Earth Charter Initiative Education Archives - Earth Charter

Dialogue on relevance of Earth Charter to contemporary issues

diálogo fotoTo help stimulate dialogue around the relevance of the Earth Charter to contemporary issues, ECI Executive Director, Mirian Vilela, invited Prof. Brendan Mackey* in 2017 to write an essay as a personal reflection on the Earth Charter’s current relevance and the ways in which it can be used to help promote a more just, sustainable and peaceful world.

The idea then evolved to broaden this activity by inviting a group of people, who are engaged with the Earth Charter Initiative, to write a brief response to Brendan’s essay and to share all these reflections on the relevance of the Earth Charter to contemporary issues by posting them on the ECI website.

We hope these materials will stimulate an expanded dialogue on the significant and relevance of the Earth Charter to contemporary issues and the challenges of the Anthropocene. We invite you to read the essays and contribute to the discussion.

Click here to read the essays or see the list below.

We welcome anyone who has been working with and reflecting on the Earth Charter and its uses, to share with us their responses and reflections. If you would like to make a contribution to this dialogue please email a short essay (700 words max.) by 30 June 2018 to the ECI executive director at info@earthcharter.org.

We will go through the essays received and put together a digital book with a collection of them. During the 2nd semester of this year, we shall have an online forum on this and the release of this publication.

Thank you!

*Director of Griffith University’s Climate Change Response Programme. Brendan was a member of the Earth Charter Drafting committee, former co-chair of Earth Charter International Council and is a senior advisor of the Earth Charter Initiative.

 

Essays:

Mackey, Brendan (2017). “A Reflection on The Earth Charter Project and its Mission in the Anthropocene”

Bernstein, Johannah (2017).  “Earth Charter and Human Rights”

Bosselmann, Klaus, Engel, Ron and Taylor, Prue (2017).   “Giving the Earth Charter a New and More Powerful Voice”

Brown, Donald (2017). “Reflections on Major Obstacles Preventing the Earth Charter Project from Achieving its Long-term Goals”

Capra, Fritjof (2017). “The Community of Life”

Downer, Nigel (2017). “The Earth Charter as a global ethic”

Hacker, Violaine (2017). “Can the Earth Charter Movement Promote the Common Good”

Heyerdahl, Bjorn (2017). “A Re-Genesis: Actioning the Earth Charter”

Lambooy, Tineke (2018). “Understanding how the Earth Charter can serve as a guidance for social enterprises (and legislators)”

Muller, Eduard (2017). “Thoughts and comments about “A Reflection on The Earth Charter Project and its Mission in the Anthropocene¨

Ogbuiweg, Akpezi (2017). “The Contemporary Twist of Hope”

Preston, Noel (2017). Looking Back: Looking Forward”

Robinson, Nick (2017). “Norms for an Ecological Society”

Roerink, Alide (2017). “The Earth Charter: A Game Changing Ethical Guide”

Song, Li (2017). “The Earth Charter – continued global dialogue”

 

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Rememberance of Ruud Lubbers by Steven Rockefeller

Commission meeting - LubbersIt is with a great sense of loss and sadness that I learnt about the passing of Ruud Lubbers. His life is an extraordinary example of dedicated public service at the local and national level and internationally. For all of us involved in the Earth Charter initiative he was a great friend, an inspiring colleague, and a visionary leader.

Ruud Lubbers played a central role in bringing Maurice Strong and Mikhail Gorbachev together in 1993 and 1994 and in the launch of the Earth Charter consultation and drafting process as a civil society initiative. The support of Queen Beatrix and the generous financial support of the Dutch government during the early years was critical, and it would not have happened without Ruud’s leadership as Prime Minister. It was the support of Ruud and the Queen that made it possible to celebrate the launch of the Earth Charter at the Peace Palace in the Hague.

Ruud was among the most active members of the Earth Charter Commission and was deeply involved in the drafting process. For example, he was a strong supporter of participatory democracy, and it was Ruud’s insistence that led to inclusion of the word “participatory” in Principle 3. A strong advocate for establishing high ethical standards in government and business, he also recognized the importance of including in the Earth Charter universal spiritual as well as ethical values. In his speeches and writings on the Earth Charter, he emphasized both the spiritual and ethical dimensions of the Earth Charter vision.

After the launch of the Earth Charter in 2000, Ruud remained committed to building the Earth Charter movement and to supporting and funding the ECI Secretariat at UPEACE as an instrument for promoting the Earth Charter vision worldwide and for implementing its principles at all levels.  He served for many years on the Earth Charter International Council. It was through the exceptionally generous support of Ruud and his family that the Earth Charter Secretariat was able to build the Earth Charter Center on the campus of UPEACE.

I will always remember Ruud with admiration, gratitude, and deep appreciation for his friendship.  It was a privilege to have had the opportunity to know and work with him over the past two and a half decades. I send my deep sympathy to his family at this time of great loss. Let us all give thanks for Ruud’s life and the deep concern and caring spirit that guided his many efforts to help build a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world.

Warm best wishes,

Steven Rockefeller

Ruud Lubbers and friends

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Tribute to Ruud Lubbers

Lubbers 4Rudolphus Franciscus Marie “Ruud” Lubbers
7 May 1939 – 14 February 2018

It is with deep sadness that I share with you the passing away of Mr. Ruud Lubbers on 14/02/2018. It is hard to say good-bye to him, as he was so special and dear to us. He was a friend and a mentor to me and many of us involved in the Earth Charter Initiative. I am hugely grateful for the opportunity of meeting him and learning so much from him throughout many years of working together.

Mr. Lubbers was a very active Earth Charter Commissioner and great supporter of the Earth Charter for many years. It is a great loss for the Earth Charter Initiative and to the world. However, we have many reasons to be grateful to him. I will always remember his sense of freedom and informality to speak with people and the fact that he was especially comfortable in speaking his mind.

As a political leader. who embraced the deep ethical and spiritual dimensions of sustainable development, he was a unique voice emphasizing the importance to bring ethics to the world of business and politics.

In the last few years of his public life, in speeches he offered at Earth Charter meetings, he often highlighted the importance of nurturing our spirituality and soul. At the Earth Charter+10 event in Ahmedabad, India in 2010, he said:

“We need to include Pneuma / Prana – i.e. spirituality in what we are doing and the way we address challenges. We … now realize that we should nourish ourselves with spirituality… We may even begin to speak about four ‘P’s: People, Planet, Profit and Pneuma”. (Pneuma is the ancient Greek word for “breath” and in a religious context for “spirit” or “soul”)

He often stressed the importance of understanding our responsibility to secure a healthy environment to current and future generations, and of considering new participatory approaches in politics to realize the aspiration of sustainability, which in itself, requires, as he used to say, the willingness and skills to engage, dialogue, and collaborate with different sectors: government, business and civil society sector.

I can still hear his voice saying repeatedly:

“There is a need for complimentary governance. We have always considered politicians to govern and manage the common responsibilities and resources. However, the need is now to involve civil society into governance” (in 2010 at the Earth Charter+10 Conference in Ahmedabad, India).

Herewith we share with you some photos, writings and videos of him.

On behalf of all involved in the Earth Charter Initiative, we send our sentiments and heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr. Lubbers and to the people of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

May his soul rest in peace.

Mirian Vilela
Executive Director
Earth Charter International

Lubbers

lubbers 2

Ruud Lubbers Articles and speeches
Inspiration of Global Governance, Human Rights and the Earth Charter
The Earth Charter to Inspire Governance in Modernity – 2007
Address to the Nobel Peace Prize Centennial Symposium – 2001
A Just, Sustainable and Participatory Society – 1999

Ruud Lubbers Videos
Former PM of the Netherlands, Ruud Lubbers, discusses his involvement in the Earth Charter
Former PM of the Netherlands, Ruud Lubbers, discusses Sustainable Development and Leadership Presentation as UNHCR

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Course on public policies of education for sustainable development, UNESCO GAP on ESD

The final phase of the Course on Formulation and Design of Public Policies for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) was held from 12 to 14 September 2017. This was a special course that we planned and implemented at the request of the UNESCO San Jose Office with the support from the Japan Fund for ESD. The course’s objective was to: “Strengthen the capacities of senior level decision-makers and key personnel in the Ministries of Education and Environment of Central America and Dominican Republic for the development of Education for Sustainable Development Public Policies.” This effort is related to the first priority area of the UNESCO Global Action Programme on ESD and to the Sustainable Development Goal 4 Target 7.

Foto 16 Grupo

This course lasted three months (June to September), and had two modalities: face-to-face and virtual. The first part of the course consisted of face-to-face sessions for three intensive days, held at the Earth Charter Center of ESD facilities in the University for Peace, Costa Rica. It continued with a virtual phase that lasted seven weeks, where participants had the opportunity to deepen the topics introduced in the initial face-to-face phase. The course ended with a face-to-face meeting, also held at the EC-ESD Center in Costa Rica, where participants presented their final projects and proposed some actions to follow up this course.

In their assessment of the course, the participants mentioned having had a transformative experience, where some experienced a change in their worldviews and perception of the type of education that each country in the Central American Integration System (SICA) should promote. For their final projects, participants had to generate a proposal for an ESD public policy and an action plan for the design of this policy in their countries. These proposals were an exercise that it is expected to generate actions to instill the vision of ESD in their countries’ education systems.

 

Participante Curso Politicas Publicas Educacion Desarrollo Sostenible

For the Earth Charter Center on ESD, it was a great satisfaction to have developed this process in a way that helped participants to have a better understanding about sustainability, ESD and ways to generate a public policy on ESD. Some participants expressed that this experience help to generate what some called “a change of paradigm” or “falling in love” with sustainability. The majority of the participants are Ministry of Education officials who have the potential to promote changes in national education policy, curricula, as well as to promote sustainable schools and teacher training programs on ESD. We hope to continue supporting the empowerment process of these participants, so they become agents of change in their institutions and contribute to the 2030 UN Education Agenda.

Curso UNESCO Carta de la Tierra Politicas Educacion Desarrollo Sostenible

Logo UNESCO Japan

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AASHE endorses the Earth Charter!

AASHE Endorsement Earth CharterWe are happy to announce that the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) has endorsed the Earth Charter.

Established in 2005, AASHE is comprised of over 900 members across 48 U.S. states, 1 U.S. Territory, 9 Canadian provinces and 20 countries.

We asked Julian Dautremont-Smith, Director of Programs of AASHE, to share with all of us what is the meaning of the Earth Charter for them and why it was important to endorse it. This is what he shared:

AASHE is pleased to endorse the Earth Charter.

We greatly value the Charter’s comprehensive approach to sustainability, especially the inclusion of social and economic justice, democracy and peace along with ecological integrity.

We have a similarly holistic understanding of sustainability and refer the Earth Charter as a key document in understanding sustainability in our Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), a self-reporting framework used by hundreds of colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. For example, a course is counted as being sustainability-inclusive if it contributes towards realizing one or more of the principles outlined in the Earth Charter.

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Tribute to Henriette Rasmussen (1950-2017)

Henriette RasmussenIt is with deep regret that we announce the passing away of Henriette Rasmussen, former Member of Parliament and Minister of Education and Culture of Greenland.

As a member of the Earth Charter Commission, Henriette was very active in the Earth Charter Initiative since early 1997. Henriette was a specially warm and friendly human being. Together with Finn Lynge, she has brought light and a unique contribution to the Earth Charter drafting process, underlining the perspective from the Indigenous People throughout. Once the Earth Charter drafting process was over, she tirelessly continued to bring in the Earth Charter to Greenland, working hard in the translation and publication of materials, infusing it in radio and education programmes and projects she was involved. She was a bridge between the Global Earth Charter movement and the Inuit people and culture, especially within the Inuit Circumpolar Conference.

The Earth Charter International pays tribute to Henriette for her life. She will be missed. We are very grateful for her grace, good energy and efforts, which were not in vain, as it inspired the lives of many.

In this link you can find one of the articles she wrote.

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Summerlabb: Bringing together art, music and sustainable cities in the Netherlands

earth-charter-stand-summerlabbWhat better place to share values and stories than at a festival? During the Summer of 2016, the Earth Charter Cities team partnered with Summerlabb, a traveling festival bringing together art, music, research institutes, polytechnic universities and sustainability companies. The festival explored our use of energy, water, light, architecture and food, and showcased inspiring innovations and solutions for communities driven to become more sustainable. Hundreds of children, adults, business professionals and music lovers from all over Holland gathered together to celebrate and learn. Surrounded by music, culture and art, participants explored sustainable innovations and their stories in Rotterdam, Groningen and several other cities in the Netherlands.

Earth Charter Cities is a collaborative movement that brings together passionate amateurs, experts, and organizations from across the world to inspire improvements in principle areas of the Earth Charter and the Earth Charter Cities Manifesto. This manifesto is a call to action developed by Gerben van Straaten of World of Walas to help communities realize the Earth Charter vision. After an almost two-year drafting process with key stakeholders of the Earth Charter, the Earth Charter Cities Manifesto was launched in The Hague in 2010.

waste-watchers-art-barrelGuided by the Earth Charter, Earth Charter Cities shared with festival goers on the importance of bringing ethics back into our lives and understanding the value and importance of sustainability. They encouraged visitors to tell their stories of connection to nature and our Earth, and were inspired by the story of the West Coast First Nations peoples who impart indigenous teachings for a more sustainable way of life in Canada. Artist James Jetlag translated the story of Earth Charter Cities into a beautiful work of art, one oil drum to represent each chapter of the Earth Charter/Earth Charter Cities Manifesto.

At Summerlabb, Earth Charter Cities raised awareness of the Earth Charter and promoted the understanding of its inclusive ethical vision through starting conversations about ethics with curious visitors and passersby. They invited others to heed the call to action to transition to sustainable ways of living on the planet and to envision future cities taking care of mother Earth and the community of life. They asked, beyond technical innovations, what are economic and social-cultural aspects of this transition? They shared the Earth Charter as a tool, an ethical guideline, for our daily and professional lives.

For more information on Gerben van Straaten and the story of the Earth Charter Cities Manifesto, please go to www.earthchartercities.org. For more information on Summerlabb, visit http://summerlabb.nl/.

 


one-earth-communityAuthor: Nadine Huids, Earth Charter Young Leader

Nadine studied Built Environment and Architecture with a focus in cities and cultural heritage. During her studies she learned a lot about technical innovations and sustainability to redevelop industrial buildings. Taught and inspired by Gerben van Straaten, Walas Concepts CEO, she learned how to create truly healthy, inclusive, and sustainable communities. She believes in the need to enhance economic, social, and cultural values within urban settings. Driven by the Earth Charter and the Earth Charter Cities Manifesto, Nadine works in the Netherlands as a Program Manager with the Walas team to develop vital and lively places for people to live.

Editor: Josephine Schrott, Earth Charter Young Leader

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Dudoc Vancouver—A business model for sustainable design based on Earth Charter ethics

dudoc-vancouver-dutch-design-exhibition

In the Canadian city of Vancouver, British Columbia, the Dutch Urban Design Centre (Dudoc) has Earth Charter Principle 7c at the core of its business model. Since opening its doors in October 2014, Dudoc Vancouver has been promoting the development, adoption and equitable transfer of environmentally sound technologies. Specifically, the centre showcases Dutch and other European companies’ environmentally sustainable products and services to the North American market. Dudoc Vancouver also serves as a forum for exchanging ideas among designers, urban planners, developers and architects across disciplines and continents.

Dudoc Vancouver’s goals, founded on the Earth Charter vision, are to:

  • Protect the environment and vital resources while creating positive outcomes for the communities in which we live.
  • Embrace creativity, innovation and change through diversity and inclusiveness.
  • Build enduring and reliable relationships through collaboration and engagement of citizens in our transition to a healthier world.
  • Induce change of current unsustainable practices by providing rational applications of our innovative techniques.
  • Provide visionary leadership and interactive management in the creation of healthy, resilient and diverse cities.

dudoc-vancouver-showroom

CEO Gerben van Straaten is part of the global Earth Charter movement. He was working as an urban designer in both the Netherlands and Canada and realized that there is a huge breadth and depth of technological and design innovation in the Netherlands. Meanwhile in Canada, demand for such innovations is growing rapidly. Van Straaten founded Dudoc to bridge the gap between these two places. North American city builders interested in making their projects more environmentally sustainable can now look to Dudoc for the latest European innovations.

An example of the partners exhibiting their products at Dudoc Vancouver is Jaga, a manufacturer of hydronic heaters. Jaga’s guiding values include respect for nature, as well as a passion for creativity, innovation and collaboration. Their energy-efficient systems help reduce the energy demand of buildings. They have also developed eco-design radiators made from 100% recycled materials, an example of applying Earth Charter principle 7a (reduction, reuse and recycling of materials). Dudoc Vancouver helps companies such as Jaga by providing a shared showroom space to exhibit products, international business development advice, market research, local connections and customer service.

dudoc-vanouver-upcycle-fashion

In addition to the showroom, Dudoc facilitates the exchange of ideas that make our cities and buildings better places for all people. In the spirit of Earth Charter principle 14 on life-long learning, the centre enables a variety of activities in its space: panel discussions, educational talks, upcycling competitions, sustainable product showcases, art displays, exhibitions of Dutch Design, professional development workshops and more. Part of the space is used for flexible co-working for visiting partners as well as local freelancers and researchers. It also houses the City Hub Initiative – a space for young change-makers to meet, learn, and collaborate in order to make their projects a reality.

Through this combination of international business development, education and co-operation, Dudoc Vancouver strives to encourage sustainability in the built and social environment and aims to be a successful example of the Earth Charter in action.

dudoc-vancouver-roundtable

To learn more about Dudoc Vancouver, visit www.dudocvancouver.com or find Dudoc on TwitterFacebook, LinkedIn or Instagram.


Author: Josephine Schrott, Earth Charter Young Leader

Originally from Germany, but now calling Vancouver, Canada her home, Josephine Schrott is helping establish a Canadian Earth Charter network, with a focus on youth & community engagement. She studied International Relations and is passionate about building sustainable communities and inspired by the Earth Charter’s holistic approach addressing humanity’s most pressing problems. As part of World of Walas, she works at Dudoc Vancouver, a centre enabling European businesses to transfer their innovations to North America. In her time off, she does local activist and volunteer work and enjoys the beautiful Canadian outdoors.

Contact:

jschrott[at]teamwalas.com, 604.681.2971
100-1445 West Georgia St; Vancouver, BC

Photos:

  • “dudoc-vancouver-showroom” View of Dudoc Vancouver showroom. PC: Edward Lai
  • “dudoc-vancouver-roundtable” We Are Cities Roundtable. PC: Paula Leyton
  • “dudoc-vancouver-dutch-design-exhibition” Dutch Design Supermodels exhibition. PC: Anna Brayko
  • “dudoc-vancouver-upcycled-fashion” Upcycled Fashion Show. PC: Anna Brayko
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Global Goals Accelerator Meetings: Achieving the SDGs in the Netherlands

global-goals-accelerator-presenters-with-organizers

Global Goals Accelerator is an initiative to speed up consciousness and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Netherlands and beyond. The initiative was co-created by Sustainability Dialogue (Veronique Swinkels) and Earth Charter Netherlands (Alide Roerink) and carried out from June 7-July 5, 2016 with the support of various partners.

global-goals-accelerator-meeting

The collaborators organized a series of events, bringing together 30-40 diverse actors from different fields to focus in on a couple select SDGs per meeting. Each meeting began and ended with a young artist singing and playing a work related to the day’s theme, and was followed by presentations from top academics and practitioners who established the national and global context. Participants then had dinner together as they delved into conversations in small groups to discuss targeted solutions. Through this process, the Global Goals Accelerator engaged people across governmental and organizational sectors, both students and professionals, to take on the challenge of the SDGs in the Netherlands.

sustainable-development-goals

In addition to a greater awareness, urgency, and action directed toward the SDGs, the meetings have sparked new relationships and conversations, as participants continue their conversations on LinkedIn and plan to reconnect in August 2016.

global-goals-accelerator-small-group-discussion

More information is available in Dutch on the Global Goals Accelerator website: http://www.globalgoalsaccelerator.nl/.  Photo credits to Barry Jonas at GEOMAN photography.

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Forum on synergies about different UN education initiatives

On 20 March 2015, the Earth Charter International Secretariat organized the forum: “Finding Synergies, Building Bridges: Reorienting education towards sustainable development, sustainable consumption, and global citizenship”. The forum offered the chance for participants to analyze and clarify concepts of three interrelated United Nations education initiatives, in order to highlight each initiative’s respective importance, and identify common underlying values, synergies, and possible areas of collaboration. The discourse attempted to identify how the Earth Charter can further contribute to the process of clarifying values and be employed as an integrated ethical framework for these initiatives.  The event was organized as part of the 15th anniversary of the launch of the Earth Charter

The education initiatives discussed were:  Education for Sustainable Development, whose efforts have been coordinated by UNESCO; Education for Sustainable Consumption, coordinated by UNEP; and Global Citizenship Education, which is coordinated by the UN Secretary General’s office in together with UNESCO.

This one-day event took place at the Earth Charter Education Center located on the University for Peace campus in Costa Rica. Approximately 120 participants attended the Forum. It consisted of four sessions with panelists’ presentations and interaction with participants through questions and answers. The keynote speech was offered by Fritjof Capra, and Severn Cullis-Suzuki offered the closing remarks of this event.

Find more details about this event in the Forum’s Report.

Also find here a photo gallery.

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