In 1999 a Belarusian National Earth Charter group was formed, and in the same year the first Earth Charter National Meeting was held in Belarus, led by the Division of the International Academy of Ecology. Dr. Eugene Shirokov, president of the Habitat Center was a leading advocate for the creation of the National Earth Charter Committee and the National Council for Sustainable Development. Since then, the National Earth Charter Committee has organized several Earth Charter meetings on sustainable development, the Earth Charter ethical framework for education, and its role in building capacity in Belorusian civil society.
There is one Earth Charter Youth Group in Belarus, called ECYG Youth International Club “NEWLINE”. They joined the Earth Charter Youth network in August 2007. NEWLINE’s mission is to introduce Earth Charter principles and values to Belarusian non-governmental and state youth organizations, schools, and individual youth, as well as promote cooperation between them for sustainable development and democratization in Belarus.
YIEC “Newline” continued to carry out activities to spread the Earth Charter in Belarus and the region in 2014. YIEC “Newline” helped form the Education for Sustainable Development Association, and this organization, with the help of YIEC “Newline” helped bring the Earth Charter and ESD to many parts of the Belarusian educational system. YIEC also carried another Spring Discussion Camp in March, bringing together students and teachers from 13 different schools in Belarus and Latvia.
YIEC also participated in the Academy of Post-Graduate Education in Minsk’s Conference: “Partnership Network of Sustainable Development Schools: Inter-regional Collaboration and Sustainable Change”. During the three-day conference teachers and students from the “Partnership Network of Sustainable Development Schools”, assisted by national and international experts, discussed the project and defined promising trends for expanding education to promote sustainable development in Belarus. Following the conference, a book was published on the conference results in Belarusian and Russian.
YIEC and Adobe Youth Voices Program / IEARN hosted the annual Youth Media Festival “Youth Voice for Sustainable Development 2014”, featuring over 20 media projects from all over Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine. All the projects are available at a specially created YouTube channel.
YIEC also published an updated and improved translation of the Earth Charter in Belarusian. In 2013, The Week of Sustainable Development, a traditional annual event, was held in Belarus. The SD School Partnership Network is one of the main participants and co-organizers of the event and supports and promotes the ideas of sustainable development through local actions wherever their members are active. The SD School Partnership Network uses the ideas of the Earth Charter as its basic principles: Earth is our home; providing global safety is our care; universal responsibility is our principle of collaborative work and general activities. In 2013, there were about 50 different actions during SD Week that were organized for various social groups and local authorities by the SD School Partnership Network members. The Earth Charter activities were supported by Earth Charter Affiliate Youth International Education Club “New Line”.