United States Archives - Earth Charter

Independent Film Showcases the Youth Efforts of Earth Charter Indiana

By: Lorna Battista 

Independent Film 3A new short film, “Little Warriors,” illustrates the passionate actions of the youth members of Earth Charter Indiana. Directed by documentary filmmaker Sam Mirpoorian, “Little Warriors” will be premiering in August at the Indy Film Festival in Indianapolis and the Global Impact Film Festival in Washington, D.C.

It tells the story of the efforts of the kids in Earth Charter Indiana to push Indiana, a traditionally conservative and Republican state, to pass climate change resolutions. Under the Independent Film 1leadership of Jim Poyser, the founder and director of the group, the kids involved have been speakers at public events and testified at governmental hearings about the necessity of passing resolutions to move forward on climate change action.

Sam Mirpoorian wanted to make a climate change film, approached from a unique and small-scale angle. Earth Charter Indiana and Jim Poyser provided that angle, delivering a story that does center on climate change but also on the efforts of Poyser as an educator and mentor, and on the dedication of the youth involved.

EC IndianaMirpoorian hopes that the reach of “Little Warriors” will grow, perhaps enough for it to be seen by the conservative Governor of Indiana, Republican Eric Holcomb. The film demonstrates the strength that youth voices can have, on any topic; getting kids passionate and involved on important global issues is extremely valuable for both them and the movements that they stand behind.

 

Want to learn more about Earth Charter Indiana? Go to:

https://www.earthcharterindiana.org/

http://www.kibi.org/you-should-know-this-person-jim-poyser-earth-charter-indiana/

 

Continue Reading

Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics Online Youth Course has Started and Next one in Spanish Begins 11 Sept!

19225092_10200938548362198_1845893810611478496_n

Our fifth Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics online youth course in English started on 19 June. With 25 youth representing over 13 nations we are thrilled to be interacting and engaging youth from so many countries such as Kenya, Nigeria, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Japan, India, Spain, US, UK, Netherlands, and Canada. The 10-week course will end on 28 August and will cover topics such as Leadership, Sustainability, Ecoliteracy, Systems Thinking, Ethics, Facilitation, the Earth Charter.

The course is being co-facilitated by Youth Projects Coordinator Christine Lacayo and Earth Charter Young Leaders, Victor Okechukwu from Nigeria and Rohdof Lactem from Cameroon.

We have some extremely inspiring and sharp youth in this course; representatives from UN Major Group for Children and Youth, 4 people from the National Union of Students in the UK, someone who is actively involved with the Agenda 21 in the Basque region of Spain, the head of a team of 8 passionate youth in Cameroon who form part of the Hope for the World Youth Association which seeks to bring hope to hopeless communities through entrepreneurship, youth capacity building programs, and someone from the Lopez Community Land Trust (LCLT) in Washington state, a non-profit organization on a small island making sustainable communities a reality by holding land in trust for residents of the island and building affordable homes for low income individuals.

Here are some inspiring quotes from the participants with the following forum question: When you dream about a better future, what are three things you envision?

“I envision a future where all basic needs are met. No one will worry about what they will eat, what they will wear, where they will live, or if they can afford to care for their medical needs. The future I envision has no place for greedy persons. There will be perfect leadership, exacting just judgments. In this world that I envision, no one will be convicted of crimes that they didn’t commit. If someone is disciplined or charged with something, they will have to acknowledge that the judgment pronounced on them was just and well deserved. I envision a world full of peace and true happiness. I believe that with the proper leadership and guidance this future will exist for mankind. I must take the first step to be the change that I want to see.” –Quaniqua Williams, USA

 

 

“I dream of a world where people are caring towards other people and other animals whom we share our planet with- there are so many injustices towards other human beings that is it difficult to think of a time where we will respect all humans and animals on this planet with equal rights to feel safe, secure and free in our world. Also where all humans understand the true meaning of peace and conflicts and war are no longer an issue. Ultimately where people and planet can thrive and where nature can support all human and animal life on the planet and the people can respect and support nature.” – Hannah Wiseman, UK

 

“A future in which human rights are respected. A future in which the basic needs of each individual are covered in a sustainable way. Where the production chain, starting with the procurement of the raw material, its handling, consumption and disposal is done in a responsible way and respecting the social and environmental rights of all involved.” – Itxaso Bengoechea Larrinaga, Spain

“The three most important things for a better future for me would be reduced economic inequalities within and between communities and countries, drastic decline in diseases such as malaria, cholera and HIV in developing countries and quality/affordable basic education for all children up until the tertiary level. I believe that if the world will truly become sustainable firstly we need to educate and equip as many people as possible in a short period of time. I believe that quality education will birth solutions that will unlock other Sustainable goals.”

– Olabanji Jackson-oke, Nigeria

Our next online youth training programme will be in Spanish and will begin on 11 September until 20 November. Deadline to apply is 28 August! Email Christine Lacayo, Youth Projects Coordinator if you are interested in registering for our next course: Youthcooridantor@earthcharter.orgLSE Spanish Sept

Continue Reading

Reflections as the New Earth Charter Youth Projects Coordinator

By: Christine Lacayo

My first month of work ends and I’m excited to share some of my reflections!

As the Earth Charter Youth Projects ChristineECCoordinator, my main responsibility is to motivate, guide, and engage young people to create a more just, sustainable and peaceful world. What is the best way to do this? I think the beauty of this position is the flexibility and creativity the job requires. I have the ability to incorporate my passions and interests to expand and create new opportunities and stories. I’m excited to bring my passion for visual media and writing to collect all Earth Charter Youth actions and stories that are taking place around the world. As an ocean advocate, I would also like to continue sensitizing my community members on the importance of taking care of our ocean ecosystems!

Some of the main projects I’m focusing on now include promoting our app Mapting, used to take pictures of actions related the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We have our next photo competition to celebrate International Day for Biological Diversity starting from 12-22 May.Mapting_FB_AD

I’m also facilitating our next online training programme for youth, Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics (LSE) starting 19 June. This 10-week course is designed to prepare and empower young people with the skills and knowledge to be effective ethical sustainability leaders and implement Earth Charter-inspired projects.

One of my favorite roles of my job is having a group of Earth Charter Young Leaders, those who have completed the LSE course, from all over the world. These leaders are from countries such as St. Lucia, Germany, Kenya, Nigeria, Japan, Netherlands, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Rwanda, and Spain, just to name a few! My responsibility is to support them along their year commitment as an Earth Charter Young Leader implementing activities and workshops in their community.

I’m also diving into the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Leadership Training Programme created by esd-training-flierEarth Charter International for the UNESCO Global Action Program (GAP) on ESD focusing on priority area number 4: empowering and mobilizing youth. The training is designed for young people from 18-35 who are active leaders in sustainable development in their communities.  At the beginning of July, I will be co-facilitating the training programme in Brasilia, Brazil for selected young leaders from across Latin America!

I’m very excited to start this dynamic new job not to mention the stunning nature views and sounds from my office! I’m happy to be back in the country I grew up visiting as my second home while promoting a more peaceful and sustainable world using the skills and knowledge I’ve gained from my studies and experiences!IMG_0032

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Advertising for Good: Nominations open for Ethicmark Awards 2017

Ethic logo 2Nominations for the 2017 EthicMark® Awards are open until June 23, 2017, for ads and media campaigns that “uplift the human spirit and society.” The winners will be announced at the 28th annual SRI Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing, November 1–3, 2017, in San Diego, CA.

The nomination period is open to ads and media campaigns. These can be produced by businesses, nonprofit organizations or individuals. Nominations can be submitted on the EthicMark® website at: www.ethicmark.org.

The EthicMark® Awards seek to transform advertising by demonstrating the power of media campaigns to further both the public interest and legitimate private interests.

“We expect our 2017 Annual awards to highlight the power of advertising and global media to enlighten the public and inspire companies to new levels of creative responsible marketing worldwide,” said Hazel Henderson, president of Ethical Markets Media, founder and co-chair of the EthicMark® Awards. The 2016 winners were the Do Right Initiative, from Tata Capital in India, and “Give Mom Back Her Name”, a UN Women campaign from Egypt.

The EthicMark® Awards recognize advertising that helps solve the pressing social, political, and environmental challenges of our time. The theme for the 28th annual SRI Conference is #AllinForImpact, celebrating the idea that investment capital can catalyze the shift to a more socially equitable and environmentally sustainable economy.

The annual EthicMark® Awards are co-sponsored by Ethical Markets Media, LLC, and the World Business Academy, whose president Rinaldo S. Brutoco, as co-chair said, “Ethical advertising is a critical characteristic of a healthy, long-term sustainable corporation that honors what it sells and the deeper values of its customers.”

The Awards are in partnership with The SRI Conference and ESPM, one of Brazil’s premier institutions of higher education in communication, marketing, and business.

Watch this video for the 2016 EthicMark Award Winners:

Continue Reading

10-week Youth Online Training Course: Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics to Start 19 June, Deadline to Apply 17 May!

Don’t miss the deadline to sign up for our next 10-week youth online training programme in Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics. The course will begin on 19 June and participants will need to apply by programaWednesday 17 May! This course is designed to train young people around the world, from the ages of 18-30, on how to become active leaders in their community towards a more just, sustainable, and ethical world.

The course will offer you an opportunity to expand your knowledge and skills on certain themes such as leadership, ethics, sustainability, Earth Charter principles, Eco literacy, Systems Thinking, and how to successfully design and implement a workshop in your community.

Our goal at the end of the course is to successfully strengthen your knowledge and skills on leadership in sustainability, enhance your consciousness to contribute to the greater good, inspire like-minded individuals to collaborate across borders and to carry out your work in your communities, and develop the confidence to use your voice as a leader!

Alumni of this course have the opportunity to become an Earth Charter Young Leader (ECYL). This programme is a year-long leadership opportunity to serve as a focal point in the Earth Charter Youth Network to mobilize and engage other young people around the Earth Charter vision and principles.

Register now by visiting our site:  http://earthcharter.org/events/leadership-sustainability-ethics-june-2017/

 

Continue Reading

AASHE endorses the Earth Charter!

AASHE Endorsement Earth CharterWe are happy to announce that the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) has endorsed the Earth Charter.

Established in 2005, AASHE is comprised of over 900 members across 48 U.S. states, 1 U.S. Territory, 9 Canadian provinces and 20 countries.

We asked Julian Dautremont-Smith, Director of Programs of AASHE, to share with all of us what is the meaning of the Earth Charter for them and why it was important to endorse it. This is what he shared:

AASHE is pleased to endorse the Earth Charter.

We greatly value the Charter’s comprehensive approach to sustainability, especially the inclusion of social and economic justice, democracy and peace along with ecological integrity.

We have a similarly holistic understanding of sustainability and refer the Earth Charter as a key document in understanding sustainability in our Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), a self-reporting framework used by hundreds of colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. For example, a course is counted as being sustainability-inclusive if it contributes towards realizing one or more of the principles outlined in the Earth Charter.

Continue Reading

Earth Charter presentation in California by Professor Sam Crowell

Photo workshop Sam

 

On February 20, Sam Crowell presented an introduction to the Earth Charter to almost 150 people from a local community action group in Idyllwild, California. Idyllwild is a small mountain village in southern California that is surrounded by national and state forests, with snow-capped peaks rising to almost 11,000 feet in elevation. It is a community noted for its commitment to the arts and to the environment.

 

Photo 1

The group, “Indivisible Idyllwild,” was formed to engage the Idyllwild community in an on-going dialogue around issues and policies affecting the poor and disenfranchised, sustainability, and social equality of women, LGBT, and immigrants – all impacted by the rhetoric and mandates of the Trump administration. The group’s mission is to work toward “sustainable economic, environmental, and social justice for all,” focusing first on the community and region, but also joining with others to advance these causes nationally.

Sam pointed out that the Earth Charter offers a compatible vision that emphasizes respect for diversity, care for the environment and all communities of life, a call to social and economic justice, and the commitment to peace and non-violence.  Sam suggested that the Earth Charter principles and values can offer two significant things for the group: 1) inspiration and guidance for engaged action; and 2) a planetary vision that connects what is done locally to a shared vision of peoples around the world.

Foto SamLocal efforts make a difference. When the energy of those actions is combined with a planetary vision of love, care, and compassion, then it is amplified in positive and profound ways. Finding a role for the Earth Charter in these contexts makes the Charter relevant to today’s world. “Let ours be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve sustainability, the quickening of the struggle for justice and peace, and the joyful celebration of life.”

For the seventh time, Sam will be co-facilitating with Mirian Vilela a master class on Education, Ethics, and Values for Sustainability: Transformative Teaching and Learning with the Earth Charter at the Earth Charter Center in Costa Rica, on July 3 – 7, 2017.

Continue Reading

New Summit Academy and Queens University discover the Earth Charter at the ECI Center for Education for Sustainable Development

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.

new-summit-academy-workshop

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.

immersion-abroad-group-in-circle

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.

human-knots-activity

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”.

small-group-work

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.

 

Continue Reading

EC+15 event at the Parliament of the World’s Religions

On Sunday October 18th, during the Parliament of the World´s Religions held in Salt Lake City in Utah, USA, a seminar entitled “The Earth Charter and the New UN Development Agenda” took place with the participation of three speakers including Mary Evelyn Tucker (co-director of the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale University), Kusumita Pederson (professor of Religious Studies at St. Francis College New York), and Rick Clugston (ECI Advisor and Director at the Center for Earth Ethics).

Here is a summary of the key points they brought to this session.

-Mary Evelyn Tucker  Watch the video here.

Ms. Tucker briefly explained the process that took place to draft the Earth Charter. She emphasized that the Charter is a civil society document and the fact that the initial idea emerged during the preparatory process to the Earth Summit in 1992.

The contents of Earth Charter are ethical principles that join practical and policy issues. The Charter shows the relationship between ecology, justice, and peace. It provides a new perspective on the connection between people and the planet. The language of the Charter is inclusive and inspiring. The Earth Charter International Secretariat office was set up at the University for Peace in Costa Rica for guiding this movement. She said “the earth is alive” and recalled that at the 1997 Rio Conference, when the first draft was discussed, the indigenous people participating at that occasion were weeping because their world view was included in an international document for the first time.

Ms. Tucker suggested that, “The Earth Charter represents and reflects a language of a movement from a declaration of independence to a declaration of interdependence”. The world needs a new shift, which is not just for individuals, but for the whole earth community, all humans, animals, and all life in the ecosystem. It is a new geological era and we are all in this great transition. People’s energy force and actions could make a change and help the earth flourish.

Ms. Tucker stated that people are having a new “migration”, like birds and turtles finding their home. With the Earth Charter, we need to find the way home, back into the earth community.

– Kusumita Pederson Watch video here.

Dr. Kusumita Pedersen is Professor of Religious Studies at St. Francis College in New York. She presented the Earth Charter in the larger context of global ethics. Like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which emphasizes human dignity, the Earth Charter also did the broad research necessary to find universally applicable ethics.

Dr. Pederson explained that people have different worldviews: the way one sees things and what one believes is real. For instance, some people may believe that certain groups of people or beings are less valuable than other groups.

The Earth Charter is distinctive because it honors all living communities, including different groups of human beings and different forms of life. This is a paradigm shift. Although it did not mention God, the Earth Charter does use the language of spirituality. For example, the Preamble states, “The protection of Earth’s vitality, diversity, and beauty is a sacred trust.”

Environmental problems have the potential to affect people’s worldviews and cause wars and conflicts. Killings and genocide often happen when there is a resource or food scarcity crisis (such as the droughts in the Middle East and ecological factors in the Rwandan genocide), and when some people are told that other people are less important than they are as a result. The Earth Charter was the first international document that used the word love. It represents the opposite worldview from genocide and all kinds of discrimination. The central ideas of the Earth Charter are justice, peace, and sustainability.

Dr. Pederson also echoed Ms. Tucker’s thought that civil society strategy is very deliberately adopted in the Earth Charter and the Charter is accepted by the UNESCO.

– Rick Clugston  Watch video here.

Rick Clugston gave a brief description of the evolution and negotiation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and used the Earth Charter as an assessment framework to look at the SDGs. Launched in 2000, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) focused on helping people address disadvantages and poverty, improving their living conditions, education, health, and income within 15 years.

The MDGs achieved some successful results, however, at the Rio +20 Conference in 2012, people knew that the MDGs were not sufficient to address many challenges and that global society needed to create new development goals. The central question is: how can we create a world that allows development for all and the flourishing of the ecological system? Over 2013 and 2014, governments and civil society intensely negotiated on the SDGs. The SDGs affirmed that we need a fundamental shift from the present economic paradigm to a new sustainable worldview to protect the whole Earth community.

Mr. Clugston quoted Klaus Bosselmann, a renowned environmental law scholar who has been promoting the Earth Charter for many years:

“The Earth Charter provides a strong definition of sustainable development, recognizing the three standard pillars: social, environmental and economic, but organizing them in a particular way. ‘Environment’ is not merely the resource base for human consumption, not just one of the three factors to be considered. Rather, it incorporates the greater community of life including human beings and the life-support systems on which we all depend. This shift to a broader life-centered perspective marks one key difference between ‘weak’ and ‘strong’ sustainability. Furthermore, the social dimension (articulated in the Earth Charter in terms of principles for economic and social justice, democracy, non-violence and peace) represents a set of pre-requisites and goals for sustainable development rather than negotiable or merely optional considerations.”

The Earth itself and the whole community of life have inherited values. Mr. Clugston concluded that we are shifting from an inequitable fossil fuel based world to a better one that is more in line with the vision of the Earth Charter.

Continue Reading

Earth Charter International and University of Wisconsin Oskhosh co-organize EC+15 event

Every year, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, an Earth Charter endorser since 2001, hosts its Earth Charter Community Summit, a week of events on sustainability issues related to the Earth Charter. This year, Earth Charter International and the Sustainability Office at UW Oshkosh co-organized a hybrid live/virtual event with three expert speakers on sustainability, ethics, the Earth Charter, and Aldo Leopold. The event was attended by approximately 25 participants in a lecture hall in Wisconsin, while another 20 participants joined through ECI’s online platform.

The speakers were UW Oshkosh’s Jim Feldman, a professor of Environmental Studies, Clare Palmer, a professor of Philosophy and ethics expert, and Curt Meine, a Senior Fellow at the Aldo Leopold Foundation and the Center for Humans and Nature, as well as a biographer of Aldo Leopold. All three speakers prepared slides, which you can download at the bottom of the page, and spoke about the Earth Charter, Aldo Leopold, and ethics from different perspectives.

Jim Feldman, in the context of the webinar as well as the local context spoke about the UW Oshkosh commitment to sustainability and the Earth Charter values. He related many of the initiatives that the campus is undertaking and he also spoke to the deteriorating legacy of Leopold, John Muir, and Gaylord Nelson in the state of Wisconsin. Clare Palmer deepened the discussion about ethical perspectives, tracing lines of values from Leopold to the Earth Charter and citing the specific advances the Earth Charter made in redefining sustainability from the original definition provided in the 1987 Brundtland Report. Curt Meine’s presentation expanded the discussion on the evolution of ethics further, offering a fascinating history lesson in the evolution of sustainability ethics, from the early 19th Century’s Alexander von Humboldt, through Marsh, Roosevelt, the founding of the UN, Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic, Rachel Carson, the environmental movement, to modern sustainability thought.

The aftermath of these compelling presentations was a vibrant discussion in the question and answer period. The panelists fielded questions from both the live and the virtual participants and it was clear that the participants were hungry for practical measures while understanding the great importance of values and ethics discussions.

The event was a great success and profited from having both a local and an international virtual audience, made possible by modern communication technologies. The dispersed global audience united by the common goal of making the world a better place was evocative of the slogan of EC+15, “One Earth Community, One Common Destiny”.

ECI thanks UW Oshkosh and all the speakers for making this special event possible.

See the recording here.

Download the slides below.

October 8 EC15 Oshkosh Slides Clare Palmer

October 8 EC15 Oshkosh Slides Curt Meine

October 8 EC15 Oshkosh Slides Jim Feldman

Continue Reading

Read the Earth Charter

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