The Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development is now a Partner of the Sustainable Lifestyles and Education (SLE) Programme of the 10 Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP) that UNEP coordinate.
The 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns (10YFP), adopted at Rio+20 by the world’s Heads of State, is a global framework for action to enhance international cooperation and advance the implementation of SCP in all countries and regions.
The SLE Programme was launched at the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development in Nagoya, Japan on 11 November 2014. The work areas of this Programme are:
Developing and replicating sustainable lifestyles, including low-carbon lifestyles
Educating for sustainable lifestyles
Transforming current and shaping future generation’s lifestyles
Although the EC Center for ESD will be collaborating in all these areas, the focus of its activities as a partner will be on Work Area 2.
Earth Charter International participated in the 20th Annual Conference of IEF (International Environment Forum), whose topic was: “Implementing Sustainable Development Goals as communities and individuals”, where the focus was the situation in Latin America related to the implementation of SDG 4, SDG 11 and SDG 12.
SDG 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning SDG 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable SDG 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
The Conference took place at Nur University in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, on 7-9 October 2016.
People from several Latin American countries were invited to share experiences that are supporting the implementation of these SDGs. Among the initiatives, a representative of the Government of Bolivia presented the national policy on education for caring for Mother Earth. There were also presentations about promotion of social entrepreneurship for sustainable businesses in Colombia, organic farm production in Bolivia, initiatives on values-based education for sustainable consumption that PERL network is organizing, among others. The Earth Charter was highlighted as a tool that can be used to advance SDG 4, when trying to put in practice quality education processes. The Coordinator Desk of the 10YFP Sustainable Lifestyles and Education Programme, Patricia Vilchis, presented this Programme and the opportunities for collaboration that it presents.
In general, this event was a great opportunity to strengthen partnerships and find new opportunities for collaboration, especially on sustainable lifestyles and education actions. Nur University is creating a video with the presentations, which we will share.
In this occasion, Fatima Almeida, ECI Affiliate from Portugal, led an Earth Charter workshop for 250 participants. It included a short talk about what is the Earth Charter, a group game and then participants drew their thoughts of a peaceful earth on a big long paper.
Taiwan had a big delegation of 31 teachers and students attending CEI 2016. ECI Affiliate in Taiwan, TESA, organized this delegation. TESA’s student assistant made this video that gives a glance of how was CEI 2016 Conference.
Next year’s conference will take place in Oregon, USA. We invite schools and teachers interested in intercultural experiences where sustainability is the focus, to participate in this Conference. Find all information in their website: www.cei2017.org
The “Seeds of Hope” exhibition was created by Soka Gakkai International with support from Earth Charter International, it contains 24 panels with quotes and statements that stress our interconnectedness with the rest of the community of life and the need to broaden our sphere of compassion and concern.
This year, already thousands of people have visited this exhibition in various countries. This is the list of places where this exhibition has been displayed during 2016, and the coming events for early 2017:
Event or Speakers
Don Bosco School, Panjim
Prof. Edgar Ribeiro - the Head of the Task Force for the Regional Plan of Goa, is an Architect plus an Urban and Regional Planner.
Dr. Shetye - Goa University, Vice-Chancellor
Dr. Subodh Kerkar
A renowned installation artist,
Dr. Srikanth Mutnuri
Associate Professor, BITS Pilani, Goa. A PHD in Environmental Microbiology
In Italy, the Cogeme Onlus Foundation, in collaboration with provincial Association of Italian Christian workers (ACLI) and the valuable contribution of Acque Ovest Bresciano Due (AOB2), is organizing the second edition of the Earth Charter Festival along with 16 local communities of Franciacorta and Oglio West.
The programme includes a number of initiatives with particular focus on issues of Circular Economy, Recycling, and “Reuse”.
The Festival will take place between September 21st and November 25th, and is organized under the patronage of the Province of Brescia, the Provincial Education Office, AOB2, Cogeme Spa, the LGH Group, the network Bresciapiù, Franciacorta Earth, and the Librarian Brescia Network in collaboration with Southern systems and west Brescia.
Mary Evelyn Tucker, a long time Earth Charter supporter who was part of the International Drafting Committee in the 90s, and John Grim, both Senior Lecturers and Research Scholars at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies will offer four six-week online courses in September 2016.
The courses, which are open to the public on Coursera to any country in the world, will include two courses on Journey of the Universe and a course on the Worldview of Thomas Berry. Each of these courses can be taken independently followed by an Integrating Capstone course.
These will be the first MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) specialization for Yale and the first MOOCs for the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
These courses will be launched on September 21, 2016. A sign up will be available in early September with a JOIN button on a landing page for these courses on the Coursera website. https://www.coursera.org/yale
Journey of the Universe weaves together the discoveries of the evolutionary sciences with the humanities such as history, philosophy, art, and religion. The courses draw on the Emmy-award winning film, Journey of the Universe, the book from Yale University Press, and a series of 20 interviews with scientists and environmentalists, titled Journey Conversations.
It investigates ways in which we understand evolutionary processes and the implications for humans and our ecological future. It explores cosmic evolution as a creative process based on connection, interdependence, and emergence.
The project also investigates ways in which we understand evolutionary processes and the implications for humans and our ecological future. It is also highly related to the Earth Charter´s Preamble. The notion of Earth Community and the Earth is alive that are articulated in the Earth Charter is reflected in the Journey of the Universe.
During the months of January and February 2016, more than 240 young people from 12 countries sailed to Japan, India, and Sri Lanka on board the Nippon Maru; the Ship for World Youth Leaders (SWYL) convened by the Government of Japan, aims to foster social and environmental projects and contribute to the creation of a culture of cooperation among countries.
During the program the Ship for World Youth Leadership (SWYL) Sofia Camacho participated as a representative of the Earth Charter and as a spokeswoman for the post 2015 Agenda. One of the 11 Mexican delegates, she was selected from among 1,300 candidates by the Embassy of Japan in Mexico, the Mexican Institute of Youth (IMJUVE) and the SWYL Alumni Association in Mexico. During the seminar she led, she integrated the Mexican culture and success stories of conservation in Mexico thanks to strategic alliances with Earth Charter International, Center of Information of the United Nations Mexico (CINU), the National Ministry for Knowledge and Use Biodiversity (CONABIO), Vice Mexico, as well as organizations among which are Reforestamos Mexico and the Huerto Roma Verde.
Below, please find Sofia´s first-hand account of her experience on the Ship…
Personal letter to the ocean and earth
Environmental testimony of the Ship for Worlds Youth Leaders
For over a month I gave myself to ocean life. Aboard a ship full of magical encounters and voices, I saw flying fish, dolphins, fishing birds and pirate ships. I filled my lungs with calm and felt in my stomach the sudden swing of the storm. The continuous breeze settled the question in my mind: everything depends on the ocean. After all, it occupies most of the planet and every living creature depends on water.
The Ship for World Youth Leadership (SWYL) program of the Government of Japan, is a celebration of the central role that the ocean plays in our biological, social and economic life. More than 80% of the volume of world trade -and with it, the social interaction and cultural exchange- is by sea. It makes sense that such a unique initiative in the world, comes from an island nation: a society which has intermittently opened and closed to the world, opening and closing its shores to people and products. SWYL is a program designed and executed with Japanese precision for young people from 12 countries, leaders of social and environmental movements worldwide. “The Ship” as we now call it, is a life-changing experience that the 240 participants will cherish for life.
Echoing the Earth Charter
Just a few hours after we landed in Tokyo we met Wakako Hironaka, member of the Global Legislators Organization for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE), Director of the Environment Agency of Japan, and Earth Charter Commissioner. Our curiosity was mutual: she looked at us with eyes full of history and hope; we were fascinated about everything that her country had to offer. “Inspire them” was the message she gave us, when she learned that we would offer a seminar to present the Earth Charter as a global movement and an instrument that could guide our projects towards a more sustainable and peaceful world.
In the format of a Participant Youth Seminar, I led the presentation of the Earth Charter and its relevance in each of our countries. We echoed the training we received in our preparation process in Monterrey, Mexico; just as Amorita Westphal had invited us to feel the earth with our bare feet, we invited the 40 participants to be aware of the movement of the ocean. We shared with one another experiences of turtle conservation in Sri Lanka, whale watching in Australia, as well as building kayaks out of PET bottles in New Zealand. We realized all the forms of collaboration we have with our projects and initiatives.
The world ocean
In general, we all came home with the conviction that it is our generation that must act immediately. Personally, I understood that the conviction must be transformed into action without border constraints –just like the ocean. The environmental problems we face today require articulated actions and individuals connected in all nations. It is important that biodiversity and cultural diversity remain, and that they are recognized to provide solutions and alternatives of life for all.
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.
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.
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.
On 13 May, 2016, eleven students and three teachers from New Summit Academy (NSA), a small, therapeutic boarding school for 32 adolescent males aged 15 – 18, based in Atenas, Costa Rica, took part in a leadership, sustainability and ethics workshop offered by Earth Charter International. The young men who come from all over the USA and Canada and enrol for 12 months at NSA, are often overcoming struggles with mood swings, ADHD, anxiety, substance abuse, identity, and self-esteem.
Just a couple weeks later, on 22 May, 2016, 22 undergraduate students from Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina visited Earth Charter International at the University for Peace campus in El Rodeo, Costa Rica as part of 2-week programme with Immersion Abroad (http://iacostarica.com/). Immersion Abroad, an educational tourism company, led the students through a variety of experiences in Costa Rica which included homestays, cooking classes, dance shows, and a visit to the Earth Charter International Secretariat (ECI) to learn about sustainability. Sarah Dobson, the Youth Projects Coordinator, Lesley-Jane Davies and Carolina Bermudez, Youth Education Interns at Earth Charter International, designed and facilitated interactive, holistic workshops on Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics.
The workshops followed similar formats. To begin, students formed a close circle and stretched to join hands with two others in other parts of the circle forming a human knot. Once tangled together, they needed to find a way to untangle themselves and return to the shape of a circle without releasing one another’s´ hands. They spent the next 30 minutes trying to undo the human knot they had formed. Some sections of the circle were disentangled with more ease than others, but the activity was only complete once all were back in one complete circle. Reflections on the activity elicited responses of discomfort, pain, frustration, irritation, joy, and celebration as well as the importance of perseverance in the face of difficulty, listening to one another, leadership, and teamwork. Students recognised the interconnectivity of their dilemma and how one person’s actions impacted another’s, often with unanticipated and unintended results, drawing parallels between the problems and potential solutions for sustainability.
One facilitator then told the story about the creation of the Earth Charter allowing students to guess at true/false statements at each stage of the story which involved a decade-long, worldwide, cross-cultural, civil society dialogue on common goals and shared values that ultimately culminated in an inclusive vision and guide for sustainable development. This vision and guide became the Earth Charter.
Both workshops then provided space for students to engage with the text of the Earth Charter in small groups, sharing personal stories, and dialoguing around their own values. It was then time for the Earth Charter to come alive, and students acted out skits of different principles and ethical dilemmas allowing others to dive into the skit and guess the principle and dilemmas being dramatized. A few principles that participants selected to act out included: Principle 16 “Promote a culture of tolerance, non-violence and peace”, the focus of the Earth Charter Initiative in 2016, and Principle 7 “Adopt patterns of production, consumption and reproduction that safeguard Earth’s regenerative capacities, human rights, and community well-being”.
A closing circle revealed thoughtful reflections on sustainability, ethics, and leadership; conviction around the interrelated nature of our actions, lifestyles, and futures; and curiosity around generating the inspiration, motivation, and values needed in the transition towards social, economic and environmental sustainability. New Summit Academy and Immersion Abroad both plan to continue bringing groups to Earth Charter International to foster in their students sustainability leadership and a sense of respect and care for the community of life.
From June 4th-6th, UNESCO held meetings with 85 key partner organizations and institutions who are contributing to the Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). The Coordinator of Youth Projects at Earth Charter International, Sarah Dobson, attended the meetings as a co-chair in Partner Network 4: Empowering and Mobilizing Youth.
Earth Charter International (ECI) has two commitments to GAP; One is for mobilizing and engaging youth through a 10-week online training programme on Leadership, Sustainability and Ethics, http://earthcharter.org/youth/youth-courses-webinars/. Through the programme, young leaders aged 18-30 grapple with concepts of sustainability leadership, systems thinking, ecoliteracy, ethical decision making, and the Earth Charter and plan and facilitate a related workshop in their local communities. The programme will run in English and Spanish over the next few years, training at least 300 young leaders. ECI is also committed to training educators, offering an online certificate programme in ESD in both Spanish and Portuguese, http://earthcharter.org/learn/, in additional to other online and face-to-face courses.
UNESCO invited organizations, institutions, and governments in all five GAP partner networks: 1) advancing policy; 2) transforming learning and training environments; 3) building capacities of educators and trainers; 4) empowering and mobilizing youth; and 5) accelerating sustainable solutions at local level; to come to the UNESCO headquarters in Paris to take part in the annual GAP meeting of key partners. The meetings included panels, small groups, and World Café style networking in order to discuss and make progress on building synergies, overcoming challenges, scaling up, and advancing flagship projects.
Earth Charter International is working with UNESCO and Partner Network 4 to establish a collaborative flagship project to engage youth worldwide around the Sustainable Development Goals, and will continue working on its institutional commitments. For the duration of the GAP (2014-2019), UNESCO will continue facilitating collaboration amongst key partners to strengthen local and global efforts on education for sustainable development.
Transformative Teaching and Learning with the Earth Charter
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.