Italy Archives - Page 2 of 3 - Earth Charter

Italian organization completes Earth Charter educational activity

Centro Studi per la Pace Onlus (The Center for the Study of Peace, CSPACE) is a non-profit organization founded on 3 May 2010 in Demonte, a small mountain town in the province of Cuneo, Italy. The principles of the Earth Charter are included in the foundational document of CSPACE and in 2013 the organization decided to implement an Earth Charter project in several local schools.

CSPACE identified education as a key method to foster cultural growth among future citizens and decided to carry out an inspiring project in classrooms in the region. The first steps were taken in 2013, when CSPACE approached teachers in several secondary schools with the objective of bringing the Earth Charter Principles to the attention of the students.

The teachers and students of the four schools that participated in the project were given access to materials directly through the CSPACE website, which limited the use of paper in order to comply with environmental sustainability.  There were two main goals of the project. The first was to facilitate the schools’ institutional endorsement of the Earth Charter. The second was educational and entailed endorsing, acknowledging, and internalizing the principles of the Charter.

The project involved the students developing an activity, which would later be judged according to how creative they were in expressing their understanding of the Earth Charter. The award ceremony took place on 29 April, with each school linked via the web. The three winners were announced by special guest Stefania Belmondo, Olympic Nordic Skiing Champion, who lives in Demonte, and they also received encouraging words over the internet from an Earth Charter International staff member in Costa Rica.

The top three classes won a substantial cash prize. The students also received a book offered by a well-known publisher from the area, as well as an eco-friendly water bottle. The different products of the activity were collected on a CD and distributed to each class. The creations included drawings, poems, stories, a calendar, an e-book, a newscast, and videos.

This project was very well received by both students and teacher and should be considered a success. CSPACE has already decided on next year’s project, and, the theme has been received with great enthusiasm. Next year’s focus will be article 16 of the Earth Charter, which states, “Promote a culture of tolerance, nonviolence, and peace.”

See more at the CSPACE website.

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Earth Charter Italy holds 21st Youth Awards

This year marked the 21st edition of the Earth Charter Youth Contest. As in previous years, Green Cross Italia promoted this environmental education initiative in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Education. The aim is to teach and inspire youth to become environment superheroes and find solutions to our Earth’s problems. This year’s theme was focused on one of the biggest problems humanity faces today: “Inizia da te: l’acqua (It starts with you: water)”.

The large participation of children from kindergartens and primary schools in the context of the International Year on Water Cooperation shows how this generation is committed to safeguarding “blue gold”. About 18,500 participants out of the total 30,000 were under 12.

“The game of life is over without water.”

“Water is life but it’s not infinite, there’s not a drop to lose in saving life.”

 “All great men loved water. Save it and you’ll be great too.”

These are some of the mottos created by the children during their activities, which included drawings, nursery rhymes, games and video clips, as well as theatrical performances and town events. All their work proves that many small drops really can create a river of solidarity to support students from developing countries, who often have to walk several kilometers to acquire a few liters of water.

While a European citizen uses an average of 200-250 liters for drinking, washing and sanitation, an African inhabitant has access to only 20. For women and children it takes several hours of walking to collect water from safe and healthy sources. According to the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization, on a global scale, more than one in six people – equivalent to over 894 million people – don’t have access to clean water. By the year 2025, almost 2 billion people will live in high water risk regions.

“New generations are aware of the risks of natural resource shortages that we will face in the years to come,” says Green Cross Italia President Elio Pacilio. “This is why they commit themselves to building a sustainable future, using their creativity, their knowledge and all their enthusiasm. Thanks to the Earth Charter Youth Contest we have fostered their paths and we have launched a message that has been understood to perfection by children and youngsters. With the prize money for winning schools we will contribute to valuing and safeguarding the environment”.

Related content:
•    The Earth Charter Youth Contest

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New Earth Charter endorser in Italy holds Earth Charter event

The Altaura Farm, a recent Earth Charter endorser from Italy, held an event on February 17th that heavily featured the Earth Charter. The event was also in support of organic farming using self-produced organic seeds.

The event featured a guided proposal for organic seed exchange led by Dr. Silvia Ferro of an association called Diversamentebio. Each guest at the event provided his or her own seeds and then explained the characteristics of the species. Afterwards, there was a free exchange of seeds among the guests. Following the seed exchange, Maria Francesca of the Altaura Farm introduced the fundamental principles of the Earth Charter and a copy was provided for each family involved in the exchange.

Afterwards, the old “game of seeds”, known as Mancala, was played. Mancala is a family of board games played around the world. These games are also referred to as “sowing” games, or “count-and-capture” games and seeds are used for pieces. The seeds are no one’s property, they may only be moved! In some versions the player’s object is to bring all the seeds to his or her own side. In other versions, losing can be avoided by a player performing a sow that brings seeds into the ranks of a player in famine, thus saving them. In many mancala versions, rescue (or feeding) of your opponent is a requirement.

One of the activities proposed for children was making seed balls of assorted varieties from several seeds and soil mixed together, taking a walk in the countryside and throwing these ‘farm-balls’ in the bushes. Through this method, rainwater dissolves the farm-balls. From this self-sowing method, many different plants will be born in the spring season, and the hedges will thicken from their growth.

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Italian Earth Charter affiliate co-organizes photo event

The Italian Earth Charter Committee, in collaboration with the Italian Japan Foundation and under the patronage of the Japanese Embassy to Italy and the Japanese Embassy to the Holy See, co-organized a photo exhibition to remember the destruction of Civitavecchia in 1943 and the destruction of Ishinomaki in 2011. Civitavecchia, a town about 70 kilometers northwest of Rome, was totally destroyed in 1943 by air bombardment during the Second World War. Ishinomaki was devastated by the 2011 tsunami. The exhibition was an opportunity to think about events that can put the existence of a whole town in danger, and the aim was to stimulate a common action towards the realization of a peaceful society and that respects the environment.

Carla Celani, curator of the event stated, “Two different tragedies: the first by man and the other caused by nature. For this reason, the exhibition will not only be a tribute to those who suffered these two disasters, but a moment of reflection individually and collectively, from which we hope will give rise to a consciousness to the rejection of any form of conflict, land conservation in which we live and the environment.” The event showcased photographs of the two cities and the destruction they each underwent, as well as featuring two documents – The Italian Constitution and The Earth Charter.

About 200 people attended the exhibition’s inauguration on March 11th, and since then more than 300 teachers and students from Roman schools have visited.

Here is the video (in Italian) from the exhibition.

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More than 1,000 attend Earth Charter Italy event

In September 2012, Earth Charter Italy held a 20-year anniversary event of the original Rio Earth Summit in Valmasino, a village in the Lombardy alpine region of Italy. More than 1,000 people attended the event. The Earth Charter Italy affiliate from Federazione Nazionale Pro Natura, Mr. Corrado Maria Daclon, introduced the Earth Charter and recounted its history. During the event, Mr. Daclon presented an award of service to Mr. Giancarlo Morandi for his support and national and international actions to promote the Earth Charter.

Mr. Morandi, an Earth Charter supporter since 2002, is well known for his strong social commitment combined with a series of concrete international actions aimed to foster sustainable development and environmental protection. In 2002 as President of COBAT – National Consortium for Collection and Recycling established by the Ministry of Environment – Mr. Morandi planned a mission to Himalaya in order to collect all spent lead-acid batteries abandoned at the Mount Everest’s base camp; in 2005 near Lake Titicaca in Peru he promoted and supported a training program for a hundred students on technologies for the production of solar panels. In 2007 and 2008 he financed the installation of photovoltaic panels in Choglamsar, India at the Tibetan Children’s Village, which houses about 1,500 orphans and children of Tibetan refugees in exile between the ages of 3 and 17.  In 2010, again in Choglamsar he supported part of a reconstruction project of a refugee camp destroyed by a devastating flood. In Italy, he has been promoting several ongoing social and environmental initiatives. His dedication and his determination to the realization of the principles of sustainability was inspired by the United Nations Conference in Rio de Janeiro 20 years ago and he has been a committed supporter of the Earth Charter campaign in Italy for more than ten years.

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Italian President presents Earth Charter Youth Contest 2012 awards

The Earth Charter Youth Contest awards ceremony, held on October 19th, 2012 at the Quirinal Palace, was part of the traditional “Autumn Fest.” President Napolitano presented Elio Pacilio, President of Green Cross Italy, with a commemorative plaque to acknowledge the organization’s efforts to promote environmental education during the past 20 years.

Approximately 600,000 students from at least 10,000 schools have participated in the competition during the past two decades, with nearly 500 schools recognized for their work and provided with support to conduct 320 micro-environmental projects.

The contest enjoys strong support from Italian civil society, including from Professor Rita Levi Montalcini, honorary president of Green Cross Italy.

Rai television presenter Massimiliano Ossini hosted the event, which was also attended by Italian Minister of Education Francesco Profumo and Italian Minister of Agriculture Mario Catania, and representatives of the Ministry of Environment.

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A new EC-inspired book: "Towards a planetary Education. For a sustainable Future"

The Fondazione Cogeme Onlus is a foundation that directly supports and promotes projects to stimulate a culture of sustainability, either in social or environmental contexts. For many years the foundation has been working with the Earth Charter as an instrument for thought and action for sustainability education. This foundation is also an ECI Affiliate and has recently developed a book entitled Towards a planetary Education. For a sustainable Future. The Earth Charter vision inspired the book and was used throughout. This book is a guide for teachers in Italy and contains many suggested activities to be developed in class. The volume will be edited by one of the most important Italian pedagogical publishers (La Scuola Ed.) and includes a preface to encourage teachers’ educational efforts written by Prof. Ervin Laszlo .

On September 4th, Fondazione Cogeme organized a conference for schools to publicize this important resource. The book will be published in October 2012 and is the result of a joint effort by a small but highly motivated group of teachers (all volunteers), coordinated by Carlo Baroncelli and supported by Fondazione Cogeme.

See the TABLE OF CONTENTS of the book here.


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First Online session on Euro Arab Youth Collaboration for Sustainability

See the session recording here: Getting to know the Earth Charter

Euro-Arab youth collaboration for more sustainable world, an online youth sustainability leadership course, takes place in June – July 2011. First session took place on Thursday 9th. Read participant’s experience of the first session.

Thank you very much Maria Sannino of Italy and Abir Cherif of Tunisia for writing these articles!

“My name is Maria and I am from Italy. As soon as I came to know about the online youth sustainability leadership course I enrolled hoping my application would be accepted.

It’s June 2nd, the deadline for applicants to be notified in case of being selected. I remember having checked my mailbox hundreds of times that day, but at the end of the day no communication had arrived yet. I wondered what went wrong, perhaps I had not used the right words, or had not expressed my motivations clearly enough. Perhaps, my enthusiasm and will were simply not enough.

I had lost all hopes to be in when, the following day, an e-mail finally told me I had been selected as well, among other participants!
I cannot express how happy I felt, yes, it meant a lot me…

So here I am, writing about the first session of the course held on June 9th. It was the first time for me, I had never been on a virtual classroom and must say, despite the technical problems we had with our internet connection, our lesson was truly stimulating and turned out to be a great moment for sharing.

We went through the Earth Charter principles and discussed of everyone’s favourite points of the document, then we watched a video about the history of the Earth Charter; participants from many countries of the world were attending the class: Palestine, Finland, Malta, Bahrain, Portugal, Syria, Iraq and many others. I am sure not to exaggerate when I say it was almost breathtaking to me to realize that people from different latitudes, speaking different languages, following different religions, in that very moment were all sharing one single belief, motivation and vision. We were all there and did not know each other and, still, we were acting together for a common cause. Once more I had a confirmation: there is no boundary if you truly want something, and we truly wanted to come together hoping to create a network, to learn something new from one another, and prove it is possible to dialogue despite distance and difference.

By the end of the two hours session my sensation was that people would have gone on for at least other two hours, talking, confronting each other, discussing. Everyone had something to say, everyone had an idea or opinion to share.

Collaboration was the word underneath it all.

I can say this experience gave me renewed motivation and strengthened my will to go on. Moments like that are examples of how good people can do together: we have a force which is that of determination to make a difference and only by cooperating we can really make a change. If we come together we can operate on governments and cooperate with them. But we ought to start from ourselves. We must act right to teach right. If we learn how to become positive examples, then we will inspire others to do so. And we cannot act alone: we are like drops, it takes many to create a storm!”

Abir Cherif of Tunisia writes:

“…Few seconds after reading about the youth sustainability leadership in my friend’s Facebook profile, I clicked on the link leading me to the Earth Charter website, read the vision, the application process, the Charter itself, and realized that I HAVE to enroll in the course, so I filled in the application, so sincerely, hoping  and expecting to be accepted.
…Few days after, on June 2nd, I was checking my mailbox hundreds of times, it was the announcement day! I was waiting, and waiting, and I was having exams, but no confirmation has arrived yet. I thought my expectations went wrong and felt disappointed… I almost lost every hope to be in, when finally at midnight, an e-mail coming from Jaana was telling me I’ve been selected among other participants from 32 countries!…I can’t express how happy I felt! Yeah! Being in the Earth Charter course meant a lot for me, and for my friends who had, and still have, confidence in me  …

Countdown started, I scrolled down and clicked on the online course button; the teacher’s face was the first to appear 😀 , the chat box next; participants from all over the world  were attending the class.

Our first task was about getting to know each other; Jaana, our teacher, was asking us to turn on cameras and to speak, the only language permitted was English, and hopefully, we all were active Anglophones and good speakers …Then, 5 questions were given to be accomplished in 15 minutes as the first group work:

  • How many females are attending the course?
  • How many males are attending the course?
  • How old is the oldest participant?
  • How old is the youngest participant?
  • From how many countries are the participants?

It wasn’t very hard to answer all these questions as we were a group and as some personal information was indicated up in the conference window… After discussing for few minutes, we came up with all required answers, and voted for a speaker… In spite of some missing/unsure information, we almost had the exact answers:

  • 11 females and 7 males, not including the teacher (those who attended were only 19)
  • The oldest was 33, and the youngest was 15
  • There were 14 countries, applications came from 32 countries

A smart question was asked; why was the number of females bigger than that of males?
We laughed a little while, then, Jaana answered it was because of the inequality of the gender in the earlier Earth Charter online courses – usually there are always more men than women! And it was a credible and smarter answer 😀 …

Next, we went through the presentation done by Jaana Laitinen, our tutor, turning around Donella Meadows and what a vision means… She asked us questions, and we typed her varied answers, translating our several ways of thinking, understanding and communicating one’s ideologies and thoughts…

Then, we went through the 48 slides’ presentation about the Earth Charter principles, realized them and discussed everyone’s favourite points of the document ending with a video about the history of this worldwide organization developing how and when it has started, and for what reason and above all, goals: To change one’s behaviour, heart, feelings and attitude towards the globe we live in and the people we’re living with! And to spray widely the culture of peace, democracy and justice! The Earth Charter is given to people, to stop waiting for the governments to act, and even to aware these of the importance of keeping the Earth peaceful and, green!

… This online, and meant to be online, experience, to make the GOOD use of technology and cyber world, gave us motivation for action…
As “to make the change, we have to be the change we’re seeking for”, change the way we think and the way we deal with our planet and the very different peoples living and surviving in. If we learn how to be positive agents, the whole world will be inspired.

All what we learned, and are still learning is hugely touching! Wanna be an effective agent of positive change? Realize our Charter and YOU will be the change.”

Abir Sherif, 15 years

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AmbienteCinemaUomo in Italy commits to put the Earth Charter into action

The Earth Charter Initiative is pleased to announce that AmbienteCinemaUomo in Parma, Italy endorsed the Earth Charter.   Furthermore they committed to put the Earth Charter principles of sustainability into action by:

  • creating  a cinema festival to diffuse the culture of sustainability and dialogue among adults and students,
  • inaugurating their 2011 edition with the free screening of the movie HOME and celebrating a special event on the Earth Charter last February, 
  • reducing their ecological footprint of their activities through the use of web technologies for engagement and communication and through carbon neutralization of their operations,
  • being accountable for the impacts of their initiative in terms of sustainability.

They also have opened a free-access nine-week online forum called Sustainability as a Film? With the purpose of developing dialogue through the Web, starting from the contents of a film in order to foster a culture of sustainability and dialogue through cinema.  They invited all those who decide to be part of the solution and not just the problem: business and government leaders, teachers, students and concerned citizens.  More information on this here.

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Earth Charter youth network wants to expand in Europe!

An example of an European Earth Charter effort:

In March 2011 the Earth Charter International along with the Earth Charter Youth Team organizes a one-day online conference to inform the European youth organizations and individual activists on the Earth Charter and its usefulness as an educational instrument when building a more just, sustainable and peaceful world.

So far some 100 organizations have joined the Earth Charter youth network from Europe and Central Asia. In addition, there are 16 official Earth Charter Youth and Student Groups (ECYG) in 16 European and Central Asian countries.

ECYGs are action-oriented societies, networks, or organizations that bring alive the vision of the Earth Charter in the local and/or national communities. The youth study the declaration, get inspired by it and then organize small action projects on sustainability.

Youth in Europe promote the Earth Charter by

  • organizing events where they present the declaration
  • translating the document
  • informing other organizations on it
  • training people on sustainable development and ways of living.

National Earth Charter Websites in Europe and CA:

Finland | Germany | Greece | Italy | Latvia Norway | Russia |

From the related articles below, one can see some examples of the European Earth Charter youth activism.

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