Canada Archives - Earth Charter

Lectures on the Earth Charter and Planetary Health by Dr. Colin L. Soskolne, University of Alberta

People's Health Matters posterDr. Colin L. Soskolne, epidemiologist and professor emeritus, University of Alberta, Canada offered three presentations this semester related to the Earth Charter and the obligation to people’s health at various conferences.

In his presentations, Dr. Soskolne concludes that we must reflect on how implementing the Earth Charter can lead us to strategies for positive changes in humanity. He also states, “The role of environmental epidemiology in evaluating the potential of the Earth Charter to limit impacts from upstream determinants of health warrants urgent consideration.”

Information on each of the presentations can be found below, as well as the link to the PowerPoint presentations.

29 August  2018

This presentation, entitled Revisiting The Earth Charter and Our Ethical Obligations to Planetary Health was delivered in the session Health Earth: Planetary Health Affects Everyone’s Health, at the 2018 annual conference of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, Ottawa, Canada, 26-30 August 2018. The conference theme was “Addressing Complex Local and Global Issues in Environmental Exposure and Health.” [27 slides; 15 minutes]

11 September 2018

This presentationLocal Adaptation of Universal Values and Principles from The Earth Charter to Sustain Human Health and Well-Being for Both Present and Future Generations, was delivered remotely to the 4th International Symposium on Ethics of Environmental Health held in Ceské Budejovice, Czech Republic, 9-12 September 2018. [35 slides; 45 minutes]

19 October 2018

In the Community Health and Humanities Seminar Speaker Series, People’s Health Matters, at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Faculty of Medicine in St. John’s, Dr. Soskolne was invited to lead a seminar on the topic “Seeking a Sustainable Path Amid Climate and Other Global Changes: The Earth Charter and Obligations to People’s Health.” 19 October 2018. [34 slides; 1 hour].

To access the content of each of these presentations click here: http://www.colinsoskolne.com/ppt.htm

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Earth Charter Panel at the Parliament of the World’s Religions, Toronto, Canada

On 4 November 2018, a keynote Earth Charter Panel took place at the Parliament of the World’s Religions with the purpose of exploring the significance of the Charter as a civil society document that represents inclusivity and interdependence and to look at how the vision of the Earth Charter is being realized in both theory and practice. The panel was convened by Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, Co-directors of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology, and included rich reflections from panelists on how the Earth Charter contributes to a sense of a shared future. The panel was very well attended with several hundred participants.

Among the key ideas raised was that the Earth Charter remains a vibrant and useful document—a timeless gift to humankind. Its educational value remains undiminished. The Parliament provided a large and critically important audience for the Earth Charter. The setting of our responsibilities within the universe story continues to be profoundly compelling. The Earth Charter was, and still is, ahead of its time.

Peter Corcoran, one of the panelists, closed his remarks by saying, “Finally, one of the many sources of hope is, I think, particularly appropriate to the Parliament of the World’s Religions’ aspiration for unity and this panel’s aim to contribute to a sense of a shared future. This is the Earth Charter as a vision of our highest ideals. We may not realize our ideals of democracy, non-violence, and peace; of social and economic justice; of ecological integrity; and of respect and care for the community of life; but they are like the stars, and currents, and landmarks by which we can navigate our journey. We need such a vision. Steven C. Rockefeller, Chair of the Earth Charter Drafting Committee, has written, ‘The Earth Charter sets forth a world affirming spirituality rooted in reverence for the mystery of being and reverence for life that finds meaning and joy in caring relationships with all that is.’ This reverence, these caring relationships are our hope.”

The programme was as follows:

Chair and Facilitator:
John Grim, Co-Director, Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology
John Grim is a Senior Lecturer teaching in the joint MA program in religion and ecology at Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Yale Divinity School. Together with Mary Evelyn Tucker, he co-directed in the 1990s a ten-conference series and book project at Harvard University on “World Religions and Ecology.”

Panelists:
Mary Evelyn Tucker, Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology
Topic: The Earth Charter and the World’s Religions
Mary Evelyn Tucker is co-director of the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale where she teaches in an MA program between the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the Divinity School.

Tu Weiming, Director, Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies, Beijing University
Topic: Spiritual Humanism and the Earth Charter
Tu Weiming is a preeminent Chinese scholar, a representative figure of contemporary Neo-Confucianism, and a crucial practitioner on the research and transmission of Confucian culture.

Heather Eaton, Professor, Conflict Studies, Saint Paul’s University, Ottawa
Topic: What Role Can the Earth Charter Play in Conflict Resolution
Heather Eaton received an interdisciplinary doctorate in theology, feminism and ecology at the University of Toronto.

Peter Blaze Corcoran, Research Fellow, Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development, University for Peace, San Jose, Costa Rica
Topic: The Earth Charter in Action: Education and Sustainability
Peter Blaze Corcoran is Professor Emeritus of Environmental Studies and Environmental Education at Florida Gulf Coast University. He is a leading scholar of the Earth Charter—editor of two books and dozens of journal articles in Earth Charter research. He has been a visiting professor in Australia, The Netherlands, Malaysia, Kenya, and Fiji.

Kekashan Basu, Youth Ambassador World Future Council
Topic: Youth Empowerment through the Lens of the Earth Charter
Winner of the 2016 International Children’s Peace Prize, 18-year-old Kehkashan Basu, has been impacting the global fraternity with her grass roots level work on environmental conservation through youth empowerment. She is the Founder President of Green Hope Foundation, which engages and empowers thousands of youth, especially girls.

In addition, in a Panel on Religious Pluralism, Dr. Mark Hathaway made a presentation on the Earth Charter in which he related it to some fairly universal religious values.

Click here for more information on the Conference.

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Ecoliteracy, Earth Charter and Education for Sustainability Workshop, Vancouver, Canada

Sit spot pb 62On 4 September 2018, a full day workshop titled: Ecoliteracy Workshop: The Earth Charter & Education for Sustainable Development as a Meta Curriculum took place in Vancouver, Canada with the purpose to highlight how pre-service teachers might bring sustainability education into their practice.

The organizers and facilitators of this workshop were three participants of the Earth Charter Education Center’s Online Certificate on Education for Sustainable Development: Tina Walker, Resource Teacher K-12 (School District 68 & 79); Les Malbon, Professor Sport Health and Physical Education, and Wendy Simms, Faculty Science & Technology. Participants of this training workshop were 100 pre-service teachers enrolled at Vancouver Island University in the Bachelor of Education Post Baccalaureate Degree program.

The workshop was held at the Morecroft Regional Park in Nanoose BC, Canada.  The facilitators used the outdoor location to allow the students to connect to nature and understand how nature can be both a classroom and a teacher. The guiding theme of “place” was used so that students could experience “place” as the integrating context for teaching and learning.

The  workshop introduced the First People Principles of Learning, how to honour Aboriginal worldview, and local protocol for the Snuneymuxw First Nations traditional territory on Newcastle Island, BC. In addition, the facilitators presented the Earth Charter as a global ethical framework for sustainability, and the Earth Charter and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a meta-curriculum for both an individual classroom teacher and whole school approach.

Some of the unique activities of the workshop included learning from First Nations Métis Elder ‘Auntie’ Stella Johnson about traditional teachings of the land, writing a letter to the future to a great grandchild in regards to current environmental choices, reflecting in a “nature sit spot,” and an Indigenous Medicinal Plant Walk introduction.

At the end of the workshop, students were able to describe local Aboriginal protocols, apply the Earth Charter as a framework for teaching values education, sustainability, and ecological worldview, design cross-curricular environmental education lesson plans with relevant resources, and more.

According to Les Malbon, “a significant majority of students were grateful to be exposed to this methodology and are now willing to introduce the Earth Charter, SDG’s, and transformational and experiential learning in an outdoor educational experience.”

Les.small group

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Earth Charter Celebrations in June

CANADA:
Earth Charter Friends Canada and the World of Walas celebrated  {Embracing a Sustainable Lifestyle} in Vancouver on the Earth Charter Day on 29 June 2018.

It was heartwarming to see old connections and to make new ones while talking about the values and the principles that guide our work and lives. Embracing sustainability means doing what is within our own capabilities and inspiring others to do the same. It starts with ourselves.

As part of the event, many businesses came together to show what they do; such as being a zero-waste commercial printing business, providing support for indigenous youth, and building a community space.

Being on the ground and making local impact means that change can start small and right in your own neighborhood.

 

 

 

        See below a video of the event by Dudoc Vancouver:

Dudoc Vancouver Earth Charter Day 2018
from Martin Chung on Vimeo.

 

THE NETHERLANDS:
NetherlandsSpinnerij Oosterveld, in Enschede the Netherlands, is part of World of Walas. This former textile factory has a history of more than a hundred years. Where people used to spin yarns in the mill, there is now a growing community of innovative and accomplished high tech entrepreneurs. The building is considered a Living Lab for innovation and sustainability. With this new economic function, it is a dynamic part of the city again.

World of Walas,  Earth Charter International partner celebrated International Earth Charter Day 2018 distributing organic apples to tenants and visitors and providing information about the Earth Charter. This resulted in a number of interesting and enthusiastic conversations. It was very nice to see that many people really like the Earth Charter. It was a sunny and cheerful day filled with inspiration!

 

On 5 July, a special event took place at the Zonheuvel estate in Doorn as part of the International Earth Charter Day in the Netherlands:

The book “Ruud Lubbers: the man of the Earth Charter”, was launched.  The book is a collection of stories from the Friends of the Earth Charter remembering Ruud Lubbers. It also features a message from Ruud Lubbers himself. The first copy was handed over to Ruud Lubbers’ son. “February 14 of this year Ruud Lubbers passed away. He was one of the founders of the Global Earth Charter Initiative and actively spread the message of ‘ecological integrity, justice, peace and non-violence’.

 

MEXICO:

In Michoacán, the Michoacán University of San Nicolás de Hidalgo organized the Earth Charter Week from June 25 to July 5, with six talks on the principles and values of sustainability expressed in the Earth Charter. The talks took place in different venues of this university and were offered by Mateo Castillo Ceja, Coordinator of the Mexican Earth Charter Network. More information in this article of a local newspaper.

In Durango, Amorita Salas, focal point of the EC Mexican Network in this State, organized several activities to celebrate the 18th anniversary of the Earth Charter, with the support of Juarez University of Durango. A radio interview (23 June, Radiograma Laguna 106.7FM); two teacher training workshops on education for sustainability (27 June and 4 July, at the Municipal Institute of Ecology of Gómez Palacio) and a workshop for university students on sustainable professional performance with the Earth Charter (6 July, at Cuencamé Polytechnic University).

Taller CT Hidalgo 16-20 julioIn Pachuca, the focal point of the State of Hidalgo, Leodan Portes, organized an Earth Charter Workshop for Children, held between July 16 and 20, 2018.

In Tabasco, the focal point Leon Gutiérrez, organized a series of talks during the week of June 25-29. The talks focused on sharing what the Earth Charter is, and they were carried out in different locations: NGOs, a hotel, a bookstore, a school and a university.

In addition, several education institutions of Mexico endorsed the Earth Charter between May and June, more information here.

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The city of Victoria in Canada endorsers the Earth Charter

By: Earth Charter Friends of CanadaEC Canada logo

The City of Victoria, in British Columbia, Canada, endorsed the Earth CharterVictoria Endorsement 1 this past June. The City mayor indicated that the “Charter’s key principles of global interdependence, sustainability and peaceful coexistence
are all shared values held by the City of Victoria… The Charter further aligns with the goals and vision we have for our city, and reflects the imagination and innovation that characterizes Victoria as a sustainable capital.”

This endorsement was a result of democratic and collaborative processes between the Faith in Action Committee and Councillors of the City of Victoria, with strong support from the community. The process took place over several months and is an inspiring example of what can happen when a small group of people choose to act.

Faith in Action Committee organized campaigns to raise Victoria Endorsement 2awareness and support for the Earth Charter. An information session with Elizabeth May and Gerben van Straaten, Earth Charter Affiliate, introduced the Earth Charter to the local community and explored how to implement it in cities.

A petition was circulated to call on local governments to endorse the core principles of (1) respect and care for the community of life; (2) ecological integrity; (3) social and economic justice; and (4) democracy, non-violence and peace.

Victoria Endorsement 3

The committee then presented the mayor and councillors with the petition and asked for their endorsement. It was a natural fit for the city, and they were supportive with two councillors choosing to work with Faith in Action through the rest of the democratic process.

With this endorsement, the City of Victoria joins a large number of other cities, communities and organizations around the world who are committed who embrace the spirit and aims of the Earth Charter.

Click here to read the official letter of endorsement of the City of Victoria, British Columbia.

 

 

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Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics Online Youth Course has Started and Next one in Spanish Begins 11 Sept!

19225092_10200938548362198_1845893810611478496_n

Our fifth Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics online youth course in English started on 19 June. With 25 youth representing over 13 nations we are thrilled to be interacting and engaging youth from so many countries such as Kenya, Nigeria, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Japan, India, Spain, US, UK, Netherlands, and Canada. The 10-week course will end on 28 August and will cover topics such as Leadership, Sustainability, Ecoliteracy, Systems Thinking, Ethics, Facilitation, the Earth Charter.

The course is being co-facilitated by Youth Projects Coordinator Christine Lacayo and Earth Charter Young Leaders, Victor Okechukwu from Nigeria and Rohdof Lactem from Cameroon.

We have some extremely inspiring and sharp youth in this course; representatives from UN Major Group for Children and Youth, 4 people from the National Union of Students in the UK, someone who is actively involved with the Agenda 21 in the Basque region of Spain, the head of a team of 8 passionate youth in Cameroon who form part of the Hope for the World Youth Association which seeks to bring hope to hopeless communities through entrepreneurship, youth capacity building programs, and someone from the Lopez Community Land Trust (LCLT) in Washington state, a non-profit organization on a small island making sustainable communities a reality by holding land in trust for residents of the island and building affordable homes for low income individuals.

Here are some inspiring quotes from the participants with the following forum question: When you dream about a better future, what are three things you envision?

“I envision a future where all basic needs are met. No one will worry about what they will eat, what they will wear, where they will live, or if they can afford to care for their medical needs. The future I envision has no place for greedy persons. There will be perfect leadership, exacting just judgments. In this world that I envision, no one will be convicted of crimes that they didn’t commit. If someone is disciplined or charged with something, they will have to acknowledge that the judgment pronounced on them was just and well deserved. I envision a world full of peace and true happiness. I believe that with the proper leadership and guidance this future will exist for mankind. I must take the first step to be the change that I want to see.” –Quaniqua Williams, USA

 

 

“I dream of a world where people are caring towards other people and other animals whom we share our planet with- there are so many injustices towards other human beings that is it difficult to think of a time where we will respect all humans and animals on this planet with equal rights to feel safe, secure and free in our world. Also where all humans understand the true meaning of peace and conflicts and war are no longer an issue. Ultimately where people and planet can thrive and where nature can support all human and animal life on the planet and the people can respect and support nature.” – Hannah Wiseman, UK

 

“A future in which human rights are respected. A future in which the basic needs of each individual are covered in a sustainable way. Where the production chain, starting with the procurement of the raw material, its handling, consumption and disposal is done in a responsible way and respecting the social and environmental rights of all involved.” – Itxaso Bengoechea Larrinaga, Spain

“The three most important things for a better future for me would be reduced economic inequalities within and between communities and countries, drastic decline in diseases such as malaria, cholera and HIV in developing countries and quality/affordable basic education for all children up until the tertiary level. I believe that if the world will truly become sustainable firstly we need to educate and equip as many people as possible in a short period of time. I believe that quality education will birth solutions that will unlock other Sustainable goals.”

– Olabanji Jackson-oke, Nigeria

Our next online youth training programme will be in Spanish and will begin on 11 September until 20 November. Deadline to apply is 28 August! Email Christine Lacayo, Youth Projects Coordinator if you are interested in registering for our next course: Youthcooridantor@earthcharter.orgLSE Spanish Sept

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10-week Youth Online Training Course: Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics to Start 19 June, Deadline to Apply 17 May!

Don’t miss the deadline to sign up for our next 10-week youth online training programme in Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics. The course will begin on 19 June and participants will need to apply by programaWednesday 17 May! This course is designed to train young people around the world, from the ages of 18-30, on how to become active leaders in their community towards a more just, sustainable, and ethical world.

The course will offer you an opportunity to expand your knowledge and skills on certain themes such as leadership, ethics, sustainability, Earth Charter principles, Eco literacy, Systems Thinking, and how to successfully design and implement a workshop in your community.

Our goal at the end of the course is to successfully strengthen your knowledge and skills on leadership in sustainability, enhance your consciousness to contribute to the greater good, inspire like-minded individuals to collaborate across borders and to carry out your work in your communities, and develop the confidence to use your voice as a leader!

Alumni of this course have the opportunity to become an Earth Charter Young Leader (ECYL). This programme is a year-long leadership opportunity to serve as a focal point in the Earth Charter Youth Network to mobilize and engage other young people around the Earth Charter vision and principles.

Register now by visiting our site:  http://earthcharter.org/events/leadership-sustainability-ethics-june-2017/

 

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ECI in Ottawa for the UNESCO Week on Peace and Sustainable Development

unesco-week-peace-and-sustainable-development

© Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO)

On 6 to 10 March, 2017, two Earth Charter International Secretariat staff attended the UNESCO Week on Peace and Sustainable Development in Ottawa, Canada. The weeklong event brought together over 400 people, including 50 youth delegates, from two transformational movements in education: Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Global Citizenship Education (GCED). These two spheres have the shared purpose of preparing people to create more peaceful, just and sustainable societies.

The event opened with acknowledgement to the indigenous territory where the event was held, and with an opening ceremony and remarks from Maliseet Elder Mac Saulis. Speeches, panel discussions, presentations, workshops, intergenerational dialogues, a world café, and music were to follow throughout the five days. Participants from government, NGOs, businesses, and educational institutions presented their various projects, initiatives, and goals, and dialogued around the future direction and challenges for ESD and GCED as well as possibilities for collaboration.

intergenerational-dialogue-unesco-week

© Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO)

Woven throughout the various presentations and activities during the week, three themes continued to arise: engaging young people, technological innovations, and capacity building for teachers. On the theme of engaging young people, UNESCO built this into the very structure of the event, selecting and brining 50 youth delegates to Ottawa for the week. These delegates, specially selected from thousands of applicants, came representing different organizations and networks related to ESD and GCED.

three-gap-partner-network

© UNESCO/Julie Saito

One the Action Areas of GAP is on mobilizing and engaging youth in ESD. Partner Network 4, a network of organizations recognized by UNESCO for their contribution in this area, has met annually at these GAP meetings to scale up, build synergies, and implement a flagship project related to mobilizing youth in ESD. Earth Charter International (ECI) holds a co-chair for GAP Partner Network 4, and recently designed the ESD Leadership training script as part of the Flagship project.

During the week, key partners in Partner Network 4 met to offer feedback on the new training script, to debrief on their experiences running pilot workshops, and to plan the following phases of the Flagship—an ESD Young Leaders Network for training alumni and an ESD Young Leaders Conference in 2018. Meanwhile, all key partners across all five Partner Networks reviewed their collective progress toward their GAP commitments and flagship projects.

Using technology and social media to engage young people was another recurring theme. One way that ECI is rising to this challenge is through one of their GAP Commitments, a 10-week online training for young leaders in ¨Leadership, Sustainability and Ethics¨ which includes weekly tasks online and offline. In addition, ECI has developed and launched a free photo-sharing app, MAPTING, in collaboration with Soka Gakkai International, for sharing positive actions contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The photos and videos are linked to the related SDGs and Earth Charter principles and pinned to a shared world map. Other organizations are finding new ways of using social media, digital story telling, virtual reality, and online platforms to expand, enhance, and develop new ways of doing ESD.

student-teacher-coordinator-online-esd-courseIn addition to youth participation and new technologies, many participants were focused on training teachers for ESD and GCED. In this area, ECI was able to share their online certificate programmes and intensive in-person courses for educators on Transformative Learning while learning about the platforms, methods, content, and structures that other organizations are using or considering.

Beyond participating in the planned events during the event, ECI staff were delighted to reunite with old Earth Charter friends, meet students and professors from online courses in person, and meet new potential partners and collaborators. They were also keen to ground ethics and values as the foundation of the dialogue on education for a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world.

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Habitat III, the New Urban Agenda and the Earth Charter

Article by: Mallora Rayner, Earth Charter Canada Network

dsc_0164On behalf of Earth Charter International, Walas sent a delegation to Quito, Ecuador for Habitat III. A record number of thought leaders, citizens and government officials from 167 countries gathered for the third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in October 2016.

Focusing on the future of cities, the conference offered a full schedule of events, assemblies and dialogues to guide our global actions for the next 20 years in sustainable and transformative urban development.

The culmination was the adoption of the New Urban Agenda. The New Urban Agenda is an action oriented document intended to set global standards of achievement in sustainable urban development in alignment with the values and principles defined in the Earth Charter.

 

 

dsc_0173As part of the events, Earth Charter friend and affiliate Gerben van Straaten joined UNEP for a panel discussion on “Better Cities, Better Lifestyles” held on 18 October.

The session explored the need for holistic approaches, how to engage individuals in more sustainable community development and understanding why we make the choices we do to consume, individually and as a society, and was very well received.

It was exhilarating to see the excitement around the values and principles of the Earth Charter. From around the globe, other delegations and local workers, the Earth Charter received so much respect and love.

dsc_0175-1As a result of our joint presence in Quito, we are exploring further collaboration and engaging with requests from all over the globe to work together, and share our stories about social responsibility, sustainable community development, and the Earth Charter.

 

 

 

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Earth Charter Canada celebrates Earth Charter Day

EC Canada EC Day 1On June 29th, Earth Charter Canada and the Vancouver-based Walas family celebrated Earth Charter Anniversary, at Dudoc Vancouver.EC Canada logo
Around 100 people attended to celebrate, share their stories, and learn more about the Earth Charter.
The evening EC Canada EC Day 2brought together local businesses, artists, and changemakers who share the values and principles of the Earth Charter based on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Celebrations included live music, art, crafts and a mini-fair.

EC Canada EC Day 4Attendees made wishes for the Earth, and found many common themes.

The graphic below represents many of the wishes.

EC Canada EC Day 3

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