Australia Archives - Earth Charter

Earth Charter International holds Ecological Integrity webinar

To celebrate World Environment Day and the 15th anniversary of the Earth Charter, ECI organized a webinar on Ecological Integrity with guest lecturer Professor Brendan Mackey from Australia. Prof. Mackey is a climate change expert and also has had a long relationship with the Earth Charter. The webinar had guests from all over the world, with attendees joining from North America, Europe, Asia, Oceania, and Latin America.

Prof. Mackey introduced the Ecological Integrity definitions in the Earth Charter to begin, citing both parts of the preamble as well as the four principles in the second pillar of the Earth Charter. He explained the Ecological Integrity implied the healthy functioning of natural systems, stability, resilience, and adaptive capacity, including biodiversity, and also the continuing provision of ecosystem services. He showed a variety of charts to highlight the human footprint and effect on ecological integrity. He also introduced the I=PAT formula, Impact equals population times affluence times technology, which is a standard tool for explaining human impacts on ecological systems. Prof. Mackey ended his presentation stressing possible solutions and highlighting the importance of tools like the Earth Charter in order to reduce the “I” in the formula, or the footprint, in other words.

A lively discussion and question and answer ensued for the last half an hour during which Prof. Mackey and the audience exchanged questions and clarifications on the Ecological Integrity presentation.

You can watch the recording here:

And keep up-to-date on further Earth Charter +15 events here: /content/pages/Earth%20Charter%20Plus%2015

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New Earth Charter Affiliate from Australia

ECI would like to offer a warm welcome to The Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA) as a new Affiliate of Earth Charter International. AELA was created in 2012 to promote the understanding and practical implementation of Earth jurisprudence – Earth-centered law, governance, and ethics. 

AELA’s Director Michelle Maloney said that the Earth Charter is one of the important Earth-centered governance tools that AELA has adopted and promotes in its public education work and other events.

In 2014, the Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA) promoted understanding and use of the Earth Charter in a number of its events.  In particular:

  • AELA presentation at Thomas Berry Colloquium, Melbourne – 9 November 2014
  • Evening seminar, Melbourne – “Should rivers have legal rights?” – 6 November 2014
  • Earth laws and regional community environmentalism, Byron Bay, NSW – 23 October 2014 : AELA, EDO NSW and Southern Cross University hosted this fascinating afternoon of discussions about Earth laws and regional community activism.
  • Earth laws and governance workshop, Adelaide – 17 October 2014: AELA co-hosted a morning workshop exploring Earth laws, rights of nature and indigenous Earth governance. Speakers included representatives from AELA, EDO SA, local indigenous custodians, and the University of Adelaide.
  • Rights of Nature Tribunal, Brisbane (Is the Great Barrier Reef a victim of Ecocide?) – 15 October 2014: AELA hosted Australia’s first Rights of Nature Tribunal in Brisbane. This Tribunal was a Regional Chamber of the International Ethics Tribunal for the Rights of Nature, and part of the International “Earth Rights Days of Action”.
  • Building the Sharing Economy Workshop and Sharing Law Roundtable, Brisbane – 10 October 2014
  • Half day Symposium, Sydney – 12 September 2014:  The topic was “New trends in environmental law and governance” – Keynote Speaker: Judge Preston, Chief Justice of the Land and Environment Court. 
  • Exploring Ecospirituality Workshop, Brisbane – 25 July:  In collaboration with Griffith University’s Centre for Interfaith & Cultural Dialogue, the objective of this workshop was to explore ecocentrism and ecospirituality from indigenous, Buddhist, Islamic, Pagan, Christian, and secular points of view. 100 people participated for the presentations and the day also featured an open space and small group discussions. 
  • Community and nature’s rights workshops – Perth, Margaret River, Jarrahdale (early July – 7, 8, 9):  This series of workshops were organized with the Western Australian Forest Alliance (WAFA). The idea was to investigate the strategies local communities can adopt to block unwanted natural resource exploitation from mining, coal seam gas extraction, and forestry. 
  • AELA’s Law and Governance Clinic, Brisbane – 4 July:  The session was attended by 85 people from a range of organizations interested in legal business structures, the sharing economy, DGR, and other taxation issues for not-for-profit organizations, insurance, legal services in SEQ, and conflict management. 
  • Environmental Justice Symposium, Brisbane – April 2014: AELA and Griffith University’s Urban Research Program hosted a one-day Environmental Justice Symposium at Griffith University Ecocentre (Nathan).  The aim of the symposium was to bring together academics, activists, legal practitioners, students and regulators, to explore Environmental Justice in Queensland and to identify opportunities for future collaborative projects. 

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iAct Dialogues for Sustainability

With partners Sustainability Leaders Network and the IUCN Task Force on Intergenerational Partnership for Sustainability, Earth Charter International is co-organizing a series of three webinars in conjunction with the IUCN World Parks Congress (which is being held in Sydney, Australia in November 2014). These “iAct Dialogues for Sustainability” are interactive, global webinars that inspire intergenerational discussion and collaboration on sustainable planetary futures.

People of all generations from around the world are welcome to participate for free! Funding from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and in-kind support make this project possible.

Links to the webinars will be posted here shortly.

The dates and topics for the events are:

Pre-Congress Webinar: “Global Contributions to the New Social Compact: Towards effective and just conservation of biological and cultural diversity” Thursday, October 16, 14:00 UTC

Webinar link:

Learn more about the New Social Compact (NSC) and offer solutions-oriented ideas to help ensure that biodiversity conservation and social justice are mutually supportive. Small group discussion inputs will be delivered to NSC and Congress Stream Leaders and made available online.

Hybrid Webinar / Live Congress Session: “Intergenerational Dialogues for Protected Areas Management” Friday, November 14, 23:00 UTC (online), Saturday, November 15, 10:30 AEDT (Sydney)

Learn about concrete case studies: A New Generation of Marine Conservation, Global Youth Biodiversity Network, and Seniors’ University. Discuss how intergenerational learning and collaboration can advance conservation. Small group inputs will be delivered to case study presenters.

Post-Congress Webinar: “Building Momentum for the Young Peoples Pact and Action Plan” Thursday, December 11, 14:00 UTC

Learn about the Young Peoples Pact and Action Plan that were largely developed at the Congress. In small groups, discuss ways to embody the Pact and implement the Action Plan in your region. Inputs will be organized according to region and added to the Action Plan.

Watch this space for information on joining our webinars live:

In the meantime, join our iAct Facebook Group:

Learn more about the IUCN World Parks Congress:

We are looking forward to seeing you online and hearing your creative ideas for showing what sustainability looks like in practice!

Dominic Stucker (Sustainability Leaders Network)
Douglas F. Williamson (Earth Charter International)
iAct Working Group (IUCN Task Force on Intergenerational Partnership for Sustainability)

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The "Order of Australia Medal" Award to Clem Campbell

Clement Bernard Campbell, who coordinates the Earth Charter Australia Committee, was recently awarded the “Order of Australia Medal“, there will be an investiture in September, at Government House.

This award is conferred by the Australian Governor General and is the pre-eminent way Australians recognize the achievements and service of their fellow citizens. Nominations come directly from the community. Once a nomination is submitted, the Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat at Government House in Canberra conducts further research and contacts referees. Nominations are considered by the Council for the Order of Australia which makes recommendations direct to the Governor-General.

Dr. Noel Preston, an ethicist and Professor of Griffith University nominated Clem for this award.  This award not only recognizes Clem’s dedication and actions, but also the Earth Charter Project in this country.

The following is the nominating statement that Dr.Noel Preston wrote. 

( Nominating statement for Award in the Order of Australia)
by Dr Noel Preston AM


Clem Campbell is nominated for an award within the Order of Australia because of his significant contribution to the community, in particular for his contributions toward peace and environmental education and leadership in encouraging ethics in public life. Since 1998 when he retired from the Queensland State Parliament at the age of 50, his numerous endeavours have predominantly been undertaken in a voluntary capacity. Indeed, in this respect, the trajectory of his public contribution differs from that of others of his peers, many of whom (understandably) establish new careers with considerable remuneration making use of their experience as members of government. This nomination is based on recognition of that dedicated and sustained voluntary contribution over 15 years since his retirement from Parliament.

However, Clem Campbell’s notable public service dates back at least to 1983 when he was elected to the Queensland Parliament as the Member for Bundaberg. During his 15 years as an MP he was Chairman of Committees in the period of the Goss government. In 1995 he was elected the first Chairman of the newly established Members’ Ethics and Parliamentary Privileges Committee. He led this Committee in the early crucial phase of research and public hearings, submissions and  initial reporting to Parliament. This resulted, after his retirement, in the adoption of a Code for Members and other supporting measures (such as an education program for new MPs and the eventual establishment of  the Office of Integrity Commissioner), all of which has made the Queensland public sector ethics  regime a leader amongst Australian jurisdictions.

It was his contribution to ethics in public life which established my working and personal relationship with Clem.  Public sector ethics was at the heart of my work as a senior academic, first at Queensland University of a Technology and then Griffith University. Clem assisted me in research (acknowledged in several of my publications eg. Australian Journal of Political Science, Vol.36, No.1, pp.45-59) and in the organisation of Symposia and Conferences at QUT and then through the Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance at Griffith University. Since my retirement from Griffith University in 2001 he has continued to be a resource as a presenter and  organiser, sometimes in international programs and forums, organized through the GU Key Centre.

In various capacities I have observed over the past 15 years how he has also made an outstanding contribution to peace and environmental education not only within Queensland but also nationally. Initially this was via his association with the Earth Charter initiative, (a global ethics focus and statement covering social justice and environmental goals which stemmed from the 1992 Rio Conference organised by the United Nations. See ).

In 2001 Clem was the organiser of the three day Asia Pacific Earth Charter Conference in Brisbane attended by 350 delegates from sixteen nations across our region and from countries as diverse as Nepal and Fiji. (I was the Chair of that international conference.) For more than a decade since that date, Clem has been an Australian representative (sometimes at his own expense)   at international and local Earth Charter events and strategically, via the Eco-Centre at Griffith University.  His leadership of the Earth Charter in Queensland led to his participation in 2006 in Earth Dialogues (chaired by the Queensland Premier, the Brisbane Lord Mayor and Mikhail Gorbachev of Green Cross International). Subsequently, Clem was a key participant in the process which created Green Cross Australia. Since its inception (in 2007) Clem has been a Director of this non-government organisation, and remains as the only one continuing from its inception.   His continuous participation in Green Cross Australia and the Earth Charter has since evolved into a key role with the Queensland branch of the United Nations Association Australia as its Vice-President and as a major organiser of the 2011 National Conference of the UNAA. In these associations he has singularly and effectively maintained an appropriate context for support of the Earth Charter in Australia.

Several examples of Clem’s outstanding role in promoting peace and environmental education are:

(a) the partnership he initiated with educator Louise Erbacher between Earth Charter Australia and Brink Adventures ( to develop environmental education curriculum materials based on the values and principles of the Earth Charter. Brink Adventures went on to win the International Earth Charter Award in 2005 for their contribution to education for sustainability.
(b) his leadership in the development of environmental education materials such as the Earth Charter for Children (2002, 2007), the endorsement of the Earth Charter by Education Queensland and its incorporation into the Queensland curriculum, and eventually as the basis for a values framework for state schools informing the online curriculum resources “Tomorrow’s Citizens” (during the period of the Beattie and Bligh Governments’ term of office).
(c)  his organising during 2009-10  of the EC+10 celebration (ten years since the international launch of the Earth Charter)  – securing funding, developing partnerships, arranging international and national guests – resulted in a very successful multi-faceted venture around Educational Forums for the School, Business and Community sectors.

Recently, in a partnership involving Griffith University, St John’s Cathedral, the UNAA and the Earth Charter, Clem has successfully initiated the Brisbane Peace Lecture, held on the United Nations International Day of Peace. The inaugural 2012 lecture was launched by the current Governor of Queensland. The lecturer, Ms Leneen Forde AC, Chancellor of Griffith University, was introduced by The Honourable Justice Margaret Mc Murdo AC. This annual initiative is an example of many peace and environmental events in the Queensland context which would not have occurred but for Clem Campbell. 

His leadership and voluntary endeavours (within non-government organisations) in peace and environment education since his retirement from Parliament make him a worthy nominee for an award within the Order of Australia.

Brief Timeline and CV of activities relevant to this nomination of Clement Bernard Campbell B.Agr.Sc. (University of Queensland)

1995-98 Chair and deputy Chair of the Queensland Parliamentary Members Ethics and Parliamentary Privileges Committee

2000-01 organising executive for the Asian Pacific Earth Charter Conference 2001

2002 (to present) Chair, Earth Charter Australia (Qld)

1998-2000 Queensland University of Technology research fellow on various ‘ethics in public life projects’

2001 -2011 research fellow in various ‘environmental ethics and public ethics projects’ Eco-Centre, Griffith University (GU) and Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance,GU

2010 (to present) Vice-President of the United Nations Association of Australia (Queensland)

2007 (to present) Director of Green Cross Australia

2011 (to present) Convenor, Brisbane Peace Lecture

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Ethics: with or without God

Ethics: with or without God”, by Noel Preston, is written from the author’s unique perspective: theological training as a Christian minister, social justice engagement across several decades, combined with an academic career teaching and researching applied ethics in secular universities. From this cross-disciplinary perspective, Noel Preston outlines a common ethical vision and spirituality for humanity, and whether religious belief can be part of that quest.

About this book Prof. Preston said, “I intend to analyse what of religion (Christianity and traditional theism in particular) remains worth keeping in the quest for a common ethical vision and a spirituality for humanity in the twenty-first century.”

This book has six chapters. The first three chapters are more conceptual and theoretical than the remaining chapters. They address the main theme of the book while the remaining chapters are issues-based and applied.

Of special interest for the Earth Charter Initiative is Chapter Five, which develops the idea of a global ethic and global citizenship by drawing especially on the eco-justice vision of The Earth Charter. This chapter has a more extended discussion of the moral dangers confronting life on Earth, realities that serve as a background for the whole book.

Noel Preston is an ethicist and Uniting Church Minister, currently Adjunct Professor in the Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance of Griffith University and part-time lecturer at Charles Stuart University through St Francis’ Theological College, Brisbane/Australia. He retired in November 2004 as the founding Director of the Uniting Care Queensland Centre for Social Justice. Previously (from 1987–2001) he held senior academic positions at Queensland University of Technology and Griffith University in the fields of Applied and Professional Ethics with a special research interest in Ethics and Government.

He has been a regular public commentator on social ethics and is currently a co-convenor of the Progressive Spirituality Network (Q’ld.) and a member of the Australian Earth Charter Committee.

He has written other books and articles where he analyzes the Earth Charter as global ethical framework, such as:

  • Preston, N., 2001. Understanding Ethics. 2nd ed. Australia: The Federation Press. (Now in its 4th edition)
  • Preston, N., 2010. The Why and What of ESD: A Rationale for Earth Charter Education (and Naming Some of Its Difficulties). Journal of Education for Sustainable Development, 4:2, pp. 187-192.

You can purchase “Ethics: with or without God” here.

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New book: The Earth Charter, Ecological Integrity and Social Movements

The Earth Charter, Ecological Integrity and Social Movements is a recently published book
edited by Laura Westra and Earth Charter International Director Mirian Vilela. This book offers a variety of perspectives through a collection of 19 chapters written by scholars from universities situated in different parts of the world.  It provides a series of analyses of issues of concern in terms of ecological integrity,  international law for
human rights and social movements and it relates them to the Earth Charter. The book also shows the strong connection between ecological
integrity and social justice, particularly in the defense of indigenous people. It includes contributions from both the North and the global South,
specifically from Central and South America.

Among the chapters are submissions by climate ethics specialist Don Brown, by international
law academic Klaus Bosselmann on the Rule of Law Grounded in Earth, and by Leonardo Boff and
Mirian Vilela on the social movements in Brazil. The other chapters are equally compelling comprising papers from
all over the world and from many esteemed universities.

You can
purchase the book here and see the pdf attachment at the bottom of the article to receive a 20% discount with your purchase.

These are
the book’s contents:

Prologue: Summons to a New Axial Age: The Promise, Limits, and
Future of the Earth Charter

Ron Engel


Mirian Vilela


Laura Westra

Part 1: The Earth Charter and the Search for
Common Ground

1. The Rule of Law Grounded in the Earth: Ecological Integrity as
a Grundnorm

Klaus Bosselmann

2. The Earth Charter, the Commons and the Common Heritage of
Mankind Principle

Prue Taylor

3. Realising Earth Democracy: Governance from Below

Peter Burdon

Part 2: International Law, Ethics and Social

4. The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human
Rights: Presenting the Problem as the Solution

Mihir Kanade

5. Norms For Scientific Claims Made in The Face of Scientific
Uncertainty: Lessons From the Climate Change Disinformation Campaign

Don Brown

6. What a Difference a Disaster Makes-or Doesn’t: A Comparative
Case Study of Governmental and Popular Responses to Hurricanes Katrina and

Sheila Collins

Part 3: International Law, Human Rights and
Ecological Integrity

7. The Law of Transboundary Groundwater

Joseph Dellapenna

8. Oceans for Sale

Jeff Brown and Abby Sandy

9. Land Grabbing, Food Security and the Environment: Human Rights

Onita Das and Evadné Grant

10. Is a Green New Deal Strategy a Sustainable Response to the
Social and Ecological Challenges of the Present World?

Eva Cudlínová

11. Frack Off! – Law, Policy, Social Resistance, Coal Seam Gas
Mining and the Earth Charter

Janice Gray

Part 4: Indigenous Voices for Integrity

12. Canadian Avatar: Reshaping Relationships Through Indigenous

Kathleen Mahoney

13. Sharing the River of Life: The Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign

Jack Manno

14. Indigenous Laws and Aspirations for a Sustainable World

Linda Te Aho

15. Moving Toward Global Eco-Integrity: Implementing Indigenous
Conceptions of Nature in a Western Legal System

Catherine Iorns Magallanes

Part 5: Government Decisions, Environmental
Policies and Social Movements

16. Society, Changes and Social Movements: The Case of Brazil

Leonardo Boff and Mirian Vilela

17. Environmental Sustainability Beyond The Law: A Venezuelan

María Elisa Febres

18. Costa Rica: The First Latin American Country Free of Open Pit
Gold Mining

Eugenia Wo Ching

19. The Earth Charter. An Environmental Policy Instrument in
Mexico – a Soft Law or Hard Policy Perspective

Francisco Javier Camarena Juarez

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SCCE launches their National Community Directory

Southern Cross Community Enterprises (SCCE) is a registered and endorsed, values and outcome driven charity, that has created the SCCE COMMUNITY DIRECTORY as a free community resource and service for the Not for Profit and Community Sectors in Australia.

This Community Directory is now 100% integrated with the SCCE COMMUNITY LOTTERIES, providing a simple, free, and effective fundraising option for your Organisation.

•    Update, edit, and manage your SCCE Community Directory Profile;
•    Utilise this online resource, and integrate it into your existing website and networks, to promote your cause and raise funds;
•    Directly receive a minimum 20% of every ticket sold where your Organisation is nominated as the Players Charity;
•    Be eligible to receive the Winners Charity Donation, which can currently be up to $10 000 in each draw;
•    SCCE Community Lotteries provides a complete fund raising option that requires no ticket books, no administration costs, and no management headaches.

1.    Visit
2.    Login using your Username and Update or edit your profile;
3.    Copy your SCCE PROFILE URL, simple text link, or the SCCE BADGE URL, for an image link.
4.    Provide these links on your WEBSITE, in your NEWSLETTERS, and through your SOCIAL NETWORKS.
5.    Encourage your supporters to purchase tickets and help raise money for your cause;
6.    Funds raised by SCCE will be delivered to your Organisation within 7 days of a draw closing by Cheque or Direct Deposit. Please visit our Terms and Conditions for details.

Questions or comments?  Please contact: [email protected]

This facility is a worlds first innovation, providing a transparent and effective way to create a national pool of funding that can be delivered and targeted directly where it is needed through the Not For Profit and Community sector.
•    100% Australian Innovation;
•    100% managed and controlled within Australia;
•    100% of proceeds generated delivered to Australian Organisations and Communities.
SCCE will continue to develop and invest in creating resources, services, online infrastructure and opportunities that are locally owned and managed for the benefit of Australian Communities.
Everyone at SCCE wishes to welcome you to our facility, and thank you for the important work that you do.

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Pacific Calling Campaign – Report of Activities 2010

The Pacific Calling Partnership (PCP) strives to listen to and be accountable to voices from the Pacific and Torres Strait islands in their quest to raise awareness about the impacts on them, due to high greenhouse gas emissions from industrialised countries.

The PCP aims to build a consensus that drives support for Australia, in partnership with  their neighbours, to recognise and build on the civil, cultural, economic and environmental resilience of all countries within the Pacific region. In this way they can work towards building a positive, communitarian and sustainable response based on Human Rights to the increased water, food, fuel and land stresses that are predicted under present circumstances and future climate change scenarios.

The work of the Pacific Calling Partnership (PCP) like all the work of Edmund Rice Centre is based on the Earth Charter.

Find here the 2010 Report of Activities.

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Report of Actions 2010 – EC Australia

Find here the report of activities for 2010, submitted by Clem Campbell, Chairman of Earth Charter Australia Committee.

Earth Charter +10 celebration:
As one of the world wide celebrations for the 10th anniversary of the launch of the Earth Charter, the Australia Pacific Earth Charter +10 festival was held in Brisbane from 16th to 19th September 2010. A planning committee was established with the UNAA (Qld) as a partner and their office was used for the Festival Planning Committee meetings.

The Festival was a great success with the attendance of Mirian Vilela, Executive Director, Earth Charter International, Professor Brendan Mackey, Council Member Earth Charter International and sponsored delegates from Pacific Island Nations. The Festival included the Day of Inspiration, held at St John’s Cathedral, three streams conducted on the Day of Action, and a Day of Celebration conducted at Musgrave Park, South Brisbane in partnership with the International Day of Peace Alliance.

The Education stream – Seeds of Change – was recognized as a signature event of the State Government, Department of Education and Training (YES) Year of Environmental Sustainability for all Queensland Schools.

Well over 20 Government and Community organisations were involved in the planning and sponsorship of the Festival events and special thanks goes to all those organisations and individuals who so generously volunteered to make the festival a success.

Web site:
The website continues to be an important tool for the committee to continue the public awareness and promotion of the Earth Charter initiative and the promotion and organization for the Earth Charter +10 Festival. With the help of volunteer student web designers a new website was designed for the festival promotion. The reconstruction of the website for 2011 will be a major undertaking for the committee

Activities of Earth Charter Australia included:

  • Louise Erbacher is continuing to support the Brink expedition
  • HOPE Toowoomba – continue mutual support to promote the Earth Charter values
  • Supported Earth Charter activities in Gympie, UNAA(Qld), Global Learning Centre, Environment day and Friends of South East Queensland and Earthlink organisations

The financial support for the Festival was exceptional and with all the labour and management provided on a volunteer basis, this resulted in a surplus of over $10,000 for the continued ongoing operations of the Earth Charter initiative in Australia.

I would especially like to thank Griffith University and Delwyn Langdon and Rhiannon Chamberlain of the EcoCentre for their continued support, Virginia Balmain, President UNAA (Qld) for accepting Earth Charter Australia as a sub-committee of UNAA(Qld), executive committee members Noel Preston for his guidance and friendship, Suzanne and Peter Davies for their continued commitment and hard work, Louise Erbacher for  her tireless work and enthusiasm as secretary, Georgina Greenhill for her creative inspiration and commitment and Donnell Davis for their continued commitment to the earth Charter Initiative and to all members of Earth Charter Australia for their support and commitment to a just sustainable and peaceful global society through the Earth Charter initiative.

The Future:
Our major commitments for the year are:

  • Development of the website
  • In partnership with the Mercy Sisters, funding the translation of the Earth Charter into the Samoan and Tuvaluan languages
  • Donation to Earth Charter International
  • Support Open Harts CD production and education project
  • Participate in Greenearth Day and World Environment Day with associated NGO’s.
  • Promote the Earth Charter for adoption at the Rio + 20 Summit

 My best wishes to you all for a happy and peaceful 2011 and beyond.

 Through the Earth Charter may we truly become a just sustainable and secure world.

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Earth Charter provides the template for 5th annual Youth Peace Parliament in Australia

16. Promote a culture of tolerance, nonviolence, and peace.

Thank you Annette Brownlie, CoConvenor Just Peace, Vice President International Day of Peace Alliance, for providing this information.

Just Peace as a member organisation of the International Day of Peace Alliance in Brisbane, Australia organized the 5th Youth Peace Parliament (YPP). They organized a workshop on August 14 and the Parliament on September 20 and 21, 2010. The 5th YPP gathered at Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

Prior to the event, a team of young people from University of Queensland, under the leadership of Heather Millhouse, functioned as an organising team board, providing fresh ideas and wonderful group dynamics skills to put the event together.

The organizers came to a conclusion that the international celebrations marking the 10th anniversary of the Earth Charter provided them with a wonderful template to develop Inquiries which all related to the pursuit of a Just, Sustainable and Peaceful future. Therefore the discussion groups were divided under the following topics, which are the 4 main pillars of the Earth Charter: Respect and Care for the Community of Life, Ecological Integrity, Peace, Non-Violence and Democracy and Social and Economic Justice. Students were able to follow their selected area of interest and in their working groups they entered into the discussions very well.

The organizers state that this 5th Youth Peace Parliament succeeded beyond expectation! High school students from over 20 Queensland Schools were forming committees to tackle the big issues of the day using collaborative and consensus process. Students used the Earth Charter principles as a tool to look to future security environmentally, ethically and peacefully.

As a result of the gathering the International Day of Peace 2010 Youth Peace Parliament declares need for Australian military forces to concentrate on defending the nation.

Well done young leaders of today and into the future!

Read the whole report here.



    The most important facet of this group’s work is seen to be in making community awareness of the plight of refugees – in particular, “the boat people”. They felt that the current methods of detaining people were abhorrent and wide changes should be made. They referred to fencing in of women and children, excessive actions by guards and general removal from community life. They acknowledge difficulties associated with screening procedures in Australia. It would be a better system to concentrate on neighboring countries to be involved in the screening process and to involve resident groups in caring for refugees.
    This group felt strongly that a carbon emissions tax be implemented very quickly. Decentralization of food production was seen to be important. As well, reference was made to sustainable farming, transport tariffs, public transport, foreign aid, action plans for individual communities, education in schools, climate safe buildings, establishment of bush reserves
    and the banning of plastic bags and the
    closing of cities for one day. One
    member of the group said that a vegan
    in a hummer uses more energy than an
    omnivore riding a bike.
    This group had three major elements in their plan.
    a. To remove the power of the declaration of war from the cabinet to be replaced by a majority conscience vote by both houses of federal parliament with the inclusion of mandatory public forums on the issue.
    b. Aims to limit the ownership of media publications by a single corporation or corporations working in tandem to a certain percentage of the media sector.
    c. Implement a more defensive stance of Australian military forces, thus enabling the redistribution of Defence spending into in to alternative avenues such as humanitarian aid assistance operations.
    The policies put forward by this group concentrated on the state of mental health care. Of prime importance is the appointment of a Minister for Mental Health who oversees a department established to oversee the care of patients and their families. A mental health program should be offered in all schools. A centralised point of contact for care and support needs to be established. Community-based non-government organisations should have access to national financial support.

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Read the Earth Charter

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