Sustainable Development Projects Workshop Inspired by the Earth Charter

A two day interactive workshop entitled “Sustainable Development Projects Inspired by the Earth Charter” was organized by Massar in Aleppo, a Northern City in Syria, on the 24th and 25th of January, 2012. During this 27 representatives from environmental NGOs, international agencies, governmental bodies, and representatives from 8 eco-schools participating in “Green Light: Environmental Education Initiative” came together to discuss sustainable development projects and to create synergies amongst the stakeholders.

Attendees of the workshop included people from eco-schools participating in Green Light Initiative, the Directorate of Environment, Youth Union, UNRWA, Agha Khan, UNEP, and seven active environmental NGOs in Aleppo. Overall, it was a very enriching experience and participants walked away with not only a better sense of what the Earth Charter is but also better equipped about how to take action towards more sustainable lifestyles.

The objectives of Earth Charter workshop were:

  •     Introducing the earth charter
  •     Updating the attendees on some interesting and recent facts in environment
  •     Discussing potential sustainable development projects inspired by the Earth Charter
  •     Giving an overview of climate change and planetary boundaries
  •     Explaining the principles of writing a project proposal
  •     Creating working groups based on the suggested project ideas by the attendees

Day One:

    – Give Earth a Hand… Green Peace Campaign
    – The Earth Charter formation
    – Envisioning sustainability…shedding light on Donella Meadows work
    – Why is the Earth Charter different?
    – Tree of the Earth Charter
Introducing the 4 main principles through interactive activities and discussions
       1.  Respect and care for community of life
            – The most important living thing
            – Types of participation and your institute
            – Community of life: an interconnected web

        2. Ecological Integrity
                – Types of ecosystem services and its current situation
                – Study on services of forests and woodlands in the UK
                – Ecosystems and equilibrium?
                – Story of our stuff

         3. Social and Economic Justice
                – Different perspectives on a social issue

          4. Democracy, non-violence, and peace
                – Art collage on the 4 principles of democracy, non-violence and peace

Day Two:

    – Overview of climate change and defining planetary boundaries
    – Eradicating ecocide and Polly Higgins work
    – Brainstorming sustainable development projects
    – Steps for writing a funding proposal
    – Introducing some funding opportunities
    – Creation of working groups and discussion of project ideas brainstorm:
        – A community problem and Earth Charter principles
        – Mind Map for Climate change

The Earth Charter workshop will be followed by another workshop to further elaborate the project ideas that were developed during this workshop.

Read the Earth Charter

We stand at a critical moment in Earth's history, a time when humanity must choose its future.
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