News

Rio+20 process ongoing

As the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development nears, ECI and the Earth Charter Initiative are engaged on several levels. The Earth Charter Youth have been very active, Initiative participants have been working on language for the outcome document, others have been assisting with a variety of actions and meetings in preparation, and still more have been focusing on communications in advance of the conference.

ECI is urging all people and organizations involved in the outcome document drafting to reach out to their respective networks, especially to people in state party delegations or with connections to them to urge them to retain the text proposed by the Russian delegation on paragraph 16 of the compilation document /the Zero Draft:

Convinced that a holistic approach to sustainable development requires a comprehensive and universal code of ethics, we welcome the thrust of the Earth Charter recognized by UNESCO as an important ethical framework for sustainable development. In this regard we request the Secretary-General to use the capacity and expertise of the UN System to elaborate in close and regular consultations with the Member States a voluntary document comprising in an integral and comprehensive manner the globally shared values, principles and ethics of economical, social and environmental sustainability.

The implementation of ECI’s Rio+20 plan has been led by Rick Clugston and has been supported by many in the Earth Charter Initiative. In November 2011, ECI submitted to the UN Rio+20 Compilation Document  (Earth Charter International Recommendations for the Zero Draft of the UNCSD (Rio+20) Outcome Document). ECI has also forged alliances with many organizations that support the explicit inclusion of ethical values and principles in the outcome document. A total of 31 submissions to the compilation document referenced the Earth Charter, 42 focused on spiritual dimensions, and 81 emphasized ethical dimensions of sustainable development.

Another major NGO Rio+20 initiative is the drafting of a series of “People’s Sustainability Treaties” which will shadow the formal negotiations and provide a vehicle to articulate the aspirations and recommendations of civil society. One of the proposed texts has the theme of ethics, spirituality, and the Earth Charter and people in the Earth Charter Initiative are taking an active role in this process. To learn more see http://sustainabilitytreaties.org/.

Various events are also being planned for the Rio+20 conference, some by ECI and partners and others that involve the Earth Charter, including events to be held by other organizations and Brazilian Earth Charter supporters at the People’s Summit. Soon more information on this will be shared.

The Earth Charter Youth has also been highly active in the lead-up to Rio+20, one of the key purposes here is to inspired young people to be involved in the process and to offer learning opportunities to the youth network on understanding the process. The Secretariat Youth coordinator has organized a youth webinar series on the Earth Charter and Rio+20. Along with the Major Group for Children and Youth and EOTO World, ECI has co-organized a webinar series on Rio+20 preparations. ECI participated in the Rio+Vos Earth Day Campaigns around Latin America. ECI has also partnered with the Road to Rio+20, one of the largest and loudest youth coalitions organizing awareness of youth issues around sustainable development. ECI also hosted a US State Department webinar along with SustainUS for US youth involved in the Rio+20 process. ECI co-organized the Global Youth Music Contest with IAAI and many other partners. Finally, ECI co-organized and offered a short course with Mexican partner Pides under thier “Yo, Juventud” (I, Youth) Campaign for Rio+20. ECI has established itself as a major player in the youth space leading up to Rio+20.

Please, visit the Earth Charter Initiative Rio+20 Web page for more information and related Earth Charter resources.

Also, read other recent news about ECI at Earth Day in San Jose, Costa Rica and Rio+20 Youth webinars.