Brazil Archives - Earth Charter

Reflections as the New Earth Charter Youth Projects Coordinator

By: Christine Lacayo

My first month of work ends and I’m excited to share some of my reflections!

As the Earth Charter Youth Projects ChristineECCoordinator, my main responsibility is to motivate, guide, and engage young people to create a more just, sustainable and peaceful world. What is the best way to do this? I think the beauty of this position is the flexibility and creativity the job requires. I have the ability to incorporate my passions and interests to expand and create new opportunities and stories. I’m excited to bring my passion for visual media and writing to collect all Earth Charter Youth actions and stories that are taking place around the world. As an ocean advocate, I would also like to continue sensitizing my community members on the importance of taking care of our ocean ecosystems!

Some of the main projects I’m focusing on now include promoting our app Mapting, used to take pictures of actions related the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We have our next photo competition to celebrate International Day for Biological Diversity starting from 12-22 May.Mapting_FB_AD

I’m also facilitating our next online training programme for youth, Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics (LSE) starting 19 June. This 10-week course is designed to prepare and empower young people with the skills and knowledge to be effective ethical sustainability leaders and implement Earth Charter-inspired projects.

One of my favorite roles of my job is having a group of Earth Charter Young Leaders, those who have completed the LSE course, from all over the world. These leaders are from countries such as St. Lucia, Germany, Kenya, Nigeria, Japan, Netherlands, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Rwanda, and Spain, just to name a few! My responsibility is to support them along their year commitment as an Earth Charter Young Leader implementing activities and workshops in their community.

I’m also diving into the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Leadership Training Programme created by esd-training-flierEarth Charter International for the UNESCO Global Action Program (GAP) on ESD focusing on priority area number 4: empowering and mobilizing youth. The training is designed for young people from 18-35 who are active leaders in sustainable development in their communities.  At the beginning of July, I will be co-facilitating the training programme in Brasilia, Brazil for selected young leaders from across Latin America!

I’m very excited to start this dynamic new job not to mention the stunning nature views and sounds from my office! I’m happy to be back in the country I grew up visiting as my second home while promoting a more peaceful and sustainable world using the skills and knowledge I’ve gained from my studies and experiences!IMG_0032




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Brazilian UMAPAZ Celebrates 10 Years of using the Earth Charter


UMAPAZ 3The Open University for Environment and Culture of Peace – UMAPAZ – founded in 2006 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, has been using the principles of the Earth Charter for 10 years.

In 2009 UMAPAZ created the Earth Charter in Action Programme – Training Urban Socio-Environment Agents with the goal of “ creating a network of citizens that are prepared to act in order to transform urban environments into a sustainable and educational city. These “agents” go through a process of continuous and integrated learning. UMAPAZ 2

The programme, which is updated periodically, consists of an Introductory Module, Bases for Action, the City of Sao Paulo, Action Tools, and Transformational Experiences. It is offered free of charge by the Municipality of Sao Paulo, and is held at the headquarters of UMAPAZ, in Ibirapuera Park.

UMAPAZ 4In 2016, the 13th generation of the programme is training 50 participants who were selected from 350 applications. UMAPAZ made a conscience decision during the selection process to create a diverse group of participants based on gender, age, occupation, and geographic location, with the firm understanding that this next generation of diverse trainers can have the greatest impact on the city.

Mónica Pliz Barbosa is the Director of UMAPAZ. The Earth Charter Programme is coordinated by Lia Salomão Lopes, geographer, and by Debora Pontalti Marcondes, biologist. Practical training is provided by specialist Estela Pereira Gomes. The programme is taught by UMAPAZ teachers and guest lecturers. UMAPAZ 1





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Theologian Leonardo Boff reflects on the linkages between the Earth Charter and the Pope’s Encyclical

Similarities between the Encyclical Laudato si’: “On Care for our Common Home” and the Earth Charter, “Earth, Our Home”

By Leonardo Boff

The encyclical, Laudato sí’: On Care for our Common Home and The Earth Charter are two documents of worldwide relevance that coincidentally have many commonalities. They deal with the degradation of the Earth and life in its many forms, departing from the conventional vision expressed through environmentalism. They subscribe to a new relational and holistic paradigm, the only one, perhaps, which is still capable of giving us hope.

The Earth Charter is echoed in the encyclical, which, in one of its most fundamental passages, proclaims, “I dare to propose again this precious challenge: as never before in history, the common destiny calls on us to seek a new beginning.” (p. 207). That new beginning is being undertaken by Pope Francis.

Let us enumerate, among others, some of the similarities between the two documents.

In the first place, one sees the same spirit running through the two texts: in their analytical form, gathering the best scientific data; in their critical form, denouncing the present system that puts the Earth out of balance; and in their hopeful form, offering solutions. They do not surrender to resignation, but rather trust in the human capacity to create a new lifestyle and in the renewing actions of the Creator, “Lord who lovest the living” (Wis. 11, 26).

They have the same starting point. The Earth Charter states, “The dominant patterns of production and consumption are causing environmental devastation, the depletion of resources, and a massive extinction of species.” (Preamble, 3). The encyclical repeats, “…we need only take a frank look at the facts to see that our common home is falling into serious disrepair…the present world system is certainly unsustainable from a number of points of view…” (p. 61).

They make the same proposals. The Earth Charter affirms, “Fundamental changes are needed in our values, institutions, and ways of living.” (Preamble, 4). The encyclical emphasizes, “Every effort to protect and improve our world entails profound changes in ‘lifestyles, models of production and consumption, and the established structures of power which today govern societies.’” (p. 5).

A great innovation, central to the new cosmologic and ecological paradigm, is the following affirmation in the Earth Charter, “Our environmental, economic, political, social, and spiritual challenges are interconnected, and together we can forge inclusive solutions.” (Preamble, 4). The encyclical echoes this assertion: there are some threads that run through the entire document, “…the intimate relationship between the poor and the fragility of the planet, the conviction that everything in the world is connected, the critique of new paradigms and forms of power derived from technology, the call to seek other ways of understanding the economy and progress, the value proper to each creature, the human meaning of ecology, the need for forthright and honest debate, the serious responsibility of international and local policy, the throwaway culture and the proposal of a new lifestyle.” (p. 16). This suggests solidarity among all, shared sobriety and replacing “…consumption with sacrifice, greed with generosity, wastefulness with a spirit of sharing…” (p. 9).

The Earth Charter mentions the “spirit of human solidarity and kinship with all life (Preamble 5). Similarly, the encyclical affirms, “Everything is related, and we human beings are united as brothers and sisters on a wonderful pilgrimage, woven together by the love God has for each of his creatures and which also unites us in fond affection with brother sun, sister moon, brother river and mother earth.» (p. 92). That is the universal Franciscan fraternity.

The Earth Charter emphasizes that it is our duty to “Respect and care for the community of life. Respect Earth and life in all its diversity.” (Pillar 1 and Principle 1). The entire encyclical, starting with its title, “On Care for Our Common Home”, makes a sort of refrain from this mandate. It proposes “a more passionate concern for the protection of our world.” (p. 216) and “‘a culture of care’ which permeates all of society.” (p.231). Here caring emerges not as mere perfunctory benevolence but as a new paradigm, a loving of life and of all that exists and lives.

Another important affinity is the value assigned to social justice. The Earth Charter maintains that there is a strong relationship between ecology and “social and economic justice” that works to “protect the vulnerable, serve those who suffer…” (9. c). The encyclical reaches one of its highest points when it affirms that “a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.” (p.49).

Both The Earth Charter and the encyclical go against the current thinking in emphasizing that “…every form of life has value regardless of its worth to human beings.” (1. a). Pope Francis reaffirms that “…all creatures are connected, each must be cherished with love and respect, for all of us as living creatures are dependent on one another.” (p. 42). In the name of this understanding, the Pope strongly criticizes anthropocentrism (pps. 115-120), because it views humanity’s relationship with nature as using and devastating her, forgetting that human beings are a part of nature and that humanity’s mission is to be her guardian and protector.

The Earth Charter devised one of the best definitions of peace that has come from human reflection, “…the wholeness created by right relationships with oneself, other persons, other cultures, other life, Earth, and the larger whole of which all are a part.” (16. f). If peace, as Pope Paul VI was accustomed to say, is “the equilibrium of movement” then the encyclical says that it is “ecological equilibrium, establishing harmony within ourselves, with others, with nature and other living creatures, and with God.” (n.210). The result of that process is the perennial peace so desired by all peoples.

These two documents are beacons that guide us in these somber times, and that are capable of returning to us the much-needed hope that we still can save our Common Home and ourselves.

Leonardo Boff is an ecotheologian and author of the book Ecology: Cry of the Earth – Cry of the Poor, Orbis 2002.

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Global Citizen – Earth Charter project with AIESEC

In early 2014, Earth Charter International, Amana-Key, and AIESEC in Brazil began a new partnership with the aim of strengthening the promotion and dissemination of the Earth Charter principles in Brazil and the world. Amana-Key, one of Earth Charter International’s partners in Brazil, is a consulting firm for business and executive education specializing in radical innovations in management, strategy, and leadership of complex organizations. AIESEC, recognized by UNESCO as the largest organization of university students in the world, is a global network of young people who seek to develop their leadership potential, management experience, ability to foster social change, and international experience in practice.

As a result of this partnership the “Global Citizen – Earth Charter ” project was born. This is a social exchange project that empowers young people between 18-30 years old to multiply the principles of the Earth Charter in schools (public and private), thus contributing to building to a more ethical, just, and sustainable society. The activities to be carried out during the program were articulated in two phases: 1) training; and 2) experience exchange.

The first stage consisted of an online training course for young people as Earth Charter multipliers, administered through a virtual education platform. The second stage consisted of a social exchange, in which new multipliers were sent to schools and spent six weeks working in classes with children and adolescents and multiplying the principles of the Earth Charter.

In the first edition, held in 2014 in Brazil, the “Global Citizen – Earth Charter” project brought together 110 young people from 33 countries, working with about 7,000 students (10-14 years old) in 26 Brazilian cities. Based on these results and noting its great potential for expansion and transformation, the “Global Citizen – Earth Charter” project has entered its second phase, which will begin implementation in May 2015. In this new phase, AIESEC International will start to make the project global and expand it to other countries in Latin America and eventually around the world.

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Promoting sustainability through mobile art

El 25 de octubre del 2014 fue la apertura de la exhibición de Miguel Igreja llamada Pernambuco, Cultura, Historia y Mar, en la sede del Proyecto Tamar en el Archipiélago de Fernando de Noronha (Brasil). 
Esta es una exhibición itinerante, que muestra unas bellas imágenes marinas de Pernambuco usando bicicletas conducidas por artistas plásticos y músicos.

En la apertura, Cristina Moreno, Asesora de la Carta de la Tierra Internacional, inspiró a los participantes a considerar los principios de la Carta de la Tierra y la importancia de las artes para estimular el cuidado como práctica necesaria para toda acción humana, para una convivencia socioambiental pacífica y sostenible.
“Saber y no hacer es como no saber” – Con esta frase, Cristina motivó a los participantes a comprometerse en lo cotidiano a promover un respeto a la vida, a la integridad ecológica, a la justicia social y una cultura de paz como condiciones indispensables para el futuro que queremos.

En consonancia con el mensaje de la Carta de la Tierra, la productora de la exhibición  María Dias, destacó la importancia de la cultura para ampliar las conciencias, estimulando el diálogo como forma de promover la sostenibilidad planetaria.

Miguel Igreja, autor de la exposición, habló de la importancia de una Galería itinerante o móvil, como espacio para movilizar y compartir las artes, mostrando como a través de nuestras actividades podemos desarrollar caminos que contribuyen a hacer del planeta un lugar más justo y solidario.

Al final del día de la apertura, varios artistas ciclistas realizaron algunas presentaciones como de poesía o líricas, en conexión con el tema de la exhibición.

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Using music to promote values for sustainability

Ana Person is the President  of Arts and Cultural Scene Productions (Arte e Cena Cultural Produções) an artistic producer and services provider from Brazil, who has worked with the Earth Charter since 2008 in the Earth Charter Workshop for Children Project.

This project uses music for encouraging understanding of the universal principles of the Earth Charter. Through playing music, the project wants the participant to become aware of the musical aspects linked to the Earth Charter values. Some activities consist in reflecting and perceiving the different sounds of the world in which participants are immersed while producing music; playing instruments made of recycled objects; interacting with spontaneous movements, where each participant’s skills contribute to the group performance.

Arte e Cena Cultura Produções focuses on ethical and aesthetic values, and its projects always attempt to enhance the social, affective, educational, and environmental dimensions.

Ana Person is a composer, singer and violinist, and her music is the inspiration for many of these projects. She considers music as a form of connection with something greater, which contributes to self-knowledge, valuing of life, and development of the self. She has released two albums, ‘Que eu traga na canção’ (2002) and ‘Além do tempo’ (2008), and delivers performances with thematic songs or with the national Brazilian anthem, in institutional and solemn events. She’s also a member of the group Paralatimbum, which performs a Children’s show called “Mãe, por que será?”

If you’re interested in her CDs or want more information about Ana Person’s work contact:

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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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Mobile photo exhibition inspired by the Earth Charter – Brazil

In Pernambuco, the photographer Miguel Igreja has been using the Earth Charter as inspiration for a Photo Arts Exhibition that promotes arts, culture, sustainable transportation, and new technologies.

The exhibition is called “Pernambuco: Culture, History and the Sea”.  He showcased this exhibition during the People’s Summit in Rio+20, and in 2013 he presented it at the 65th Annual Meeting of the Brazilian Development Science Association (at the Federal University of Pernambuco).

Because of the interest this exhibition generated, Miguel decided to extend the exhibition, which is why, in 2013 his team requested and was granted permission to present this exhibition around the city by the Culture Office of Pernambuco.

This is a mobile exhibition that presents pictures that are carried around using bicycles. The panels of this exhibition have a QR Code, so people with smart phones can access other images and information regarding sustainability.

This work is based on the Earth Charter’s values and principles, and uses images to inspire people to preserve nature, life, and culture
This way, the exhibition travels around different areas, helps to democratize information regarding sustainability, and also prompts conversations regarding sustainable urban transportation, access to arts, and the use of new technologies for learning purposes.

The plan is to have the exhibition in the Fernando do Noronha Archipelago in April 2014, and then it will circulate around Recife during the World Cup (June), and in Olinda, during the second part of the year.

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A branch of the University of Sao Paulo endorse the Earth Charter

Many organizations around the world concerned with fostering a more ethical, equitable, and sustainable society are realizing that the Earth Charter can be used as a guide and reference for ethical decision making and an important and powerful tool for the transformation of people and organizations.

On September 23rd in Sao Paulo, Brazil, at an event convened by the Faculty of Economy, Administration and Accounting of the University of São Paulo (FEA), the Earth Charter vision of ethics and sustainability was embraced by three organizations to guide their day-to-day operations. FEA, the Management Institute for Civil Society Entities (IGESC), and the Academic Center Viscount of Cairo (CAVC) signed a formal endorsement of the Earth Charter. These institutions committed to working with the Earth Charter and to its dissemination. The event included the participation of Oscar Motomura, Co-chair of Earth Charter International, Professor Reinaldo Guerreiro of FEA, Alvino Silva of IGESC, João Abreu of CAVC, and Cristina Moreno on behalf of the Earth Charter Initiative and IGESC.

The event, which was attended by professors, students, and guests aimed to disseminate the message of the Earth Charter and its principles to the entire academic community. According to Professor Reinaldo Guerreiro, the director general of the FEA, inserting the Earth Charter at the country’s most important faculty of business and economy is an efficient way to get the message of ethics and sustainability through its educational processes, professional alumni network, and to an ever-growing number of organizations in Brazil.

Hopefully, actions like this can serve as an example for organizations from all sectors of society to also embrace the idea of ??????building and disseminating a vision of ethics and sustainability based on the principles of the Earth Charter.

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Environmental Education Network adopts the Earth Charter

In September, as part of many deliberations and decisions, the Lusophone Network for Environmental Education (Rede Lusófona de Educação Ambiental – Redeluso) adopted the Earth Charter, as well as the Treaty on Environmental Education for Sustainable Societies and Global Responsibility, as guiding principles of the Network. The decision was reached during the 2nd International Congress on Environmental Education of Portuguese Speaking Countries, held from the 9th to the 11th of September in Cuiabá, Brazil. Altogether, participants from more than 50 institutes, research groups, educational centers and even secretaries of state, representing more than eight countries and territories that speak Portuguese around the world have embraced the principles of the Earth Charter as guidelines in their work and also personal lives.

For more information, go to:

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