In 2008, the Manitoba Department of Education in Canada embraced the principles of sustainable development expressed in the Earth Charter. Since then, schools have been finding a wide variety of ways to apply the Charter in the educational field, with students all across Manitoba participating in youth forums and action projects; social studies and science curricula being designed with outcomes connected to the principles of the Charter; and educators in Manitoba developing initiatives in their own schools and fostering the culture of sustainability. One of the main ways it has been incorporated into sustainability education is that every workshop delivered by the ESD Consultant to Manitoba educators now includes opportunities to explore the scope and content of the Earth Charter.
The Manitoba Department of Education has also been very active in developing materials for use in educational settings. In 2008 the Department, along with the Sustainable Development Innovations Fund of Manitoba Conservation, provided funding to Little Animation Inc. to support the creation of a compelling and entertaining audio-visual educational program on the Little Earth Charter. The Little Earth Charter, with eight core values based on the original Earth Charter, is designed to reach children aged 4-8, to help them become responsible earth stewards for a sustainable future. The video was produced in consultation with the Earth Charter Initiative. The content is focused on ethical and environmental values, with a strong message of hope.
This Little Earth Charter video is now available on DVD, along with a Little Earth Charter teacher’s guide, and can be found on the Manitoba ESD website. They have also created “A Declaration for Sustainable Living” posters for students in grades K-4 and in grades 5-12, using the Earth Charter.