The Earth Charter has been active in India since the late 1990s. The late Earth Charter Commissioner Kamla Chowdhry and Ashok Khosla of Development Alternatives were very supportive of the EC drafting process and helped introduce the EC in India. Both linked the Charter to Gandhian thought, especially with regard to non-violence and peace. Kartikeya Sarabhai, Director of the Centre for Environment Education (CEE), is currently contributing to the ECI as a Council member.
In 2000 the Center for the Environment and Sustainable Development (CESDI) organized a number of consultations and initiated discussions on the Earth Charter in different regions of the country.
In India, the Centre for Environment Education (CEE), an Earth Charter Affiliate, organized several activities with the Earth Charter in 2013. One of them was a campaign against polythene use with the theme “SANKALPA- for a polythene free city”. This campaign was coordinated by CEE’s Paryavaran Mitra programme in collaboration with the Regional Science Centre, Kalpadroom Foundation, and others. The event took place on 1 January 2013 and it was inspired by Earth Charter principle 7a: “Reduce, reuse and recycle the materials used in production and consumption systems, and ensure that residual waste can be assimilated by ecological systems.” CEE celebrated Earth Day 2013 with a three-day event in Bajali HS School in the Barpeta district of Assam, India. The theme was Face of climate change, and many activities were carried out with large groups of students. A cycle rally passed through the locality to create mass awareness about the importance of Earth Day. An Earth Charter Think Café was organized during the second day of Earth Day celebrations. It was a day-long interactive session with students from five schools, where the CEE team presented the Earth Charter principles and guided students to take action to sustainably conserve mother Earth. During the session, students realized their role in making the earth a livable place.
In Andhra Pradesh, India, the Montfort Social Institute (MSI), Earth Charter Affiliate since 2008, has been working on the establishment of an education center on human rights and sustainability, to be launched in February 2014. The organization has been undertaking developmental activities aimed at reconstruction of village societies for the advancement of individuals, families and communities; eradication of the high prevalence of child labour; and ensure basic education and health care for all through a rights based approach. Formation of Neighborhood Parliament, Young People’s Initiatives (YPI), and Children’s Parliament helped harness the human potential for collective action and to create a democratic ethos in villages. Sustainable agricultural methods, cooperative farming by women and vocational education were introduced. The Earth Charter is used as an education instrument for empowering women, low paid workers, the youth and other vulnerable groups in the villages MSI work.
The first Earth Charter Youth Group was formed to India in January 2010.
In 2007, CEE (EC Affiliate) and UNESCO, organized the 4th International Conference on Environmental Education in Ahmedabad. The EC Secretariat participated with several activities. The Earth Charter was discussed and included in the final declaration of this Conference.
CEE’s Youth Environment Network (YEN) is closely working with the EC Initiative. Aparna Susarla, member of YEN, is part of the Earth Charter Youth Leadership Team.
Between December 2005 and November 2008, the People’s Commission on Environment and Development India (EC affiliate), in collaboration with its partner-NGOs, organized a series of public awareness campaigns on the principles of ecological integrity in Srinagar, Naukuchiyatal and Kodaikanal.
In India, the Montfort Social Institute (MSI), Earth Charter Affiliate since 2008, opened their Center for Human Rights and Sustainable Development in Andhra Pradesh. MSI has been engaged in integral human development for social transformation in the state of Andhra Pradesh, by undertaking developmental activities aimed at reconstruction of village societies for the advancement of individuals, families and communities; eradication of the high prevalence of child labour; and ensure basic education and health care for all through a rights based approach. Formation of Neighbourhood Parliament, Young People’s Initiatives (YPI) and Children’s Parliament helped harness the human potential for collective action and to create a democratic ethos in villages. Sustainable agricultural methods, cooperative farming by women and vocational education were introduced. The Earth Charter has been an education instrument for empowering women, low paid workers, the youth and other vulnerable groups in the villages MSI work.
In India Centre for Environment Education (CEE), Ahmedabad, Gujarat encourages and supports the educational use of the Earth Charter in schools. One example is an exhibition on Earth Charter principles. This exhibition is the product of a photography competition on the Earth Charter themes held at the national level. In order to use this exhibition in schools teachers need to be oriented on how to use this photography exhibition as a resource in schools. In this context CEE decided to do this project to develop a facilitator’s guide to familiarize teachers on EC values and its implementation through photography exhibition, with the expectation that this project can contribute a broad understanding of the scope of learning across exhibition in the context of education and to promote the use of EC in education.
Since early 1999, the Delhi Public School Society (DPSS) used the Earth Charter to raise awareness among thousands of children regarding sustainability principles. Then in 2005, Development Alternatives (DA) developed a children’s version of the Earth Charter through its CLEAN-India programme and translated it into eight Indian languages. The Hon. Chief Minister of Delhi and CLEAN-India launched the “Earth Charter for Schools” project in April 2007 – making Delhi one of the first cities to integrate the Charter into its curriculum. DA developed teachers training manuals, textbooks as well as educational and training packages for integrating the charter in Indian schools.
In November 2001 the People’s Commission on Environment and Development India (PCED), a national environmental advocacy NGO, organized a “Roundtable on the Earth Charter” in Delhi. The event was inaugurated by Dr. Karan Singh, member of the Parliament and President of PCED.