brief History of the Earth Charter Initiative
1987 -1992 Origins - The Brundtland Commission calls for “a new charter
or universal declaration” on environment and development to “guide state and inter-state behavior.” UN Earth Charter process is stopped at Earth Summit; Rio Declaration adopted instead (1992)

1994 -2000

Phase 1 - Development and Global Consultation
Maurice Strong and Mikhail Gorbachev re-launch Earth Charter as a civil society initiative; drafting and consultation process begins (1994); Earth Charter Commission created (1996); thousands of people contribute

2000 -2005

Phase 2 - Launch and Establishment
Final text approved and launched, and endorsement campaign begins (2000); Earth Charter promoted strongly at WSSD in Johannesburg, but not formally adopted (2002); local and grassroots action grows, important international endorsements continue (such as IUCN, 2004)

2006 -

Phase 3 - Expansion with Action Orientation
Strategic review conducted (2005); decision taken to expand the Initiative, with new international centers and programs, and intent to greatly increase awareness, impact, and active commitment to sustainable development

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A Brief History of the Earth Charter Initiative
1987 -1992 Origins - The Brundtland Commission calls for “a new charter
or universal declaration” on environment and development to “guide state and inter-state behavior.” UN Earth Charter process is stopped at Earth Summit; Rio Declaration adopted instead (1992)

1994 -2000

Phase 1 - Development and Global Consultation
Maurice Strong and Mikhail Gorbachev relaunch Earth Charter as a civil society initiative; drafting and consultation process begins (1994); Earth Charter Commission created (1997); 5,000 people contribute comments

2000 -2005

Phase 2 - Launch and Establishment
Final text approved and launched, and endorsement campaign begins (2000); Earth Charter promoted strongly at WSSD in Johannesburg, but not formally adopted (2002); local and grassroots action grows, important international endorsements continue (such as IUCN, 2004)

2006 -

Phase 3 - Expansion with Action Orientation
Strategic review conducted (2005); decision taken to expand the Initiative, with new international centers and programs, and intent to greatly increase awareness, impact, and active commitment to sustainable development

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A Brief History of the Earth Charter Initiative
1987 -1992 Origins - The Brundtland Commission calls for “a new charter
or universal declaration” on environment and development to “guide state and inter-state behavior.” UN Earth Charter process is stopped at Earth Summit; Rio Declaration adopted instead (1992)

1994 -2000

Phase 1 - Development and Global Consultation
Maurice Strong and Mikhail Gorbachev relaunch Earth Charter as a civil society initiative; drafting and consultation process begins (1994); Earth Charter Commission created (1997); 5,000 people contribute comments

2000 -2005

Phase 2 - Launch and Establishment
Final text approved and launched, and endorsement campaign begins (2000); Earth Charter promoted strongly at WSSD in Johannesburg, but not formally adopted (2002); local and grassroots action grows, important international endorsements continue (such as IUCN, 2004)

2006 -

Phase 3 - Expansion with Action Orientation
Strategic review conducted (2005); decision taken to expand the Initiative, with new international centers and programs, and intent to greatly increase awareness, impact, and active commitment to sustainable development

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The Mission of the Earth Charter Initiative
to promote the transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework that includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace.

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The Earth Charter Initiative Goals
• • • To raise awareness worldwide of the Earth Charter and to promote understanding of its inclusive ethical vision. To seek recognition and endorsement of the Earth Charter by individuals, organizations, and the United Nations. To promote the use of the Earth Charter as an ethical guide and the implementation of its principles by civil society, business, and government. To encourage and support the educational use of the Earth Charter in schools, universities, religious communities, local communities, and many other settings. To promote recognition and use of the Earth Charter as a soft law document.  
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The Earth Charter Initiative is a global network of people, organizations,
and institutions who participate in promoting the Earth Charter, and in implementing its principles in practice in different areas, including ...

Education for Sustainable Development

Youth Action & Empowerment

Business Engagement in Global Ethics

Religion & Sustainability

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The Earth Charter and Education
Framing, Guiding, and Supporting Education for Sustainable Development

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The Earth Charter and Education
• The Earth Charter has been endorsed by UNESCO and used as a key reference document for the Decade on Education for Sustainable Development (DESD). ECI education materials are being used to help teachers integrate sustainability issues into curricula; this includes a general guidebook, and some specific curricula. Thousands of teachers and schools have used the Earth Charter in various ways, ranging from early childhood education to whole Master’s degree courses based on the Charter’s guiding framework.

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The Earth Charter Youth Network
Inspiring Young People to Take Action to Create a More Just, Peaceful and Sustainable World

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The Earth Charter Youth Network
• Over 35 Earth Charter Youth Groups (ECYGs) use the Earth Charter in various action programs, ranging from promoting sustainable livestyles in the Philippines to crossing the digital divide in Rwanda, supporting the use of renewable energy on university campuses in the US and reintegrating former child soldiers in Sierra Leone • E-GLO (Earth Charter Global Leadership Opportunity) is being developed as an online leadership training for youth around the world • For more info, check out www.earthcharterinaction.org/youth
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The Earth Charter and the Business Sector
An Update on our Consultation Process, and an Invitation to Participate

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Four Specific Ways the Earth Charter Can Be Used in Business
• As a simplifying and unifying platform for the complex array of activities now expected of companies, under banners ranging from CSR to EMS As a convening reference point for dialogue with multistakeholder groups about critical global issues As a tool for inspiration and education that explains the ethical foundations and motivates change efforts within companies, or supports the convening of external stakeholders As a stimulus for innovation for the design/redesign of products, services, and business models - “What would this look like if it met all the conditions for a just, peaceful, and sustainable world?”
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The Earth Charter Religion and Sustainability Project
Supporting religious organizations and institutions in their engagement with the global challenges of our time…

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Strategy for interreligious outreach and engagement with global challenges
• Creation of high quality communications and education materials designed to "translate", current knowledge and best practice into terms that religious audiences will find compelling, inspiring, and empowering. This project also supports ECI's engagement with the United Nations High Level Dialogue on Inter-Religious and Inter-Cultural Understanding. Partners of the project: the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale University For more information contact Michael Slaby: mslaby@earthcharter.org

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What can you do?

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Be part of the Earth Charter Community!
• • • • • • • Make the Earth Charter values part of your daily life Promote the Earth Charter vision Endorse the Charter Volunteer your time for Earth Charter International Join the Earth Charter Youth Initiative Use Earth Charter Tools Take action to realize Earth Charter values in your community, organization, and personal life
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Visit our website! www.earthcharter.org
• Read the Earth Charter in more than 35 languages Read “Earth Charter in Action,” our news site, and download dozens of free resources Endorse the Charter and/or subscribe to our Newsletter Find out how to contribute, get involved and become a member of the Earth Charter Initiative…

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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”* (*Closing lines of the Earth Charter)

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Join the Earth Charter Initiative!
Contact: Earth Charter International Secretariat and Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development at UPEACE, Costa Rica For general enquires: info@earthcharter.org

www.earthcharter.org
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