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Earth Charter International Education Conference 2019

Earth Charter International Education Conference 2019


29 – 31 January 2019

The Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development at University for Peace, with the support of World of Walas and Soka Gakkai International, hosted the Earth Charter International Education Conference: Leading the Way to Sustainability 2030. The conference took place on the University for Peace campus from 29 to 31 January.

More than 100 people participated from 18 countries, such as Mexico, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Brazil, the United States, Canada, Guatemala, France, the Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Japan, among others. A wide variety of sectors were represented, including universities, school educators, local government officials, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, as well as UNESCO representatives from both the Headquarters and the Regional Office for Central America and Mexico, and the Ministry of Public Education of Costa Rica.

This conference sought to share experiences and research projects and generate a dialogue on pedagogical approaches, materials and lessons learned in the search for necessary transformations in education processes for sustainable development and global citizenship.

The Conference was held in English and Spanish, with 66 presentations, divided into nine plenary sessions and four categories of parallel sessions, namely: school education, higher education, and non-formal education in English and Spanish. Among the speakers were recognized authors in the field of education, especially education for sustainable development, global citizenship, transformative education, among others. In addition, pedagogical principles that encourage interaction and enjoyment were put into practice. In this sense, at the Conference there were nature walks, music and dancing, as well as moments of reflection, meditation and sharing among the participants.

Many shared their experiences on how they have been working with values in their education practices. It was emphasized that ESD is about transformative action and that any Earth Charter education requires involving the mind, the heart and the hands.

There was so much richness in thought and exchange in all sessions leading to a quite unique experience. In his presentation, Dr. Peter Blaze Corcoran invited participants to look at the future with hope. His keynote address highlighted the importance of Radical Hope, world affirming spirituality and intergeneration action and equity. Dr. Sam Crowell invited participants to reflect on the role of education in helping us to identify “who we are and what kind of a person we want to be?” Dr. Namrata Sharma said, “the behavioral response to solve global issues would be rooted in a non-dualistic belief system which perceives an inextricable link between the self-other-nature-universe.” She also shared some recommendations identified from a study of value-creating global citizenship education and the Earth Charter for the UN 2030 global citizenship agenda. Dr. María Vilches shared the findings of her research on “Ecopedagogy and the Eco-Schools programme in Puerto Rico.”

Mrs. Akpezi Ogbuigwe, a well-known speaker and former Director of the Education Division of the United Nations Environment Programme, gave the Conference closing remarks with an emotional speech. She posed the question: “If so much is being done, why do we still have compounding wicked problems?” She talked about the importance of powering the SDGs with the EC spirit as a crucial step to the future we want. She ended her speech with an emotional poem with an invitation to rise up to the task of social transformation through education.

The feedback received has been very positive. As part of the follow-up to this Conference, the organizers will be creating a report and a publication in book format, which compiles the main ideas shared through articles written by the participants themselves.

Click here for more information about this Conference.

Follow the link to see the Conference Agenda:

Click here to watch a video of the Conference.

To view pictures of the Conference click here:

photo para noticia

Organized by:






With the support of:

SGI-LOGO2 worldofwalas-logo

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Education for Sustainable Development Symposium in Minsk, Belarus

Belarus2On 6 and 7 December 2018, the 2nd International Symposium “Education For Sustainable Development For All Generations – Social Agreement” took place at the Belarusian State Pedagogical University (BSPU) in Minks, Belarus. The overall aim of the Symposium was to offer a space to share education experiences, which have positively impacted on the search for ecological integrity, economical sustainability, social welfare and development of the human resources in the Eastern Europe region.

The symposium was organized by the Education for Sustainable Development Association, the Belarusian State Pedagogical University and the Wissenschaftsladen Bonn in the framework of the Belarusian-German project “Science Shop as an Instrument for the Integration of Educational and Sustainable Development Practices” (2016-2018). It received the support of the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Belarus and the Support Programme of Belarus of the Federal Government of Germany.

Sofia Savelana, the head of BSPU “Education for Sustainable Development” Coordination Centre, ECI Affiliate and Education for Sustainable Development Association expert, expressed how happy she was with the outcome of this effort. The meeting counted with 400 participants, who are policy makers, government officials, academics and educators, and was a very important occasion to underline the importance of Education for Sustainable Development and forge collaboration on this.

The event was held under the patronage of the National Coordinator for the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, with assistance from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and support from the UNDP project “Support to the National Coordinator on Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals and Strengthening the Role of the Parliament in the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals.”

The opening event counted with the participation of:

Marianna Shchetkina – National Coordinator of SDGs Belarus;
Raisa Sidorenko – Vice-Ministry of Education of Republic of Belarus;
Iona Cazana-Vishnevetski – Head of UN Office in Belarus;
Astrid Sam – Head of Belarus Support Programme, Germany;
Mirian Vilela – Executive Director of Earth Charter International Secretariat, Costa-Rica – via internet

The first plenary session “Educational challenges of Sustainable Development Goals” counted with the participation of Katine Danielyan, Earth Charter Affiliate from Armenia and former Minister of Environment.

Follow the link to see more images from the Symposium:

For more Information click here:—social-agreement

and here is a link for the TV covered on this event:

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New book: Remembering Maurice F. Strong

Remembering Maurice F. Strong coverA new book Legacy for the future and future generations, Remembering Maurice F. Strong: Tributes and Reminiscences was recently published by the European Center for Peace and Development (ECPD) located in Serbia.

The book brings together contributions from 41 individuals who worked or collaborated with Maurice Strong in different settings. Through the various essays, reflections are made on the global leadership role Maurice Strong had in the field of sustainable development, environment and peace. Many expressed appreciation for the inspirational role Strong played in their lives and in different movements of social change. The visionary leadership of Maurice Strong continues to have an impact through the many UN environment conventions and organizations he helped to set up or was involved with in one way or another.

The collection of essays was edited by Federico Mayor, Negoslav Ostojić and Roberto Savio. Roberto Savio wrote, “Strong patiently built the foundations of a long and complex transformation.”

Maurice Strong spearheaded different phases of the Earth Charter Initiative since the idea emerged in the Brundtland Commission report “Our Common Future.” He was the co-chair of the Earth Charter Commission in the ‘90s, and as such, was closely involved in this for over 20 years.

Strong Keynot Address2 EC 5 Netherlands 2005The Earth Charter text is featured in the book and many contributors refer to it. There is a chapter by Steven C. Rockefeller on “Maurice Strong and the Earth Charter” and one by Mirian Vilela called “The Art of Articulating Shared Vision and Global Collaboration. A Model of a 21st Century Leader.

The Center also published the book, Remembering Boutros Boutros-Ghali, which is available on their website.

You can download the book here:

Find an article by Richard Jolly on this publication here:

For more information, contact the ECPD Publication Department by emailing or

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New Publication: The International Handbook of Holistic Education by Routledge

International Handbook of Holistic Education coverSam Crowell, senior researcher and facilitator of our Earth Charter Education Center is co-editor of this publication, which brings together 37 chapters from a wide variety of authors. Subjects covered throughout the chapters include education policy and politics, educational psychology, philosophy of education, multicultural education, and school leadership, management, and administration.

Sam has been involved in the Earth Charter’s work for over 15 years and has been co-facilitating a summer intensive course with Mirian Vilela on Education, Transformative Learning and the Earth Charter, and one course of the Online Certificate Diploma Programme on Education for Sustainable Development.

Providing a comprehensive overview of holistic education’s history, conceptions, practices and research, this Handbook presents an up-to-date, global picture of the field. Organized in five sections, the Handbook lays out the fields’ theoretical and historical foundations; offers examples of holistic education in with regards to schools, programs, and pedagogies at all levels; presents research methods used in holistic education; outlines the growing effort among holistic educators to connect holistic teaching and learning with research practice; and examines present trends and future areas of interest in program development, inquiry, and research. This volume is a resource for researchers and practitioners and serves as an essential foundational text for courses in the field.

“This new volume is an extraordinary resource that will provide great value to every holistic educator on the planet—and every other educator who wishes to learn about holistic education. This Handbook offers a truly global discussion and provides motivated educators and policy makers with profound and detailed insights about enacting the ambition to make holistic education the normative experience.”
—David Marshak, Founding President of SelfDesign Graduate Institute, USA

“A remarkably diverse group of scholars and practitioners in holistic education, including many of its leading theorists today, demonstrate that this emerging field has come of age. They reveal how holistic approaches address some of the deepest pedagogical questions and cultural dilemmas of our troubled time.”
—Ron Miller, Founding Editor of Holistic Education Review

For information on how to access the book, click here:

International Handbook of Holistic Education

Edited by John (Jack) Miller, Kelli Nigh, Marnie Binder, Bruce Novak and Sam Crowell, Routledge.

Table of Contents:

Preface: Educating the Whole Person by John P. Miller

Section 1: Foundations

Introduction: The Foundations of Holistic Education by Bruce Novak

  1. Holistic Education: A Brief History by John P. Miller
  2. Experiencing Nets of Holism through the Threshold Body, by Vivian Darroch- Lozowski
  3. Beauty and Learning, by Tobin Hart
  4. From a Deeper Place: Indigenous Worlding as the Next Step in Holistic Education by Four Arrows
  5. Eastern Philosophy and Holistic Education by Yoshiharu Nakagawa
  6. Care of the Soul in Education by Thomas Moore

Section 2: Teaching/Learning/Curriculum

Introduction: Teaching, Learning and Curriculum by Marni J. Binder

  1. Addressing the Needs of the Whole Child: Implications for Young Children and Adults Who Care for Them by Tony Eaude
  2. Moving the Spirit: Holistic Education and Young Children by Jane Bone
  3. Sustainable Peace for the Planet by Edward J. Brantmeier
  4. Core Reflection: Nurturing Human Potential in Students and Teachers by Fred A.J. Korthagen and Ellen Nuijten
  5. Self-development as Pedagogy in Teacher Education by William L. Greene and Younghee M. Kim
  6. Holistic-Contemplative Pedagogy for 21st Century Teacher Education: Education as Healing by Heesoon Bai, Patricia Morgan, Charles Scott, and Avraham Cohen
  7. Integrated Curriculum for the 21st Century by Susan M. Drake and Joanne L. Reid
  8. Holistic Assessment: Assessing Dialogically, Personally, Individually by Julian Stern
  9. Transformation Through Art and Vision: An Indigenous Perspective by Gregory Cajete

Section 3: Examples of Holistic Education Practices

Introduction: Examples of Holistic Education by John P. Miller

  1. Waldorf Education: Freeing the Human Being by Warren Lee Cohen and Brian Daniel Bresnihan
  2. Holism in Montessori by Michael Dorer, Tim Seldin, Robin Howe, Jennie Caskey
  3. Cultivating the Abilities of the Heart: Educating through a Pedagogy of Love by Tom Culham, Rebecca Oxford and Jing Lin
  4. Lhomon Education: Teaching for Well-being in Bhutan by Jackie Mitchell and Yang Gyeltshen
  5. The School Forest Movement in South Korea from a Holistic Perspective by Bokyoung Kim
  6. Madrasa Schools in East Africa: An Islamic Perspective in Holistic Education by Antum Panjwani and Sarfaroz Niyozov
  7. Queer Bodies and Holistic Imaginaries by Jamie Magnusson
  8. Holistic Features of Traditional Chinese Spiritual Practices for Personal Cultivation by Wong Ping Ho

Section 4: Research

Introduction: Holistic Research by Kelli Nigh and Erica Killick

  1. The Coexistence of Spirituality and Anxiety: Mothers and Daughters by Kelli Nigh
  2. Embodied Inquiry in Holistic Education by Celeste Snowber
  3. The Curriculum of Character: Poetic Ruminations of Growing Old(er) by Carl Leggo
  4. Conducting Narrative Inquiry Research from a Holistic Perspective: Honouring Story and Soul by Mary Beattie
  5. Sound Escapes: An Holistic Approach to Spirituality and Music Education by Diana Harris
  6. Research in, on and with Waldorf Education in the Netherlands by Aziza Mayo
  7. Holistic Education in Thai Buddhist Schools by Prapapat Niyom
  8. Many Layers, Many Dimensions: Building a New Science of Holistic Education by Elizabeth Spier, Frederik Leenknecht and David Osher

Section 5: Final Reflections

Introduction: Future Directions by Sam Crowell

  1. A Manifesto of Holistic Education: A Declaration for Unity and Personal Choice by Susan A. Schiller
  2. Belonging, Identity and Meaning Making-the Essence of Spirituality: Implications for Holistic Education Programs in Plural Societies by Marian de Souza
  3. Pedagogical Mediation as a Foundation for Doctoral Study at the Universidad De La Salle in Costa Rica by Cruz Prado, Anne Robert, Jan Hurwitch with Sam Crowell
  4. African Indigenous Education in Kenyan Universities: A Decolonizing and Transformational Tool by Njoki N. Wane and Ishmael I. Munene
  5. Hebraism, Hellenism and Holism: Finding Sources of Life in Western Culture by Bruce Novak
  6. Toward an Integrative Mind by Tobin Hart
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Lectures on the Earth Charter and Planetary Health by Dr. Colin L. Soskolne, University of Alberta

People's Health Matters posterDr. Colin L. Soskolne, epidemiologist and professor emeritus, University of Alberta, Canada offered three presentations this semester related to the Earth Charter and the obligation to people’s health at various conferences.

In his presentations, Dr. Soskolne concludes that we must reflect on how implementing the Earth Charter can lead us to strategies for positive changes in humanity. He also states, “The role of environmental epidemiology in evaluating the potential of the Earth Charter to limit impacts from upstream determinants of health warrants urgent consideration.”

Information on each of the presentations can be found below, as well as the link to the PowerPoint presentations.

29 August  2018

This presentation, entitled Revisiting The Earth Charter and Our Ethical Obligations to Planetary Health was delivered in the session Health Earth: Planetary Health Affects Everyone’s Health, at the 2018 annual conference of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, Ottawa, Canada, 26-30 August 2018. The conference theme was “Addressing Complex Local and Global Issues in Environmental Exposure and Health.” [27 slides; 15 minutes]

11 September 2018

This presentationLocal Adaptation of Universal Values and Principles from The Earth Charter to Sustain Human Health and Well-Being for Both Present and Future Generations, was delivered remotely to the 4th International Symposium on Ethics of Environmental Health held in Ceské Budejovice, Czech Republic, 9-12 September 2018. [35 slides; 45 minutes]

19 October 2018

In the Community Health and Humanities Seminar Speaker Series, People’s Health Matters, at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Faculty of Medicine in St. John’s, Dr. Soskolne was invited to lead a seminar on the topic “Seeking a Sustainable Path Amid Climate and Other Global Changes: The Earth Charter and Obligations to People’s Health.” 19 October 2018. [34 slides; 1 hour].

To access the content of each of these presentations click here:

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Launch of the “Hague Principles”

On 10 December 2018, the “Hague Principles for a Universal Declaration on Responsibilities for Human Rights and Earth Trusteeship” will be launched at the Earth Trusteeship Forum in the Peace Palace, The Hague, Netherlands, to mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Klaus Bosselmann, Earth Charter International Affiliate from New Zealand is promoting this declaration, which is in line with the Earth Charter.

In addition to the Hague Principles, they will launch a global initiative towards establishing institutions of Earth trusteeship in close relation to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The Earth Trusteeship Forum on 10 December calls upon global civil society to speak out in favour of governance at all levels (global, national and local), to address Human responsibilities and Earth trusteeship.

The Earth Trusteeship Initiative (ETI) is a consortium of human rights, human responsibilities and environmental organisations. Over the past 10 months, the ETI worked and agreed on the Hague Principles. They define three fundamental responsibilities for citizens and governments to protect human rights and the integrity of Earth’s ecological systems.

We invite you to visit for further details, for the Hague Principles declaration and how you can support it. You can also find the provisional programme for the 10 December Forum.

Read the press release here:

For more information, contact:


Hague Principles

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Seeds of Hope Exhibition Attracts Crowds in Ghana

Source: SGI Peace News, Promoting a Culture of Peace
Soka Gakkai International (SGI), November 2018 (Vol. 25)

eeds of Hope Exhibition Ghana Earth Charter

Accra, Ghana, 13-14 October 2018

The Seeds of Hope: Visions of Sustainability, Steps Toward Change exhibition was shown at the Accra International Conference Center on 13 and 14 October 2018. More than 15,000 people viewed the exhibition, jointly created by SGI and Earth Charter International, over the two days and over 10,000 of them were students from 200 schools.

The showing was organized by SGI-Ghana youth, and youth representatives were present to introduce the panels to visitors.

The opening ceremony on 13 October was attended by Professor Ivan Addae Mensah, former vice-chancellor of the University of Ghana, Mrs. Beatrice Okai (widow of Professor Atukwei Okai, secretary-general of the Pan African Writers’ Association), and King of Osu Traditional Area, President of the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs and member of the National House of Chiefs, Nii Okwei Kinka Dowuona VI.

After a welcome from SGI-Ghana General Director Mr. D.K. Sintim-Aboagye, the daughters of the late Professor Atukwei Okai presented a poem in the form of a chant from his writings for children, in appreciation of the friendship between their father and SGI President Daisaku Ikeda.

A message from the SGI president was then read, encouraging viewers to take action now if they wish to achieve something.

President of Ghana H.E. John Agyekum Kufuor’s message was also read, in which he expressed his admiration for the enthusiasm with which the youth of Soka University sang the Ghanaian song “Yen Ara Asaase Ni” when he met with SGI President Ikeda in Tokyo. He encouraged all Ghanaians, using the same energy, to make positive contributions toward the sustainable development of the country.

The brass band of the Young Executive School in the central region then played the same song, followed by cultural performances from some of the invited schools.

Earth Charter Seeds of Hope

Those viewing the exhibition were given stickers to express their determination toward environmental sustainability. The following determinations were written by the youth: “I promise I will help a friend,” “I promise to not discriminate against people” and “I promise to help old people.”




To view the panels in PDF format, click here:

You can also find more information here:

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Walas and the Earth Charter in Sustainable Urban Development

Gerben-van-Straaten-03-png-684x1024The Earth Charter newsletter published in July, featured the interview with Gwendolyn Hallsmith, renowned city planner, who shares her experience using the Earth Charter and a specific methodology called EarthCAT (Earth Charter Community Action Tool) with several cities.

In this newsletter we share with you several videos of the interview with Gerben van Straaten. He is the founder and CEO of World of Walas. This international company, specialized in Sustainable Urban Development, uses the Earth Charter as the ethical compass in all levels of the organization, for its projects and all its other activities. Gerben was inspired by the principles of the Earth Charter from very early on and decided the document had to be used as the guideline on which all decisions were based. This drew the attention of Earth Charter International and a partnership with the World of Walas was developed. Gerben thought it was necessary to develop an Earth Charter adaptation for cities to make it easier to put its principles in practice in urban development and city planning. As a result, the Earth Charter Cities Manifesto was created and presented at the 2010 celebration of the Earth Charter in The Hague, The Netherlands. Driven by the Earth Charter, the Earth Charter Cities Manifesto guides people everywhere in creating communities that are healthy, inclusive and sustainable. The Earth Charter Cities Manifesto defines 16 principles to inspire and guide all citizens, urban organizations, businesses, communities, governments and institutions.

The interview tells a personal story of dedication to create a just, sustainable and peaceful global society based on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. This video interview also shares how this company, working in the field of urban sustainability, implements the Earth Charter principles in its business model.

To watch the interview with Gerben van Straaten click here:

Click here for more information:

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Miss Globalcity Pageant

Globalcity Pageant Organization (GPO), with the vision “Big Family on One Earth,” aims to promote communication among global cities and to improve public interests beyond the national boundaries. GPO also seeks to help people to build up positive attitudes for life and to cultivate outstanding talents and intelligence to contribute to the world betterment. GPO decided to promote the principles of the Earth Charter by organizing the Miss Globalcity Pageant. The organization has already endorsed the Earth Charter six years ago, and has been promoting this ethical framework ever since.

44949351_1924841194258519_150040890029637632_oThis year’s 13th Miss Globalcity Pageant Grand Final was held at Daming Lake, Jinan, China;  from 17 to 27 October. In total, 36 women from 31 countries vied for the title. The event not only included the beauty competition and charity events, it also encouraged participants and the public to endorse the Earth Charter in two gatherings with over 10,000 people. During the gatherings, Miss Globalcity confirmed their ongoing support to the Earth Charter.

Click here for more information:

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Earth Charter Panel at the Parliament of the World’s Religions, Toronto, Canada

On 4 November 2018, a keynote Earth Charter Panel took place at the Parliament of the World’s Religions with the purpose of exploring the significance of the Charter as a civil society document that represents inclusivity and interdependence and to look at how the vision of the Earth Charter is being realized in both theory and practice. The panel was convened by Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, Co-directors of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology, and included rich reflections from panelists on how the Earth Charter contributes to a sense of a shared future. The panel was very well attended with several hundred participants.

Among the key ideas raised was that the Earth Charter remains a vibrant and useful document—a timeless gift to humankind. Its educational value remains undiminished. The Parliament provided a large and critically important audience for the Earth Charter. The setting of our responsibilities within the universe story continues to be profoundly compelling. The Earth Charter was, and still is, ahead of its time.

Peter Corcoran, one of the panelists, closed his remarks by saying, “Finally, one of the many sources of hope is, I think, particularly appropriate to the Parliament of the World’s Religions’ aspiration for unity and this panel’s aim to contribute to a sense of a shared future. This is the Earth Charter as a vision of our highest ideals. We may not realize our ideals of democracy, non-violence, and peace; of social and economic justice; of ecological integrity; and of respect and care for the community of life; but they are like the stars, and currents, and landmarks by which we can navigate our journey. We need such a vision. Steven C. Rockefeller, Chair of the Earth Charter Drafting Committee, has written, ‘The Earth Charter sets forth a world affirming spirituality rooted in reverence for the mystery of being and reverence for life that finds meaning and joy in caring relationships with all that is.’ This reverence, these caring relationships are our hope.”

The programme was as follows:

Chair and Facilitator:
John Grim, Co-Director, Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology
John Grim is a Senior Lecturer teaching in the joint MA program in religion and ecology at Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Yale Divinity School. Together with Mary Evelyn Tucker, he co-directed in the 1990s a ten-conference series and book project at Harvard University on “World Religions and Ecology.”

Mary Evelyn Tucker, Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology
Topic: The Earth Charter and the World’s Religions
Mary Evelyn Tucker is co-director of the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale where she teaches in an MA program between the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the Divinity School.

Tu Weiming, Director, Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies, Beijing University
Topic: Spiritual Humanism and the Earth Charter
Tu Weiming is a preeminent Chinese scholar, a representative figure of contemporary Neo-Confucianism, and a crucial practitioner on the research and transmission of Confucian culture.

Heather Eaton, Professor, Conflict Studies, Saint Paul’s University, Ottawa
Topic: What Role Can the Earth Charter Play in Conflict Resolution
Heather Eaton received an interdisciplinary doctorate in theology, feminism and ecology at the University of Toronto.

Peter Blaze Corcoran, Research Fellow, Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development, University for Peace, San Jose, Costa Rica
Topic: The Earth Charter in Action: Education and Sustainability
Peter Blaze Corcoran is Professor Emeritus of Environmental Studies and Environmental Education at Florida Gulf Coast University. He is a leading scholar of the Earth Charter—editor of two books and dozens of journal articles in Earth Charter research. He has been a visiting professor in Australia, The Netherlands, Malaysia, Kenya, and Fiji.

Kekashan Basu, Youth Ambassador World Future Council
Topic: Youth Empowerment through the Lens of the Earth Charter
Winner of the 2016 International Children’s Peace Prize, 18-year-old Kehkashan Basu, has been impacting the global fraternity with her grass roots level work on environmental conservation through youth empowerment. She is the Founder President of Green Hope Foundation, which engages and empowers thousands of youth, especially girls.

In addition, in a Panel on Religious Pluralism, Dr. Mark Hathaway made a presentation on the Earth Charter in which he related it to some fairly universal religious values.

Click here for more information on the Conference.

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