German Earth Charter actions were in part inspired by the Conferences in Assisi, Italy on “Spirituality and Sustainability” held in July 1997, 1998, and 1999. In November 1999, the Ecumenical One World Initiative (EOWI) organized an EC Workshop in Lauenburg, Northern Germany to discuss the EC Benchmark Draft II. Since then EOWI has been involved in the process of disseminating the EC in Germany. For instance since June 2001, the EOWI has published a quarterly Earth Charter magazine in German. They have also joined forces with BUND to translate and publish Earth Charter brochures in German. EOWI is an Earth Charter Affiliate.
EOWI carried out and assisted the German Earth Charter network to implement many activities in 2014. These included workshops, speeches, dragon dreaming workshops, theater workshops, school projects, public stands, youth camps, and regional networking activities. EOWI also has established the German EC Ambassadors programme, training young people to become multipliers of the Earth Charter all over Germany. This programme recruits young multipliers and trains them over the course of two weekends over the course of the year. The national network of these “Ambassadors” also meets at least once a year. There were several weekend-long events, some day-long events, and many shorter speeches and presentations all over Germany. The sum of people involved in all of these activities and reached by the Earth Charter easily reaches into the thousands.
In 2013, EOWI continued to carry out a variety of Earth Charter activities, as well as promote the Earth Charter Initiative nationally. EOWI continued to maintain and update the Earth Charter website in Germany and published and distributed three newsletters per year. Some of the activities carried out in Germany included an online youth dialogue between German and Indian youth on Earth Charter topics, various talks and lectures around the country at different forums, and inter-faith dialogues, including one with Earth Charter Commissioner Rabbi Abraham Soetendorp. EOWI also continued its “Earth Charter Ambassadors” training and capacity building, to strengthen the network of people in Germany able to implement the Earth Charter in their lives and communities. EOWI also developed a new didactic method for teaching Earth Charter values using theater techniques, created a new poster for children and youth, and has gained the interest of many schools, including one that intends to become an “Earth Charter School”.
EOWI undertook several Earth Charter actions in 2012. The organization began to operate the Earth Charter Germany Website in both German and English. EOWI also published an Earth Charter Handbook (in German only), which details a decade of educational experiences using the Earth Charter.
In October 2007, EOWI in collaboration with Soka Gakkai International – Germany and two regional educational institutions, organized the first national teacher’s training seminar on the Earth Charter in the country. The seminar highlighted and explored several areas in which the Earth Charter could be used to raise awareness about the values that are inherent in sustainable development.
The first German Earth Charter Youth Group was establish in June 2009.
GLS Bank has supported the Earth Charter and especially its activities in Germany through financing the printing of three editions of the German Earth Charter brochure, the Bank’s board members hold the strong conviction that the Earth Charter should become the ethical constitution of the emerging world community. According to the bank’s CEO, Mr. Jorberg, the Earth Charter played a crucial role in designing the bank’s current mission statement, which holds that the bank’s activities are based on the values of respect for life, care for the peaceful coexistence of all cultures and civilizations, as well as individual freedom and responsibility. The bank states that human needs and interests should always be at the center of economic and financial activities, and that human beings can be understood as a unity of body, soul and mind. “There is no other document that captures the philosophy of our institution like the Earth Charter does,” said Jorberg. “Indeed, our foremost aim is to use the money we are endowed with to invest in projects that help to realize its vision and values.”
Earth Charter Couch surfing
You’re going to an event somewhere or you just feel like visiting a foreign city or region and you enjoy staying at the place of people with similar interests and having interesting conversations. All people from the Earth Charter Network in Germany are now able to combine these things by participating in the Earth Charter Couch Surfing on http://erdcharta.de/intern. New members can be invited by members of the Earth Charter network.
Earth-Charter coordination office in Germany/Ecumenical Initiative One World
This is a report of the activities held in Germany in 2016, compiled by the Earth-Charter coordination office in Germany/Ecumenical Initiative One World.