ECI Affiliate in Jordan, JOHUD (Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development), conducted in 2015 an environmental awareness campaign for students from different schools at this organization’s Environmental Educational Center.
Between November and December 2015, 480 students participated in different activities where the Earth Charter was introduced and where they learned about sustainability. A number of teachers also participated in the activities organized during these two months, where they were invited to integrate the notions of sustainability and the Earth Charter in the school curricula.
This experience gave JOHUD important lessons learned for future education processes with the Earth Charter. Some of the recommendations for future processes are: promoting the creation of students’ groups to follow up the activities, also to prepare guidelines for teachers to design and implement educational activities related to the Earth Charter, and to think about methodologies to help people put the Earth Charter principles into action in their daily life.
In addition, JOHUD organized a tree planting campaign in Ajloun, an area where five hectares of forests where destroyed in a fire more than a year ago. On March 9th, JOHUD invited activists and young from all over the kingdom to participate in what became a celebration of replanting trees in Aljoun. Over 500 volunteers and officials gathered in that location leaded by HRH Princess Basma.
Another purpose of this tree planting activity was to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Earth Charter. In this sense, participants received materials of the Earth Charter, that helped them learn the efforts that JOHUD has done with the Earth Charter in the quest to promote sustainability.
The Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development(JOHUD), an Earth Charter Affiliate from Jordan, has a property in Al- Kafrain (50 donums), situated in close proximity to the Baptism site. Around that area there are mostly expensive four to five-starts hotels that prevent many Jordanians from enjoying the area. In addition, not many educational centers exist there, so, JOHUD is planning to develop an eco and/or agro tourism project, where people can not only enjoy the area but also learn about traditional agricultural and construction practices.
JOHUD is thinking of building an eco-friendly education center in this area, which will include research and accommodation facilities for agriculture or archeological research teams working in the valley, and a space to do training programmes. The local agricultural community can be linked with this project as well, which will benefit from the proximity to the Baptism Site and the Dead Sea Tourist Zone.
The main objective of this project is to develop a sustainable community-based model for an attractive eco/agro-tourism initiative in the Al- Kafrain area that promotes training and learning activities based on the Earth Charter principles. The project facilities and operation will be an education tool to learn about renewable technology, green buildings, permaculture, integrated water management, and socio-economic development.
It will be interesting to see how the Earth Charter can be put in practice in this area, to promote sustainable practices (in terms of agriculture, tourism, construction) through educational activities at a community level, and learn local practices that enhance the sustainability of the area.
Considering its location close to an important religious place (the Baptism site), it provides an opportunity to generate multicultural and interfaith learning processes to promote peace in the region.
One of the staff members of JOHUD, Muttasim Al-Hayari, attended the Earth Charter executive programme on education and values, offered in May 2013. This experience is helping him and his team to bring the Earth Charter principles as a foundation for this exciting project.
On 23 and 24 November 2010, a special celebration of the 10th Earth Charter anniversary took place in Jordan, under the patronage of HRH Princess Basma Bint Talal and the Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development (JOHUD). The objectives were to raise awareness about the EC in Jordan and in the region, share experiences and forge collaboration between regional organizations. As a result, a regional Earth Charter network for Middle East and North Africa was created, and strategic actions and way forward were discussed and agreed.
The first day of the event, around 200 people gathered at Movenpick Hotel in the Dead Sea, Jordan, where HRH Princess Basma offered her views on the importance of the Earth Charter for the region, she said: “the Earth Charter is in line with our region’s culture and lifestyle. Our commitment to the EC is evident, but we need to do more actions, we need to do what is simply right”. She offered an overview of the contributions of Jordan society to the drafting process of the Charter, and actions that have taken place during this last 10 years. She highlighted the translation of the EC Teacher’s Guidebook into Arabic and how this resource was distributed to schools throughout the country. At the end of her speech, she expressed hope that this meeting leads to more use and promotion of the sustainability vision that is articulated in the Earth Charter.
In this occasion, IUCN regional office launched a toolkit in Arabic of the water initiative called WANI. Mr. Mark Smith from IUCN Headquarters presented this material and made the official launch. In addition, he reflected on the complementary missions of IUCN and Earth Charter Initiative.
In the first panel discussion, Prof. Peter Blaze Corcoran offered, on behalf of the Earth Charter International, a thorough presentation of what have been the most important highlights and outcomes of the Earth Charter in the last ten years, in areas such as education, private sector, youth and global governance. In addition, Mr. Odeh Al-Jayyousi, IUCN Regional Director highlighted the importance of the EC as an educational tool for sustainable development and the importance of a continued collaboration. Dr. Sawsan Majali, Director of ZENID offered an overview of actions to put in practice the Earth Charter in Jordan. Finally, Mr. Mustafa Naseredin, from TAG group, offered his views on the importance of the Earth Charter as a framework to motivate new ways of doing business. He reflected on the complementarities between EC, Global Compact and GRI.
A second panel was organized to share experiences of the Earth Charter in action, each panelist discussed one of the four pillars of the Earth Charter. Mr. Ibrahim Al-Zubi from Emirates Diving Association discussed about Respect and Care for the Community of Life; Mr. Yehya Khaled from Royal Society of Conservation of Nature shared thoughts on the notion of Ecological Integrity; Mr. Emad Adly from RAED Network reflected on his work on Social and Economic Justice and Mr. Melhem Mansour from Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Syria about Democracy, Non Violence and Peace.
Then, participants divided into five groups to discuss the role of the Earth Charter in education, private sector, youth, policy making, planning and in evaluation and assessment for sustainability.
The second day of the meeting, the working groups identified priority actions for each area discussed, they started to develop a regional plan for putting the actions identified into practice, and discussed on a collaboration effort to start a regional Earth Charter network.
Participants representing organizations of 11 countries (Governmental, International and Non Governmental Organizations) committed to get involved in this network. The countries represented were: Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
There was an agreement to have JOHUD as the coordinating entity for this network, who will be in close communication with the members and ECI Secretariat. The participant’s commitment is expressed in a final declaration signed by all, which was presented to HRH Princess Basma on the last day.
The Earth Charter International is pleased to announce the creation of several new national Earth Charter websites. Making basic information on the Earth Charter available in as many languages as possible is a key part of the ECI strategy. The purpose is to reach out to individuals and groups in different parts of the world in their own language. We are happy that the following new EC countries are ready:
The Earth Charter is a universal expression of ethical principles to foster sustainable development.
The Earth Charter Initiative is the global network that embraces, uses and integrates the Earth Charter principles.