Uganda Archives - Earth Charter

Students contribute to nature conservation in Uganda

Creation of awareness about protecting the environment without action is good but not enough. There is a need to go beyond theory and demonstrate practicality for creating a conducive environment for all life including other species. Every creature as a member of biotic community according to the order of creation is meant to live in time and space peacefully and enjoy life without causing harm to other beings and species. We all cherish a peaceful co-existence for integral development, using indicators such as the absence of a filthy environment, abject poverty, insecurity, overwhelming stress, and violence. This should be upheld from the perspective of sustainability and towards achieving sustainable development.

As already clearly put by the Brundtland Commission in its definition of Sustainable Development, the present generation has the responsibility of caring for the environment without over-exploiting natural endowments so that we avoid compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. If the past generation consumed everything without leaving something for us, would we be still breathing?

If the present generation continues to care less and fail to appreciate the natural gift the Author of life gave us and the remaining natural resources our parents left for us, what will happen to the present children and those yet to be born? How would the Author of life perceive the ecological crisis as a result of our irresponsible actions on the planet? Pleasing or displeasing? What impact does careless consumption and abuse of natural resources around us have on peoples’ health?

Against this background, and with the increasing awareness being promoted towards contributing to the Earth Charter International (ECI) activities, young people in schools through the guidance and support of their teachers are acquiring skills in how to conserve nature and defend it against human aggression and other non-human forces for a better today and tomorrow.

Pupils of St. Aloysius Primary School, Mbarara Arch Diocese and Mbarara District in Uganda, participating in bush clearing around their tree project

Pupils of the above mentioned School with the support of their teachers and under the guidance of the Staff in charge of sanitation participate in various activities geared towards the protection of environment. Among the projects they have creatively put in place and maintained is a tree project that consists of some diverse tree species. Some of these trees have become a home for beautiful birds and a place for leisure activities. This is making the place attractive and good to look at.

This serves a lesson to each one of us to rise and ‘fight’ for nurturing surrounding so that together we can avoid altering the natural ecosystem for the good of all humanity, both now and in the future. It is by this practice that we can extend love to the unborn and unseen.

Written by: Kamugisha  Marsiale,  Coordinator, Environmental Governance and Conservation Desk. Uganda Martyrs University & Mr. Gordon, teacher at St. Aloysius Primary School

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Uganda Martyrs University promoting the Earth Charter

The Department of Good Governance and Peace Studies of Uganda Martyrs University has been engaged in a number of environmental activities in the context of the Earth Charter. The activities are part of the outreach Desk on Environmental Governance and Conservation being promoted in collaboration with other stakeholders to enhance environmental awareness and conservation. The activities carried out in the year 2013 are part of the implementation process majorly focusing on establishing the Equator Greenbelt along the Equator. This report therefore highlights activities most of which have been successfully done and key challenge that has been faced in the process of implementation. Attached are some photos showing what has been going on.

Activities/projects

The activities /projects included the following:

  • Tree planting whereby the Department has planted over 5000 trees of local species on the University land as part of tree demonstration.
  • Awareness creation on the Earth Charter, its principles and values.  So far more than 100 people including pupils and students have been reached
  • Engaging young people in caring for nature and in tree planting.
  • Engaging young people of the school going age both primary and secondary levels in writing poems and  articles about nature or environment and  challenges  facing the environment in the 21st century and how to overcome them.  The articles and poems written by both pupils and students are being compiled and put together for publication of the book entitled Young Generation Nature Book.  Once completed, the book will be shared with the wider community and our partners.
  • Mobilizing University Staff both teaching and non teaching and students in taking care of the environment.
  • Finalized a Curriculum in Environmental Security and Peace on a Masters level. This curriculum has just been approved by the National Council for Higher Learning and is beginning to be taught this next academic year starting with August 2014/2015  intake.

Challenges

  • The key challenge so far is the financial constraints that have remained a big challenge in delaying some of the above mentioned activities to be implemented in time.
  • Lack of transport means which makes activity mobilization difficult.
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The Earth Charter in Kirundi

The Earth Charter has been translated into Kirundi by Vital Nshimirimana, a University for Peace student from Burundi.

Kirundi is the official language of Burundi, and is also spoken in parts of Rwanda, Tanzania, and DRC Congo.  More than 15 million people speak this language.

For Vital, who is a CSO leader in Burundi, working at the “Réseau de Citoyens Probes” (Network of Honest Citizens), the Earth Charter is a relevant education tool, especially for a society going through a healing process after more than 15 years of deadly conflict.

Find in this link the Earth Charter translation into Kirundi.

And here the Earth Charter in many other languages.

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New affiliates from Argentina, Bolivia, Spain and Uganda

In Argentina CEIDeS (Center for Interdisciplinary Studies for Sustainable Development Foundation) joined Earth Charter International as an Affiliate.  This foundation is nonprofit organization for the common good in Córdoba composed by a group of professionals and social leaders building, promoting and implementing a wide, transversal and interdisciplinary scope of sustainable development in their country.  The Earth Charter will be used in this context as a perfect match for this purpose as well as an educational tool in their courses.  Their aim is to generate synergies between governments, businesses and civil society encouraging the promotion and transfer of knowledge through education and training.  Please see here in Spanish news on their website regarding their affiliation to the ECI.

“CONSTRUIR” Foundation is a nonprofit organization in La Paz, Bolivia which works on research, education and communication with the purpose of contributing to the coordination and promotion of actions and strategies for citizens’ participation processes in order to strengthen access to justice and democratic, social and economic development with gender equity.  This foundation is eager to insert the Earth Charter in their several areas of work such as Prevention of Violence based on Gender, Indigenous Peoples Rights, Prevention of School Violence, Freedom of Speech, among others. 

Poessible, Social and Communication Innovation Agency, has decided to become part of ECI.  This Agency, directed by Ángel Arenas,    responsible for the International Relations of UNESCO Andalucía (Spain) and consulting member of the executive committee of the International Federation of UNESCO Centers, works closely in many of his projects with Federico Mayor Zaragoza, Earth Charter Commissioner.  With great creativity this agency offers concrete solutions to universal problems with great visibility through projects that have been developed in 130 cities in more than 43 countries.  The Agency is planning to use and include the Earth Charter as an ethical and educational framework in some of these projects and future ones.  See more about their numerous projects here. 

The Uganda Martyrs University has become an affiliate of the Earth Charter Initiative.  The Vice Chancellor of this University signed an agreement with the Earth Charter International Secretariat to start this partnership.  This agreement will be operationalized through the Department of Good Governance and Peace Studies. This Department has developed an Environmental Governance and Conservation program in which they use the Earth Charter as theoretical and ethical framework.  This program includes courses, extension projects and research.

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Conference and Expo: Balancing Innovation and Sustainability

On 24-27 August 2011 an interesting conference will take place in Kampala, Uganda, entitled:  Balancing Innovation and Sustainability Conference & Expo.  This event is organized by Pilot International. The conference aims to bring together key leading global innovators, sustainability experts, and scientists to discuss, showcase, network and identify leading edge green businesses, technologies and development opportunities from around the globe.

The conference will run alongside an expo featuring an international market place of vendors, development partners, manufacturers and consumers. The event will conclude with a grand networking gala where high profile prizes in innovation and sustainability will be awarded to distinguished personalities and organizations for their achievements in global innovation and sustainability. Nomination for the 2011 Pilot Awards is now open.

The Earth Charter International Secretariat is supporting Pilot International by disseminating information of this conference, and inviting all those interested from the Earth Charter Initiative to attend.

Find in this link more information about the conference:
http://www.pilotinternationalconferences.org/index.html

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Welcome new Earth Charter Youth / Student Groups!

Earth Charter, 12.c.
“Honor and support the young people of our communities, enabling them to fulfill their essential role in creating sustainable societies.”

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I am glad to inform that 12 new Earth Charter Youth / Student Groups have been started! These groups have decided to ally with the Earth Charter Initiative to promote sustainable ways of living in their communities.

Please, join me in welcoming the following groups to the Earth Charter youth network:

Cameroon
Better World Cameroon Earth Charter Youth Group

Croatia
ECYG de leut’s environment

Ghana
ECYG For Sustainability and Peace Ghana

ECYG THE PIGOP

Kenya
Students for Global Sustainability – University of Nairobi (SfGS-UoN)

Nigeria
ECYG Youth Vision Alliance Network

Earth Charter Youth Group Get Organized for Change

ECYG Fresh & Young Brains Development

ECYG Abuja

Somalia
ECYG Somalia

Uganda
Africa Intercultural Development Support Trust [AIDEST], an – All Africa Sustainable Development Organization

Ukraine
Earth Charter Ukraine for Education for All

______________________________

As an example for other groups, I want to share with you an email that I received from Herman J.B. Kizito, a youth group coordinator of the newest Ugandan Earth Charter Youth Group. This email shows a great example on how a new Earth Charter group can start their actions:

“We have begun a series of strategic and promotional / awareness actions and outreach campaigns involving:

  • Primary and Elementary Schools Outreach programmes discussing the Earth Charter concepts, opportunities and needs to get connected. These schools range with enrollment capacities of 150 children to 2000 and more, ages 6 years to 14 years old; boys and girls. Some of these schools have expressed their interests to promote their goals worldwide under the AECON banners. Uganda has over 2000 primary schools be it Public or Private or Faith-Based, yet, already AECON has access to 300 of these in all regions of the country. Our assessments of their individuals show that most would like to start School Environmental Clubs, School gardens, Exchange visits as well as Waste Recycling Project, but they lack funds, let alone Educational materials.
  • Community Green Enterprises Programme has been started, we are planting trees, collecting and recycling garbage.
  • Networking is on; we are interacting with other Stakeholders.
  • Forwarding Earth Charter internet contacts to others; we are already passing on the Earth Charter information to many for direct contacts, asking that they do the same.”

More free / low-cost ideas can be found here.

If you are interested in joining the Earth Charter youth network, check out through this link what can you do to work for more sustainable future!

Welcome to the Earth Charter youth network,
Jaana Laitinen
Earth Charter International Youth Facilitator
youthcoordinator@earthcharter.org

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Youth in Uganda take action!

Earth Charter Youth Group from Uganda, Students for Global Democracy – Uganda, has had a busy year so far! In the attached report you’ll find more comprehensive explanations of the below list of activities that the group has put in practice since February 2009.
 

Members of SGD Uganda Arriving with the Clothe and Soap Donations to the Refugee Community, August 2009


  • Civic Responsibility and Youth Engagement” Public Lecture, 26th February 2009
  • Official Launch of the Parliamentary Forum on Youth Affairs, 24th March 2009
  • Clothe and Soap Donations to the Refugee Community, August 2009
  • Uganda’s Electoral Law and Institutional Framework: Perspectives for 2011 Elections Workshop, 25th August 2009
  • Establishment of SGD Uganda Human Rights Clubs
  • Volunteering for “SEAL THE DEAL” – UN Climate Change Petition
  • Planet Call Declaration -Campaign
  • International Climate Change Day, 24th October 2009

Students for Global Democracy – Uganda gives a great example how to integrate the Earth Charter into their actions; how to bring it alive, how to embody it in their daily lives and how to share it with others!

Members of SGD Uganda after Volunteering

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10 new Earth Charter Youth Groups!

ECI is happy to announce that 10 new Earth Charter Youth Groups have been created during May – July 2009!

Welcome aboard Earth Charter Youth Groups in:

Cameroon
LUKMEF-Cameroon-ECYG
ECYG AFREDECC Limbe

Democratic Republic of Congo
MAISON DES JEUNES ECYG-PRODEC

The Gambia
ECYG Global Unification

Germany
ECYG Marburg

Ghana
IMAAMI Foundation ECYG

Israel
ECYI Israel

Nigeria
ECYG Sokoto for Change

Papua New Guinea
Earth Charter Youth Committee PNG for Ecological & Economical Sustainability

Uganda
EANEP – ECYG

ECI is very happy for this development and hopes to hear from several new youth lead action projects from all over the world soon.

Welcome to the Earth Charter youth network!

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We stand at a critical moment in Earth's history, a time when humanity must choose its future.
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