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New Earth Charter International Leadership

The Earth Charter International (ECI) is undergoing a change in leadership.  After 15 years of providing leadership for the Earth Charter Initiative, Steven Rockefeller stepped down as ECI Council Co-Chair in 2010. He will continue to be member of the Council. This change was confirmed at the Earth Charter International Council meeting held in November and December 2010.  

The Earth Charter International Council elected Brendan Mackey, Razeena Omar and Alide Roerink to serve as Co-Chairs of the ECI Council, with Brendan serving as lead Co-Chair for 2011/2012 . As Council Co-Chairs they take on the responsibility of overseeing ECI’s mission, operations, programme of work, budget, communications, and policy development.

Furthermore, Ruud Lubbers and Erna Witoelar agreed to serve as Honorary Co-Chairs. They will be providing advice and guidance regarding ECI Council’s strategy and assistance in high level engagements  regarding international processes such as the Rio+20 Conference.

The Earth Charter Initiative is thankful to Ruud Lubbers and Erna Witoelar for their continuous support and leadership.

Erna Witoelar (Indonesia) was appointed as UN Special Ambassador for MDGs in Asia & the Pacific in October 2003. She is the former minister of human settlements and regional development (1999-2001) and a former member of the National Assembly of Indonesia.  She has been involved in the Earth Charter Initiative since the first steering committee in 1996. She serves at the board of directors of many organizations working in Indonesia and internationally.


Ruud Lubbers (The Netherlands) is an economist and served three terms as Prime Minister of the Netherlands (1982 – 1994). He was UN High Commissioner for Refugees and has served in many other institutions and initiatives. In the Earth Charter Initiative, he has played an important leadership role, first as part of the Earth Charter Commission and actively participating in the drafting process of the Earth Charter. 

The Earth Charter Initiative also would also like to thank Brendan Mackey (Australia), Razeena Omar (South Africa) and Alide Roerink (The Netherlands) for their willingness and commitment to serve at the ECI Council.

Brendan Mackey (Australia) has a PhD in tropical forest ecology and is a professor of environmental science at The Australian National University, Canberra. He is also member of the IUCN Council. Brendan’s research and teaching is in the areas of global environmental change and biodiversity conservation, including the challenge of conservation planning in extensive intact country where indigenous interests are paramount.  He actively participated in the drafting process of the Earth Charter.

Razeena Omar (South Africa)  takes a keen interest in monitoring trends, shifts and debates on environment, conservation and education. She holds academic and professional qualifications in the areas of botany, zoology, ecology, conservation and education. Dr. Omar was the executive director for People and Conservation at South African National Parks (SANParks) and, since June 2008, has been chief director of integrated coastal management and development for the department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism; Marine and Coastal Management.

Alide Roerink (The Netherlands) is an anthropologist who has been working with the National Committee for International Cooperation and Sustainable Development (NCDO) in the capacity of advisor international relations, and is a member of the NCDO management team. Alide coordinates the NCDO Earth Charter programme and the Round Table of Worldconnectors for People and the Planet (www.worldconnectors.nl). NCDO is affiliated to the Earth Charter Initiative and cooperated with the Earth Charter Initiative in the launch of the Earth Charter in 2000 in the Peace Palace in The Hague, with the Earth Charter+5 event in 2005 in Amsterdam, and the Earth Charter +10 celebration in The Hague.

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