Written by: Earth Charter Friends of Canda
Happy Earth Charter Day! The Earth Charter launched 17 years ago. Today, we celebrate a process that brought people together from all over the world to define the values and principles they shared, and a vision for a peaceful sustainable future for all. The vision, values and principles are just as relevant today as they were then. The collaborative spirit of the process has never been more important.
The Earth Charter and Earth Charter Initiative continue to bring people together, and to drive and inspire action around the world. Millions of people and organizations have endorsed the Earth Charter since its launch in 2000 including UNESCO, universities, cities, many religions and civil groups.
Earth Charter Friends Canada has been active in Canada for over 2 years. We work with people and organizations within Canada to raise awareness of the Earth Charter. We invite you to join the global network of people working to transition to a just, sustainable and peaceful world.
A Global Initiative
The Earth Charter is many things. It is a lens, a vision, a guide and an ethical framework. It is centrally concerned with the transition to sustainable ways of living and human development. The Earth Charter recognizes that all life is interconnected and that ecological protection, the eradication of poverty, equitable economic development, respect for human rights, democracy and peace are interdependent.
The Earth Charter is the product of a decade-long, cross-cultural, global civil society dialogue on common goals and shared values. The creation of the Charter remains the most open and participatory worldwide consultation process ever associated with the drafting of an international declaration.
The spirit of the Earth Charter started in the international community with the 1987 Brundtland Report on Sustainable Development. This report highlighted the goal of meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
In 1992, the Rio Summit, a UN Conference on Environment and Development, the world moved to adopt many of the principles and values of the Earth Charter. It was moved outside of the UN and into civil society by Maurice Strong, a Canadian and the Secretary-General of the Conference, and Mikhail Gorbachev, a Nobel Peace Prize winner. With the support of the Dutch Government, the Earth Charter launched as a civil society organization and commenced the most inclusive and participatory process ever associated with the creation of an international declaration. With input from 100,000s of people, 50+ countries, and over 500 people actively reviewing the drafts, the Earth Charter was finalized and endorsed globally by organizations representing millions people and grew into the movement it is today.
The Earth Charter Initiative is a global network of people, organizations and institutions that participate in promoting and implementing the values and principles of the Earth Charter. Participants include leading international institutions, national governments and their agencies, university associations, nongovernment organizations and community-based groups, city governments, faith groups, schools and businesses – as well as thousands on individuals. Learn more about Earth Charter International at earthcharter.org.
Earth Charter Friends Canada is officially launching a monthly newsletter. Join us to hear more about events and activities in your community and learn about some of the innovative solutions to environmental, social and economic challenges.
We’d like to hear from you! We want to know how you’re working with the Earth Charter values and principles. Tell us your story and we can help share it or feature you in an article. Email us at [email protected]