News Archives - Page 92 of 92 - Earth Charter

Musician Dennen to Receive Earth Charter Award

A young musician with a sensibility for peace and justice will be “Earth Charter and the Arts Award” from Citizens for Peaceful Resolutions at the group’s Third Annual Earth Charter Summit on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2006 in Ventura, Calif. Brett Dennen is a founder of The Mosaic Project, which works “towards a peaceful future by uniting children of diverse backgrounds, addressing issues of difference, and building self-esteem and community in our unique human-relations outdoor school,” and has released a fundraising CD for the project featuring a children’s choir.

 

The 25-year-old singer-songwriter has two solo albums to his name: “Brett Dennen” and “So Much More,” featuring lyrics full of social critique and hope for a more peaceful world. According to a recent online news item,

 

Grammy Award winner John Mayer was quoted in Rolling Stone’s “Breaking” column: “He’s timeless-he’s probably 25, but he seems like he’s 25 in 1972. He paints these gorgeous pictures musically, where you think, ‘I want to hear his voice, I want to hear that guitar, and I want to hear those melodies.”

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The Earth Charter at the Valencian School Congress

 

The Valencian School is organizing a remarkable conference on sustainable development—and the Earth Charter will be a central focus there. Entitled “Escuela Valenciana y Sociedad Sostenible” (The Valencian School and Sustainable Society), it will take place from December 6th to 8th, 2006, in Valencia, Spain.

 

Because of the Congress, the Valencian School Federation has printed a special edition of the Earth Charter in the Valencian language, as well as a calendar based on its principles.

 

The objective of the congress is to look at the school’s role within the present development model, to bring a future perspective, and to support sustainable development and environment in Valencian schools.

 

The Valencian School celebrates its Congress every fourth year, and hundreds of participants debate current affairs that affect society and education. The last congress gathered more than 700 people. The upcoming Congress will be the fourth, and sustainability will be the main topic. Several pre-congresses will be held in different places of Valencia beginning in October, to prepare for the main Congress in December.

 

The Valencian School itself is a federation of 21 civic associations for the language and culture. UNESCOC at is part of the organizing committee.

 

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Outdoor Education Based on the Earth Charter, in Argentina

The group Argentina People and Nature has been working with rural and local schools from the botanic garden Dr. Miquel J Culaciati, an oasis in the province of Córdoba.

 

They have created a program for outdoor education based on the Earth Charter. Support comes from Botanic Gardens Conservation International and a scientific team from the Faculty of Agronomy at the University of Buenos Aires, who are working from a laboratory annexed to the Botanic Garden. The objective is to reforest a fire-damaged area with native tree and shrub species, and to do it in a way that can be replicated in other damaged areas.

 

By using the Earth Charter they provide meaningful values, locally, regionally and nationally. The new program complements school curricula at the kindergarten, elementary and high school levels, and it facilitates college-level education in environmental sciences, and provides information to the general public.

 

Helene Vilbert, a Coordinator for the Argentina People and Nature Foundation, will be presenting this work to a Botanic Gardens Conservation International Congress in England this September—and the Earth Charter is the banner of her presentation.

 

The project began in 1989, and in 2000 the State Botanical Garden of the University of Georgia, together with the Center for Latin American and Caribbean studies, signed an agreement to create the Latin American Ethnobotanical Sister Garden Network.

 

The group has also spoken about the Earth Charter to an audience of more than 95,000 at a recent fair called Expochacra ( www.expochacra.org ), and handed out hundreds of copies of the Charter. The group has created a magazine for primary school children called Verde y Algo Mas, which includes much discussion of the Earth Charter.

 

To see those and other related materials, please visit the website: http://www.argentinapeopleandnature.org

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Key Gatherings for the Charter – Australia

Good news comes from Australia, where the Queensland State Government has announced that it will formally integrate the Earth Charter into its education curriculum. The decision was announced publicly by State Premier (Governor) Beatty, and was reported on ABC News, the national radio broadcaster.

                                                                                    

The announcement was one of the outcomes from an outstanding conference called The Earth Dialogues 2006, organised by Green Cross International in partnership with the State Government of Queensland Australia and the Brisbane City Council, among other sponsors. An impressive array of speakers from around the world analysed the critical issues of our time regarding environment, development and security.

 

President Gorbachev, in his role as Chair of Green Cross International, gave a stirring keynote address. Alexander Likhotal, President of GCI and member of the Earth Charter International Council, played a key role in the conference and gave a remarkable plenary address on the current state of the global environment and prospects for the coming decades.

 

The Earth Charter initiative was well represented at the event, with Council Co-Chair Erna Witoelar and Council Member Brendan Mackey in attendance. Erna Witoelar made contributions in her role as UN Special Ambassador for the Millennium Development Goals in the Asia-Pacific region. In her plenary address, she compared the civil society process that generated the Earth Charter with the intergovernmental processes that gave birth to the MDGs, and pointed to the need to bring these two dimensions and approaches together.

 

Brendan Mackey was involved in the “Energy and Climate” stream, and in his presentation used the Earth Charter to highlight the ethical dimensions of the challenges we face in dealing with the greenhouse problem. Professor Mackey was interviewed on CNN as a result of his remarks to the conference. Earth Charter Australia also had a strong presence in the event. Noel Preston spoke eloquently of the need for ecojustice and the links with the Earth Charter. Clem Campbell and Louise Erbacher, along with other local supporters, organised an Earth Charter stand that was a major point of interest during the event.

 

A major outcome of the Earth Dialogues was recommendations for a Plan of Action, endorsed by the participants, which will soon be available on the GCI web site. The preamble warrants noting:

 

“We, the participants of Earth Dialogues Brisbane, recognize that our environmental security and development challenges are interdependent. There can be no sustainable peace while the majority of the world’s population lives in poverty. There can be no sustainable peace if we fail to rise to the global challenge presented by climate change. There can be no sustainable peace while military spending takes precedence over human development.”

 

Immediately following the Earth Dialogues was an Education Day involving 500 school children from across Queensland. Louise Erbacher was also involved in helping to organise this event. President Gorbachev and the Premier of Queensland Peter Beattie gave keynote addresses. During his speech, Premier Beattie announced that the Queensland Government has committed to incorporating the Earth Charter into the State’s official education curriculum. This is a significant development for the Earth Charter in Australia.

 

Key speakers from the Dialogues also participated in the education Day, including Nobel Peace Laureate Betty Williams. Brendan Mackey gave a presentation on the Earth Charter, and introduced a satellite linkup with the Brink Expedition (Louise and the Brink Expedition had received an Earth Charter award at last November’s Earth Charter+5 conference).

 

Other essential conferences have also taken place recently. Brendan Mackey reports that he attended the 2006 meeting of the Global Ecological Integrity Group (GEIG) in Samos, Greece. This year’s conference used the Earth Charter as a focal point for addressing the interconnections between the themes of global governance, ecological integrity, health and justice. The proceedings from the 2005 meeting, which also featured the Earth Charter, are currently in preparation as a book. This year’s proceedings will also be published.

 

GEIG 2007 will be held in Halifax in partnership with Dalhousie University, and Council member Elizabeth May will attend and give a keynote address. A proposal has circulated already to approach Halifax city with the idea of endorsing the Earth Charter as part of the event.

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Roots of Peace in Afghanistan

Roots of Peace, a new partner to Earth Charter International, has been planting the principles of the Earth Charter in the soils of Afghanistan. RoP is removing landmines from fields, and helping Afghan farmers to rebuild vineyards that were destroyed by war and drought on those same fields.

                     

From 17 of these nurseries in 2005, RoP already has 38 — and expects to have more than 300,000 new plants this year.

 

The group has helped about 3,500 farmers switch to higher-value varieties of grapes, install trellises, control pests, and market the grapes and raisins abroad.

 

This is a major step toward sustainability, especially in a country in crisis – and the Afghan minister of agriculture has credited this initiative with a significant impact on the country’s GDP.

 

These programs’ benefits combine to double farmers’ income. The demand for saplings is so high that one farmer made over $4,000 off of his nursery.

 

Many other farmers are expressing interest, but they often lack the USD $7 in credit needed to purchase the materials that could pay for themselves within one year.

 

 

Almonds!

 

RoP also launched a nut sub-project at the end of September 2005. Extension workers are working in and around the Ghorband valley, Aibak, Mazar-i-Sharif and Tashqurghan to show farmers improved pruning techniques, how to use bees for pollination, and how to use pesticides safely and effectively.

 

Trees in the program’s demonstration plots have shown 30 to 50 percent greater nut-set density. Over 4,400 farmers are receiving extension services, including 1,400 women.

 

RoP has also helped form over 100 nascent nut farmers’ associations, and introduced them directly to urban nut exporters. Total membership in these organizations exceeds 2,900 farmers who own over 330,000 trees.

 

And RoP has built three new nut-packing facilities, and is helping merchants’ associations take over their operation and ownership. The program has helped these groups import a nut-shelling line, designed for Afghanistan, from the United States.

 

 

Raisins!

 

RoP is helping farmers learn new techniques for producing raisins, including new methods for building green raisin drying houses quickly, and the use of a dipping solution that cuts drying times in half, allowing for two drying runs in one season.

 

These techniques can more than double a farmer’s income from raisin production. The program has subsidized the construction of 11 wooden, green-raisin drying sheds and paid to rehabilitate 46 traditional mud construction sheds.

 

This work is supplemented by assistance to raisin processors, who will wash raisins and prepare them for foreign markets. RoP helped three raisin processing plants upgrade their facilities to reach international standards for safety and quality.

 

A raisin-drying shed built using a new design that RoP imported from India allows farmers to produce green, shade-dried raisins that sell for twice as much. The project has published a manual explaining the technology.

Efforts to foster raisin exports to Russia and the Ukraine have led to 1,380 metric tons in continued shipments to those countries.

 

 

Trellises and Technology

 

Together with farmers, RoP has built over 1,000 trellising demonstration plots in private vineyards to show farmers the benefit of this technique on their own grapes in their own fields.

 

The advantages of the trellis are three-fold: they keep grapes off of the soil where they are susceptible to disease; they make work easier for the farmer; and they leave more room on the ground for additional plants.

 

RoP has published a manual that shows farmers how to use readily available supplies and equipment to build the concrete poles.

 

RoP also works hard on the marketing of Afghan products. It has helped merchants sell over 100 metric tons of chilled fresh grapes in 2005. These went to markets that Afghanistan has never reached before: Germany, Ukraine, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Kuwait and India.

 

RoP has built two grape packing facilities with pre-coolers and cold storage rooms. These facilities have been strategically placed in centers of grape production and will allow farmers to cool their grapes shortly after harvest, greatly increasing shelf life. Ownership of the facilities will be transferred to merchant-farmers associations.

 

These initiatives have not been easy, nor free of problems. The challenge of bringing traditional harvesting practices up to international quality standards is more than formidable. The program found great difficulty training pack house staff and farmers on new quality demands and maintaining the cold-storage supply chain during shipping.

 

For more information, see the Roots of Peace website: http://www.rootsofpeace.org

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The Little Earth Charter for Kids

For younger kids, The Little Earth Charter has been created through a collaboration between JC Little of Little Animation Inc. and Rosie Emery, a singer and songwriter and environmental educator.

 

This is a remarkable animated video that captures the principles and momentum of the Charter in sights and sounds and the language of children.

 

The Little Earth Charter is available on-line, and children can watch and learn through almost any web browser. Just go to:  http://www.littleanimation4kids.com/EC.html

You can choose to watch in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, or Dutch–and Russian is on the way.

 

The animation is colorful, fun, lively, and good for the planet. It’s divided into eight sections: Life, Interconnected, Family, Past, Earth, Peace, Love, and Future. Click on the Interconnected section, and you can watch a children’s song about our place on the Earth and about the Charter.

 

Other music, games, and stories about the environment and related topics for kids are also available on the site, which kids should be able to explore for hours.

 

Rosie herself has an impressive history of producing such kids programs as the Rainbow Road Tour of environmental educational music, which visited schools through Canada and the northern United States from 1997 to 2003. Its Songs, like We’re All Interconnected, The Rainbow Road, Friends of the Earth and Dolphin Teach Us to Play, are standards in many elementary schools across Canada.

 

The kids who watch these videos and hear the songs will be off to a much better start for sustainability than any of us grown-ups ever got off to.

 

Little Animation was founded in 2004 by JC Little and has as its mission to provide Earth-friendly, socially responsible children’s content for TV and the web. The company has created several projects, including the tween-targeted My Life Me, a manga TV series now in development with Canadian broadcaster Tele Toon. Little Animation also gives children a voice through Kid’s Stories International, which features stories written and illustrated by children around the world, and brought to life through animation as 5 minute shorts. The principles of the Earth Charter are naturally integrated in Kid’s Stories, coming directly from the hearts and minds of children.

 

The Little Earth Charter joins other exciting new educational initiatives for the Earth Charter. In Turkmenistan, a new program is underway to create a child-friendly learning environment in public schools for kindergartners aged three to seven, for example. It includes training and materials for teachers, as well as improvements in school facilities for sanitary toilets, safe drinking water, and proper ventilation. It also seeks to include parents in school programs, and has support from Unicef.

 

And these join other Earth Charter-related educational programs around the world, from Costa Rica to Russia.

 

Visit www.littleearthcharter.org.

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Yes! Educational Materials for the Charter- United States

 

Yes! Magazine has developed a curriculum and guide to the Earth Charter for teachers.

 

The Earth Charter Curricular Module is on the Education Connection section of the YES! Magazine website (www.yesmagazine.org ). Positive YES! stories are tied to The Charter´s main principles along with discussion questions, glossaries, and a resource guide. Currently individual articles can be downloaded for free, and soon the entire Module will be available in an e-book style PDF. YES! also plans to offer the Module soon in Spanish.

 

It has lesson plans for grades 5 through 12, and tells the story of people involved in the Earth Charter and of their successes. It has a focus on youth as the heroes and heroines of sustainable development.

 

The in-print and on-line materials both contain activities, measures of success, the text of the Earth Charter, how-to steps for teaching the principles of the Charter, and a guide to community service and service learning, among other sections. The booklet comes with a resource guide as well, and is available in Spanish. “This is a great channel and network for the Earth Charter,” says Mirian Vilela, Director of the Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development.

 

“The Earth Charter is perfectly made for students to take action with,” says Kim Corrigan, who is Education Coordinator for Yes!. Many schools in the United States require “service learning,” in which students volunteer in their communities, but many teachers need to know what kinds of projects the students can do. The guide offers these projects.

 

Corrigan and Yes! are also leading in-person workshops on the Earth Charter for teachers at very low cost, but a waiting list has formed.

 

The magazine created the educational effort in 2002, and started with 30 teachers who received the magazine for free. Now 6,500 teachers are part of this education network. They apply online to join, and also get the magazine for free for one year. So far, teachers have to be located in the United States, but in the future Yes! hopes to expand. Teachers need creativity and “a vision of what it means to be a global citizen,” says Corrigan.

 

Yes! Magazine is a ten-year old quarterly that prints no advertisements and has a circulation of 50,000 copies. Another 50,000 or more readers access the magazine online, and the print version goes to subscribers in 55 countries.

 

An on-line archive offers 1,000 back-issue articles for free, and some independent material that does not appear in the print version is online as well. Each edition of the magazine focus on one theme, and all editions support people to create “a more just and compassionate world.”

 

Yes! Magazine board member David Korten has also cited the Earth Charter extensively in his new book The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community, and on the book’s website: http://thegreatturning.net.

 

 

 

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University Education in Armenia

In Armenia, Professor Karine Danielyan is teaching about the Earth Charter and sustainable development at Yerevan State University. Her students are going on to teach about the Earth Charter in schools around the country.
Professor Danielyan was Armenia’s first-ever Environment Minister, when the country originally became a democracy. She left that position to become able to devote her work to sustainable development, and she is one of the great champions of the Earth Charter.
“Almost all of my students now use our The Earth Charter for Children brochure and posters on sustainable development and the Earth Charter in their work,” says Prof. Danielyan.
She has also developed a university textbook on sustainable development and it has been used widely in many universities of Armenia, Georgia, Belarus, the Russian Federation, and the countries of Central Asia.
In 2003 the Yerevan State University was commissioned by UNDP to develop a textbook for the Armenian universities, called “The Human Development” in the Armenian language. Professor Danielyan wrote two chapters for the textbook: “Global environmental problems” and “Sustainable Development.” This textbook is the main educational material in master’s programs in all natural science departments of the Yerevan State University.
 
“Almost all of my students now use our The Earth Charter for Children brochure and posters on sustainable development and the Earth Charter in their work,” says Prof. Danielyan.
She has also developed a university textbook on sustainable development and it has been used widely in many universities of Armenia, Georgia, Belarus, the Russian Federation, and the countries of Central Asia.
In 2003 the Yerevan State University was commissioned by UNDP to develop a textbook for the Armenian universities, called “The Human Development” in the Armenian language. Professor Danielyan wrote two chapters for the textbook: “Global environmental problems” and “Sustainable Development.” This textbook is the main educational material in master’s programs in all natural science departments of the Yerevan State University.

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The Value of Values Seminar 2006: Podcasts, Report and DVD

In March 2006, Earth Charter International sponsored a special leadership seminar in London the topic of “The Value of Values: Global Ethics and the Future of Sustainable Development.”

 

ECI has a complete multi-media package documenting this ground-breaking seminar, which featured internationally renowned speakers as John Elkington, Alexander Likhotal, Ruud Lubbers, Herman Mulder, Jane Nelson, and Princess Basma Bint Talal.

 

You can listen to free podcasts (click here for MP3 audio files) of the event, and you can also order a 2-DVD record of the entire seminar (click “Continue reading” for more info). And you can download a report about the event, with quotes and excerpts, free of charge; just click here to download the file. Let us know what you think!

 

To order the two-disc DVD of “The Value of Values” (USD 39, or Euros 30, plus shipping), please send an email to orders [at] earthcharter.org. Give us your name, institution if applicable, and a shipping address. We will either send you an invoice with information on how to pay for the DVD via electronic fund transfer. Thank you!

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Earth Charter Grassroots Organizing: Notes from the United States

Editor’s Note: We commissioned Jan Roberts, president of the Earth Charter Community Summits in the United States, to write the first new essay on “The Earth Charter in Action” because her message is an excellent “kick-off” on this topic: how do we build Expanded Awareness of the Earth Charter? Jan has been working with grassroots leaders throughout the US, where political support for the Charter has been weaker than in many other countries. Her story helps us think about how to build awareness and engagement in challenging circumstances.

 

Jan is now co-director, with Rick Clugston, of Earth Charter USA. As she notes herself, “Until the Earth Charter +5 conference in Amsterdam in 2005, I thought that our grassroots work in the United States was only relevant to us. I was surprised to hear a strong interest in taking a grassroots approach from Earth Charter leaders in at least nine other countries — even though their national governments were more involved in sustainable development.” There are many ideas here that others in the broader Earth Charter movement might like to pursue. Her email address is jan  [@] transformworld [.] org

 

The grassroots Earth Charter movement in the United State is undergoing changes. Growing a movement is like a marketing campaign. It depends on fresh, new messages and approaches to reach new people in order to build momentum. Rigidity creates stagnation. So five years after launching the Earth Charter in the United States, organizers are pushing the “refresh” button.

 

In 2001 the Earth Charter was launched in the United States in simultaneous Earth Charter Community Summits held in twelve cities across the country. The cities were connected via satellite connection so that each city could twice during the day come together for a round-robin broadcast to report what was occurring in their summits. The electronic connection turned out to be of primary importance because it gave each city the feeling that they were taking part in a collective national action with the Earth Charter.

 

Since that time many initiatives have flowed from the summits. They include weaving the Earth Charter into lesson plans for public school schools, university graduate certificates and even a master’s degree program guided by Earth Charter; city endorsements and the launch of a quality of life indicators program using the Earth Charter; adoption and use by religious organizations and interfaith groups; use of the Earth Charter in mission statements for non-governmental organizations; countless initiatives like Earth Scouts for children and youth three to fifteen years of age and individual actions that continue to spread the word about the Earth Charter.

 

Although Earth Charter Community Summits were never intended to be ends on to themselves, that has been the outcome in many of the 50 cities in which summits have been held since 2001. The purpose of the summit has always been to spawn actions at the community level and in people’s personal lives. Unfortunately, cities have become so focused on the annual summits that when new people arrive to become engaged, they are directed towards summit planning. On the one hand, that is great, as the summits do bring visibility of the Earth Charter to the community and participants can then engage with it through personal actions or even larger initiatives. The problem is not everyone is interested in summit planning. Also there is no tracking or on-going support for self-motivated people after the summits.

 

Lessons from the Women’s Movement … and from Caterpillars

We are now developing other options, in addition to the Earth Charter Community Summits, for growing the movement. One option is modeled on the women’s movement, which began in the United States with women coming together in small groups, sharing their stories about the oppression of patriarchy, becoming validated as equal human beings and then being supported by one another to go into their spheres of influence to request changes. Some women asked their husbands to do the dishes two nights a week; others went into their workplaces and demanded not only credit for their work but also equal pay; and others launched national initiatives like “Emily’s List” which funded women’s electoral campaigns for public office. Women continued to be encouraged through seminal books written by authors like Betty Friedan and national magazines like “Ms Magazine”.

 

A more recent metaphor for starting in small groups and linking them for transformational change is supplied by evolution biologist, Elizabeth Sahtouris:

 

The caterpillar is a voracious consumer that devotes its life to gorging itself on nature’s bounty. When it has had its fill, it fastens itself to a convenient twig and encloses itself in a chrysalis. Once snug inside, crisis strikes as the structures of its cellular tissue begin to dissolve into an organic soup.

Yet guided by some deep inner wisdom, a number of organizer cells begin to rush around gathering other cells to form imaginal buds, new and initially independent multicellular structures that begin to give form to the organs of a new creature. Correctly perceiving a threat to the old order, but misdiagnosing the source, the caterpillar’s still intact immune system attributes the threat to the imaginal buds and attacks them as alien intruders.

 

The imaginal buds prevail by linking up with one another in a cooperative effort that brings forth a new being of great beauty, wondrous possibilities, and little identifiable resemblance to its progenitor. In its rebirth, the monarch butterfly lives lightly on the earth, serves the regeneration of life as a pollinator, and is capable of migrating for thousands of miles to experience life’s possibilities in ways the earthbound caterpillar could not imagine.

 

 

I was struck with the words “organizer cells,” and I began to think about breaking down our approach in communities to smaller units more like the “organizer cells” described by Sahtouris. Thinking again about the Women’s Movement, I considered small groups of people coming together, sharing stories of the disconnection and self-interest that our over-emphasis on individualism has wrought, getting validated as interdependent beings as reflected in the Earth Charter, and being supported as they move out into their circles of connection to educate and engage themselves and others with the Earth Charter.

 

This idea has struck a positive chord in many of the Summit cities, and we are engaged in developing the “Art of Earth Chartering Guide” to be used for discussions in the home and other community places. Fortunately, we have produced various Earth Charter television shows for our series on community access television that can serve to spark the discussions.

 

To assure that the small at-home groups feel part of a larger movement, we are using technology and the Earth Charter Community Summits to link the groups together. There is computer software for linking “classes” that we are experimenting with, so groups within each community can connect each quarter to share their progress. The Summits will not only have as a goal to inspire newcomers, but also serve as a networking function for groups already in process. The summit cities will continue to be linked electronically to reinforce the national connection. Naturally, socializing over good food, wine and other beverages will be part of the gatherings. Our experience has been that “breaking bread” together is important to fostering connection.

Of Scouts and Indicators

There are two initiatives that continue to be priorities for funding and actions in order to grow them nationally. Earth Scouts recently developed an Earth Scouts Leadership Guide, and the Earth Charter Community Indicators project continues to build partnerships and funding for an effective launch in early 2006.

 

The Earth Scouts Guide is based on a cooperative learning environment that empowers children and youth to take active roles in leading Earth Scout activities. It is written in a conversational and helpful style, so both adults and youth will find it easy and enjoyable to use. You are able to download the guide from www.EarthScouts.org

 

Laying the groundwork for the Earth Charter Community Indicators has taken two years, so we definitely can’t be blamed for rushing the process. One reason for the slow going has been getting funds, but the other even more problematic one has been building political support for the project from “both sides of the aisle” as we say in the US. Tampa is a politically conservative town, and some leaders see the Earth Charter as too progressive. As a result, we have spent time in building partnerships with both “camps” and an advisory council that includes key people from the Harvard School of Public Health landmark study on neighborhoods, from the Institute for American Values, and from diversity networks. The project will involve 10,000 citizens from a cross section of the community in the development of the Indicators, and will provide on-going staff support and training for advocacy and implementation of the Indicators.

 

Earth Charter Communities USA is the organization that guides and supports the grassroots movement in the United States. We have identified as a priority making the Earth Charter visible beyond the community level. Progress has been made by forming a National Advisory Board to include leaders in technology advancements for movement-building; government and business leaders involved in national and global efforts that reflect Earth Charter; and activist celebrities. To date, we have brought on-board a television actor who served as spokesperson for ONE: The Campaign to Make Poverty History, working with celebrities Bono and George Clooney; as well as the mastermind of the brilliant Internet campaign for Presidential candidate, Howard Dean, who will apply his wizardry to our grassroots Earth Charter movement.

 

Another key issue is fundraising for the national office and local activities around the country. Recently, we started a new program, Earth Charter Ecological Services, to develop financial resources in alignment with Earth Charter principles. Our first contract is as administrator for recycling laser inkjets and cell phones for the Association of Healthy Hospitals in the US, which has 5100 member hospitals. Other future plans include retrofitting old homes to be “green” for resale.

 

As ECCUSA looks towards the future, we feel hopeful. The annual invitational retreat for organizers is being expanded into a training conference for Earth Charter volunteers next year. The Board of Directors is dedicating itself to strengthening the infrastructure for our national office. The growth of the grassroots movement is showing great promise with the addition of an active Internet campaign, the use of the Earth Chartering Guide to make it easier for ordinary folks to involve themselves and their friends, the official launch of the Earth Scouts, the creation of a template for Earth Charter Community Indicators and a renewed emphasis on bringing the Earth Charter into the Arts community.

 

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