On 25 February, ECI began its celebrations of the 15th anniversary of the Earth Charter with a highly compelling webinar with two eminent guest speakers. The webinar was moderated by ECI Executive Director Mirian Vilela and the guest panel consisted of former UNESCO Director General Federico Mayor and current Green Cross International President Alexander Likhotal. Both speakers have been longtime supporters of the Earth Charter. The theme of the webinar was “Thinking about Earth Community”.
Federico Mayor spoke about the Earth Charter and described it as a summary of solutions to many of the world’s problems and encouraged its study in all schools. He stressed three main points of importance in the world that are also expressed in the Earth Charter. First, he observed the need for intergenerational responsibility and the urgency for farsightedness. Secondly, he emphasized the importance of participatory democracy based on equality and human rights. Finally, he stressed the importance of empowering women to be the cornerstone of the coming changes. Reflecting on the Earth Charter and its importance to the Earth Community, he stated “We must return humanity to humans.”
Following that, Alexander Likhotal offered his broad perspectives on the Earth Community and the Earth Charter. Mr. Lihotal began his talk with an overview of large global trends including social and economic trends. Coming back around to the Earth Charter and Earth Community, Mr. Likhotal offered the following words, “There is more freedom, but less air. The soul is thirsty for something overwhelmingly good, call it spirit. The soul is suffocating…Freedom decoupled from some ethical depths becomes locked to the surface and acquires a destructive power. At the ultimate depth, there are no isolated values because there is only one, an integral love in which freedom, responsibility, and wisdom define the borders of the possible.”
The webinar was attended by 40 people and there was a lively discussion in the chat box as well as a vibrant question and answer for the last 30 minutes of the session.
The next webinar in this series of celebratory EC+15 webinars will be on 29 April and will focus on the ecological integrity pillar of the Earth Charter.
As part of the EC+15 celebrations, Earth Charter International has launched a photo contest and hopes to receive inspiring images and messages on people’s understanding of the year’s slogan “One Earth Community, One Common Destiny”. The contest will be open until Earth Day, April 22nd. ECI attracted three main sponsors to the project, Yes! Magazine, The Greenhouse of the Future project and the Journey of the Universe.
YES! Magazine is an award-winning, ad-free, nonprofit publication that supports people’s active engagement in building a just and sustainable world and reframes the biggest problems of our time in terms of their solutions. Online and in print, YES! outlines a path forward with in-depth analysis, tools for citizen engagement, and stories about real people working for a better world. Yes! Magazine is donating a year’s subscription as a prize for the contest.
“Yes! Magazine’s Susan Gleason wrote, “Yes! is fully identified with the Earth Charter’s values for sustainable development. We are really happy to be able to support the Earth Charter and help the international network celebrate 15 years of this beautiful vision.”
The contest is also sponsored by The Greenhouse of the Future, a cutting-edge sustainability project. The Greenhouse of the Future is an innovative and strategic design, built of recycled and natural materials, that interacts with the natural phenomena of the planet in order to create the ideal environment for growth and abundance. The project can show you how to learn radically sustainable technologies that can lead to self-sufficiency through respect for nature and lead you towards an outstanding quality of life. The Greenhouse of the Future project has generously donated several of their e-Book/DVDs showing you to build one of the greenhouses step-by-step.
The contest is also sponsored by The Journey of the Universe Film, Book, & Conversations. This award-winning project is a collaboration between evolutionary philosopher Brian Thomas Swimme and historian of religions Mary Evelyn Tucker. They weave a tapestry that draws together scientific discoveries in astronomy, geology, and biology with humanistic insights concerning the nature of the universe. Journey of the Universe is donating its film and learning materials as prizes.
Find out all the details on the Earth Charter +15 photo contest here: www.earthcharter.org/ECplus15photocontest
Earlier this year in January, ECI co-organized a webinar in France the The Forum for the Common Good. This webinar was the first collaboration between the two organizations and signifies increased outreach and interest in France. The event was organized as part of the EC+15 effort. You can read more about it here.
Finally, two separate Earth Charter youth groups in the United Arab Emirates carried out activities in celebration of Earth Charter +15.