India Archives - Page 3 of 3 - Earth Charter

Solving the problem of plastic bags contamination in Himalayas, India.

The pilgrimage to the High Himalaya’s shrines (Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath), in Uttarakhand region, attracts millions of people every year during summer time, mainly because the access to these sites has improved in recent years. The downside of this is the strong environmental impact of this huge influx of people on the delicate mountain ecosystem of the Himalayas. Environmental organizations worry about the pollution caused by plastic bags that pilgrims used to carry their prasadam.

AAGAAS Federation, an environmental organization and Earth Charter Affiliate from Uttarakhand, came up with an interesting program to deal with this problem. They are promoting the use of bamboo baskets made by local artisans, with locally grown bamboo. In this sense, they are not only reducing the plastic bags threat to the environment, but are also offering alternative employment to local people, who have long tradition of weaving bamboo. J.P. Maithani, Chairperson of AAGAAS Federation, affirms that this program is a practical way for them to put the Earth Charter principles into action.

For more information, visit AAGAAS website: www.aagaas.org

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Earth Charter on children’s website Kidsrgreen

The Earth Charter is the focus for Kidsrgreen 2009, a children’s website developed by the Centre for Environment Education, India (CEE). Kidsrgreen is an online innovative and interactive environmental-education magazine for children. It is managed by the Children’s Media Unit of Centre for Environment Education, India. It was selected as one of the finalists for the Stockholm Challenge Award 2008 in the Environment Category.

One of the regular features of this e-magazine is Spaceship Earth. Every month this takes up one of the principles of Earth Charter, and links it to different dimensions of our earth and environment through a story, an activity or project idea. The website, now in its ninth year of operation, is popular with children as well as teachers and parents as a fun-filled, interactive teaching-learning resource. From February till June this year, the site has recorded over 37,000 page views.

We invite you to visit and use this site at www.kidsrgreen.org

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Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma) Endorses the Earth Charter

India’s renowned spiritual leader Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi–known among her followers as Amma or Mother–endorsed the Earth Charter at a public event attended by over 2,000 people on July 8, 2009 in New York City.

On this occasion, Steven Rockefeller, Earth Charter International Council co-chair, introduced the Earth Charter and presented a copy of the Earth Charter to Amma. She and Mr. Rockefeller then signed a statement endorsing the Earth Charter and pledging ongoing support for the global partnership for a just, sustainable and peaceful world.

The major theme of Amma’s spiritual teaching and social work is “Embracing the World.”  Whenever she is asked about her religion she replies:  “My religion is love.”  Amma is the leader and founder of M.A. Math, one of the largest humanitarian organizations in India, providing education, medical care, disaster relief, community development and environmental protection with a special concern for the very poor.  Amma has millions of followers in India and in many other regions of the world.   She is especially well known for her practice of expressing a boundless love for all people by tenderly embracing everyone who comes to her. It is reported that she has embraced in this way more than 28 million people. In her teaching, Amma emphasizes universal spiritual and ethical values. She often comments on the interdependence of all life and the need for a more loving relationship between people and nature:   “Nature is like a huge flower garden.  The animals, birds, trees, plants and people are the garden’s fully blossomed flowers of diverse colors.  The beauty of this garden is complete only when all of these exist as a unity, thereby spreading the vibrations of love and oneness.  May all our minds become one in love.   Let us work together to prevent these diverse flowers from withering away, so that the garden may remain eternally beautiful.”  

You can find a short video of the event in the following link in You Tube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDn66eLmAxE

For more information about Amma’s organizations, please visit:
http://www.amma.org/

http://www.amrita.edu
http://www.aimshospital.org

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The Montfort Brothers of St Gabriel global network using the Earth Charter

The draft education policy adopted recently for the global educational network of the Montfort Brothers of St. Gabriel has adopted the Earth Charter as one of its important elements. Hence, the Earth Charter will form part of the educational curriculum in hundreds of educational/social institutions in 34 countries, once this policy is finalized, by the end of 2009.

Another important development is the decision taken by the governing body of the Montfort Brothers of St. Gabriel to officially create Montfort Social Institute (MSI) in Hyderabad, India, during the first week of June 2009.  MSI will focus on promoting Human Rights Education (HRE) and Sustainable Development Education (SDE) following the Earth Charter Principles.

MSI will take up a pilot project of introducing an integrated approach to HRE and SDE based on the Earth Charter principles in 23 educational institutions of the Montfort Brothers’ society in two different states in India, during the next academic year (June 2009-April 2010). This is to help MSI finalize a curriculum that can be used in the rest of the 140 institutions in India and also abroad.

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ECh used as a reference in a conflict between India and The Netherlands

 In a very delicate case of conflict of interest between the governments of India and The Netherlands, where Ruud Lubbers and Ashok Khosla acted as “mediators” since mid December 2007 until the end of January 2008, the Earth Charter was used as a reference and they finally came to the following conclusion: in consultation with local Indian organizations and unions, an ombudsperson in Bangalore will be appointed.

 

The Earth Charter was strengthened as a soft law instrument and this story achieved good results and outcomes.

 

Lubbers was assisted by Mr. Khosla, who has worked for the Indian government as well as the UN. Khosla is the chair of NGO Development Alternatives and co-chairing the Club of Rome. Lubbers and Khosla are closely involved with the Earth Charter Initiative. Khosla has requested to propose a suitable candidate to act as ombudsperson. The ombudsperson shall act within the framework of Indian law and international standards including the Earth Charter.

 

The constitution of India 1949 guarantees the freedom of speech and the freedom of association. The Indian Trade Union Law 1926 functions adequately: unions represent employees in labour issues. Khosla and Lubbers shall be available to act as a sounding board for the ombudsperson, but shall also continue to safeguard this agreement as ‘Custodians’.

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4th International Conference on Environmental Education in Ahmedabad, India

The 4th International Conference on Environmental Education was held recently in Ahmedabad, India. From November 24th to 28th, 2007, representatives from all sectors and regions of the world gathered to share information, experiences and best practices about ongoing and planned initiatives in the field of Environmental Education (EE) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).

 

Earth Charter International considered it very important to contribute to this Conference, and also take advantage of the networking opportunities and exchange of ideas that this Conference provided. In this sense, ECI organized several activities:

 

• Facilitation of the working session: “Integrating Values of Sustainability into Education: The Promise of the Earth Charter”

• Joint coordination of the working session “Youth: Trendsetters of ESD”

• Launch meeting of ECYI’s recently elected Youth Leadership Team (YLT)

• Launch of the Intergenerational Partnership initiative

 

 

Click here to read more about the ICEE Conference

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City of Delhi, India Adopts Earth Charter Education

On the occasion of Earth Day, the Delhi Government expressed its commitment to the Earth Charter vision and launched a collaborative project with CLEAN-India (Community Led Environment Action Network), a program created by Development Alternatives (a leading Indian NGO and ECI Affiliate) to bring the Earth Charter to over 2,000 Delhi Schools. As part of this effort the Earth Charter, will be integrated into the school curriculum.

 

CLEAN-India/Development Alternatives also announced the “Green Million” Initiative which involves planting a million trees in Delhi by the year 2010. School children will act in partnership with Delhi Government to plant seedlings throughout the region.

 

Delhi is the first Indian city to embrace the Earth Charter in this formal way, but the Charter is widely known in the country, especially among leaders in sustainability education, and its presence is growing. We look forward to more good news from India in the coming years.

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EC Principles Support The Converging World – UK/India

The principles of the Earth Charter are being applied by a new organization called The Converging World, which has launched innovative projects to build wind turbines in Southern India with finances from UK companies and individuals. The Converging World promotes integrated social change and development in Tamil Nadu, and helps people and businesses in the UK and elsewhere to reduce their own personal carbon emissions.

 

A simple description of The Converging World is that it raises money from individuals and businesses concerned about climate change, environmental damage and social inequality; it uses this money to link communities locally and across the world; and through partnerships it will take action to reduce emissions, the damage, and inequality.

 

The idea for The Converging World originated in Go Zero — a community-based project in the parish and surrounds of Chew Magna, a small village south of Bristol in the UK.  The name Go Zero stems from the desire of the residents to “move toward a zero waste society.”

 

A major source of money will come from investing in renewable energy schemes that generate income and save greenhouse gas emissions, and the investment money will come from allocating these saved tonnes of CO2 to individuals and businesses in return for donations and pledges to reduce consumption.

 

The Converging World has already launched its Energy Tree Project, through which it is planting wind turbines in Tamil Nadu.  Each machine, each “energy tree,” from the day it starts turning is substituting for the electricity that would otherwise be created by burning coal — India’s electric power currently comes 80% from coal. Each turbine will save at least 12,000 tonnes of C02 equivalent over its lifetime. The funds, and eventually the income from selling electricity, will provide money for more turbines, for educational grants and for community linking.

 

Soon The Converging World will look for similar opportunities in other parts of the world. These projects will be locally controlled and will directly link communities across the world.

 

The project says “Convergence is a process — it is a series of many small steps over a long period. These steps are often most effective when you are part of a community that is working together to achieve change and doing more than any individual can do by themselves.”

 

Please find out more by visiting:  http://www.theconvergingworld.org/

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