The Earth Charter Initiative consists of individuals and organizations that predominantly act independently and occasionally collaborate. The ECI Secretariat functions as the coordinating hub for this worldwide movement.
The following are the goals, strategic objectives, and strategy of Earth Charter International.
The mission of Earth Charter International is to actively participate, in a systemic and integrated way, in the present transition to sustainable ways of living on the planet, founded on a shared ethical framework that includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, social and economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace.
- 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.
- To promote development of a global network of Earth Charter supporters and activists with the collaboration of advisors, affiliates, volunteers and partner organizations.
- To create and disseminate high quality communications and educational materials to different target groups that will reach millions of people.
- To translate key Earth Charter materials in all major languages of the world.
- To set up Earth Charter websites in as many languages as possible in partnership with well-positioned and committed individuals and organizations.
- To have the Earth Charter contribute to important international initiatives and processes so that its essence can be used as a guide in efforts to address urgent challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, the Post-2015 Development Agenda and conflict resolution.
- To undertake training programmes to facilitate the uptake and application of the Earth
The Earth Charter in different communities.
- To develop the guidance and instruments to help organizations, businesses, and local communities use the Earth Charter to assess progress toward sustainable development.
The ECI Secretariat and Education Center
The ECI Secretariat and Education Center are focused on the Earth Charter Vision, using the Earth Charter as a benchmark for the pursuit of the “Common Good”, and for ethical decisions in every realm of human activity.
The ECI Secretariat provides a limited number of core services such as management of the international website and the preparation of basic materials and resources. Much of its work is on information sharing through social media and the website, and facilitating online gatherings, forums and seminars to expand the reach of the Earth Charter. In addition, it emphasizes the work of bringing the Earth Charter to educational settings through its Education Center.
The Earth Charter Initiative
“Decentralized Empowerment for Scaling Up” is the name given to a set of policy directives and decisions originally taken at the Third Meeting of the ECI Council held in 2007. The purpose of the strategy is to enable the expansion of the Earth Charter Movement without having to grow the central administration, and to allow for a vast number of self-organizing, independent efforts to multiply and grow.
In support of this new strategy, the following documents have been prepared and posted on the ECI website:
- Action Guidelines for Decentralized Expansion of the Earth Charter Movement
- How to Participate in the Earth Charter Movement
Following these guidelines, any person, group, organization, or community can make use of the Earth Charter in appropriate ways commensurate with their capacities and opportunities.
The rationale behind the decentralized empowerment strategy and the recognition of these areas of work is based on the reality that the Earth Charter Movement is not a formally incorporated or conventional non-governmental organization (NGO). It is not possible for the Earth Charter Movement to expand its influence around the world and realize its mission if it is conceived as a conventional organization where all activities are directed and controlled by a central office.
Therefore, there are a number of independent and volunteer efforts to bring the Earth Charter to specific sectors or areas of activities. The following areas have been identified in which work has been undertaken and for which special effort is made to capture examples of how groups are using the Earth Charter to bring it to their areas of work.
These seven areas were identified because they offer concrete examples of the use of the Earth Charter and provide significant opportunities to advance the transition to sustainable ways of living. In most of these areas, there are already a number of promising activities and projects that can be built on.
These efforts are expected to operate through volunteer initiatives and networks that will lead to independent activities and examples to follow. The ECI Council and the ECI Secretariat do not direct or manage the work led by volunteer individuals and organizations working in these areas.