Earth Charter and RIO 2012

Participation in RIO, 13 to 22 June 2012

ECI Secretariat organized a number of events during Rio+20 and supported the actions of many others from the Earth Charter Initiative.

One specific result from this Summit is the voluntary commitment signed by the Global Reporting Initiative and the Earth Charter International to create a joint education program on sustainability reporting. The outcome document of the Summit reinforces the importance of sustainability reporting (paragraph 47), and also refers and supports the efforts of the Decade on Education for Sustainable Development (paragraph 233).

People’s Treaties

The idea was to provide a vehicle to articulate the aspirations and recommendations of civil society. Rick Clugston represented Earth Charter International in this process. One of the proposed texts is focused on ethics, spirituality, and the Earth Charter. (see ).

Earth Charter International Plan for the Rio 2012 Conference

The following information was written before the conference and represents preparations and expectations.

The Rio 2012 Conference

In June 2012, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) or the “Rio 2012 Conference” will take place in Rio de Janeiro. The Rio 2012 Conference’s objectives are to (a) secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, (b) assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, and (c) address new and emerging challenges.

The Conference will also focus on the following two themes: (a) a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication and, (b) the institutional framework for sustainable development.

Earth Charter and Rio 2012

The goal of the Earth Charter Initiative for Rio 2012 is to emphasize the need for a comprehensive ethical framework, articulating shared values and principles to inspire and guide different actors in the transition to a sustainable future. The aim is also to demonstrate the relevance of the Earth Charter to the objectives of the Rio 2012 Conference and its process.

The EC Initiative Rio 2012 objectives are to:

  1. Collaborate with the preparatory process and help ensure the successful outcome of the Rio 2012 goals.
  2. Draw government and non-state actors’ attention to the need for an inclusive ethical framework and shared values that inspire and help guide intergovernmental and governmental decisions towards strong sustainability and a green economy, and show the role the Earth Charter can play in facilitating this process.
  3. Present the Earth Charter as a comprehensive articulation of shared values and a vision of strong sustainability, and as an integrated ethical foundation for a green economy.
  4. Invite governments and non-state actors to make use of the Earth Charter as an ethical framework and guide for advancing sustainability.

Recommendations to the compilation text:
The Earth Charter Initiative organized a one-month consultation process between September and October 2011, to produce a set of recommendations for the Rio+20 compilation text (or zero draft). The zero draft will be the framework document that will be debated by states’ parties at next year’s Earth Summit in Rio

The Earth Charter International recommendation document can be read and downloaded from the UNCSD submissions Web site.

In addition, four Member States (Armenia, Bolivia, Mexico and the Russian Federation) and several organizations included the Earth Charter in their recommendations to the Rio+20 process. Find here the information.


The Earth Charter can play a vital role in helping to inspire renewed political commitment expected for Rio 2012 and the necessary renewal as acknowledged by the European Economic and Social Committee which has recommended that “The Summit should recognise and support the Earth Charter as a means of inspiring commitment and action by individuals and organisations around the world”. Click here to see this whole document

The UN DPI/NGO Conference issue a Declaration as a contribution to the Rio+20 process, which refers to the Earth Charter as follows: “Recalling that the Earth Charter, together with the Culture of Peace, can play a vital role in helping to inspire renewed political commitment expected for Rio + 20 and to guide the transition to a sustainable, just and peaceful society with respect and care for the entire community of life”. Click here to see the whole text – Declaration of the 64th Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference 2 (Bonn, Germany, 3-5 September 2011)

Ban Ki Moon’s High Level Panel on Global Sustainability recommended the Earth Charter in its report for Rio+20, as a relevant ethical framework for sustainable development.

Statement by Dr. Rubens Harry Born (Vitae Civilis Institute), where he mentions the Earth Charter during the Informal Thematic Debate of the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

The Earth Charter as ethical foundation for global governance: read this article by Maayke Aimée Damen.

Learn more about the synergies between the efforts undertaken under the umbrellas of Green Economy and the Earth Charter with these materials:

Article: Enabling a Flourishing Earth: Challenges for the Green Economy, Opportunities for Global Governance. By Klaus Bosselman, Brendan Mackey and Peter Brown.
Article: The Earth Charter and the Green Economy. By ECI Secretariat.
Article: Principles for the Green Economy. A collection of principles for the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. By Stakeholder Forum, Bioregional and ECI Secretariat.
Interview: Jan Pronk (The Netherlands) on Rio + 20
Interview: Maurice Strong comments on Rio + 20
Maurice Strong remarks at High-level Symposium on the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development, Beijing, China on September 8th-9th on “Assessing progress and gaps in 20 years of sustainable development”.
Visit the Earth Charter and Rio + 20 Communications Campaign!

For more information on the conference visit