We had the pleasure to deliver an hour-long webinar about the positive impact of youth working with the Earth Charter to the members of the FERAPAD FIZI association (Rural Women Friends of Peace and Development) in Democratic Republic of Congo, for. The association promotes peace and development in the eastern part of DRC, working mainly with women and girls coming from rural areas.
First, we introduced ourselves to the ten or so young people participating, we then introduced the principles and values of the Earth Charter. We explained the ECI vision of sustainability based on ecological integrity and the universality of the Earth Charter with opportunities for the youth to get involved.
There are many opportunities for the youth to participate and to spread the Earth Charter through their work as a teacher or through their artistic activities such a cinema or theatre. The exchange we had, permitted us to call them to action with the Earth Charter. These young people will, from now on, have the opportunity to rely on our youth network, on our mobile app, Mapting, and on the valuable advice of our youth coordinator to get involved in the construction of a more sustainable, just and pacific world for tomorrow.
It was a real pleasure to host this webinar with the youth of FERAPAD association and we would like to give a special thank to Stanislas, the director, for his cooperation. We really hope these young people will use the Earth Charter document as a guide and an inspiration for them to implement peace in their communities in Democratic Republic of Congo.
On Tuesday, October 23, the School of El Rodeo, located in the Central Valley of San José, Costa Rica, received two recycling stations and one compost tumbler, as a donation from Mora Limpia & Sostenible (Clean & Sustainable Mora), a regional initiative designed to improve deteriorating ecological conditions in the County of Mora. The school, which is situated just a hundred meters from the University for Peace, had been trying to become certified under Bandera Azul (Blue Flag), a national program designed to promote environmental conservation, but was lacking a key recycling program requirement. When MLS discovered this, it set out to raise money to help create the school’s very first recycling program.
A workshop to teach the students on the importance of recycling and how to recycle was carried out by Mario Guel, founder of Mora Limpia y Sostenible, ECI Youth Coordinator, Christine Lacayo, and ECI intern, Eglantine Olivry along with other Upeace students. The day was filled with curios questions and occasional laughter, as the children enthusiastically participated in the interactive workshop on solid and organic waste management. MLS started as an internship project back in January 2018, but has transformed into a long-term endeavor that seeks to promote both environmental sustainability and ecotourism opportunities across the County of Mora using the Earth Charter as a guideline and an educational tool. Currently, its pilot focuses on creating a sustainable waste management program in El Rodeo and Ciudad Colón via community engagement, education on the UNSDGs and strategic partnerships.
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We recently celebrated the second year of existence of Mapting, our mobile app created with Soka Gakkai International. Therefore, we thought important to remind both its current and future users, the value of Mapting in the field of sustainable development and ethics. Overall, we can consider that Mapting is a tool that can be used to learn and achieve goals to transform our environment. This tool is based on two different frameworks that can help us achieve this transition, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Earth Charter principles (EC).
Mapting is a way for you to discover more about the SDGs and how the EC principles relate to the SDGs. The app is available for free on iOS or Android. By using the app, you can gather knowledge about the SDGs and the Earth Charter principles allowing a diverse audience to spread the word about sustainable development and the actions they are taking towards building a sustainable future. You can share your actions or observations towards the SDGs by uploading a video or picture. This is beneficial to increase the visibility of your initiatives and other people’s initiatives around the world. In general, having more visibility and an audience for your events and projects is key for those events to become successful. Moreover, Mapting provides the capacity for you to interact directly with other users across the world, in order to create partnerships, to exchange means or ideas. The application is a great opportunity to network on a global scale. The app can also be used as a barometer to measure which SDGs are being used most or least around the world and where. By having this data you can easily connect with other projects in your area working towards the same SDGs or you can fill the void in areas where a certain SDG is not being applied.
The connectivity of Mapting allows you to create bridges between minds, inspiring you to create, to invent solutions for a better future, to fulfill the SDGs with an ethical framework based on the Earth Charter principles. The inspiration given by Mapting is the driving force of action; it helps people to act and to inspire others to join forces towards a sustainable transition. We highly encourage youth to use Mapting to share their actions with friends and to find similar projects they can connect with. Thanks to its accessibility, Mapting helps us grow our community, share positive actions towards building a sustainable future, and to learn more about the SDGs and Earth Charter principles.
Two years after the creation of Mapting, we strongly believe that this application is valuable to educate, to inspire action, and to create cooperation, with the aim of transforming the world in the framework of the SDGs and the Earth Charter principles.
To download Mapting go to www.mapting.org
Share with us your story and how you’re using Mapting in your community, we will feature you on our blog!
For more details write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Our fourth youth course of the year on Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics in Spanish has commenced with much excitement and engagement! We have a diverse group of 25 youth from 11 different countries including: Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Spain, Brazil, Panama, El Salvador, Peru, Guatemala, Chile, and Puerto Rico. We have many participants in this course who are already in connection with the Youth Projects Coordinator, Christine Lacayo; Laura Escobar- Public Relations & Alumni Officer for the University for Peace, Auraluz Guzman- Puerto Rico Director of U-Can, Vanessa Salmerón with Guaravito Sustentabilidad y Conservación, 2 youth from Guatemala sponsored by ECI Youth Partner, SERES, and 3 youth from Chile sponsored by Jose Etcheverry.
Throughout the course you will 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 their community.
This course is designed to train you on how to become active leaders in your communities towards a more just, sustainable, and ethical world. Our goal at the end of the course is to successfully strengthen your confidence in leadership for sustainability, enhance your consciousness to contribute to the greater good, inspire like-minded individuals to collaborate across borders to carry out your work in your communities!
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.
You can now register for our next youth course, offered in English starting on 14 January 2019 with a deadline to apply by 17 December 2018. To apply and for more information visit our website.
“I am very happy for this opportunity. My heart was touched and I received valuable new knowledge and skills that will help me in my community. ECI has added something to me. It’s a great curriculum acquired. It is an invaluable and important program to become a good leader and actor for a positive impact in the community. I am focusing on Climate Action for the SDGs, I have a project to plant many trees here in Burundi. I believe the Earth Charter will be a tool to help me succeed as an environmental leader in my community.”
We’re excited to announce 5 inspiring Earth Charter Youth stories from around the world that we have compiled in video format. Find out how these sustainability leaders engaged with the Earth Charter since their younger years and how the Earth Charter continues to influence them today in their different contexts and professional roles.
Assouan Gbesso is from Togo and was an active Earth Charter Young Leader from 2003-2009 engaging youth with the Earth Charter in Togo. He now works as a Programme Officer for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the Republic of Congo and is currently enrolled in the Doctoral Programme at the University for Peace focusing on Peace Education Encountering Youth Radicalization in Mali. Watch his featured story below:
Gabriela Barbosa Batista, former undersecretary of education and socio-environmental mobilization, the Secretary of Environment of Brasília, Brazil, was introduced to the Earth Charter in 2002 during the Second World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil. From this moment on, she has organized groups of young people from the NGO Alternativa Terrazul to work with sustainability projects based on the Earth Charter. Gabriela also organized a national youth seminar. Watch Gabriela’s Earth Charter featured story below:
Fernando Mora Rodríguez, Deputy Minister of Water, Seas, Coasts, and Wetlands of Costa Rica (2014- 2018), came across the Earth Charter in 2010 as a participant in the youth course on Youth Leadership, Environmental Sustainability, and Ethics. In this video, Fernando tells us about how the Earth Charter has influenced him in his decision-making and some challenges and lessons learned during his experience in public administration. Watch Fernando’s Earth Charter featured story below:
Nicole Jirón Beirute became involved with the Earth Charter Initiative in 1998, at age 17 when she promoted a consultation process among the university students at the University of Costa Rica (UCR). Since then she participated in the group that promotes the Earth Charter in Costa Rica. In 2001 she worked as the International Youth Coordinator for the Earth Charter International. Watch Nicole’s Earth Charter featured story below:
Esther Kelechi Agbarakwe encountered the Earth Charter in 2006 in Calabar, Nigeria. She participated in an Earth Charter E-Glo (Earth Charter Global Learning Opportunity) training programme using your voice through social media, communications, and blogging to build a sustainable future. In 2016, she went on to work as an Advisor to the Ministry of the Environment in Nigeria and now works as the Climate and SDG Action officer for the United Nations Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth. In this video, Esther explains how she came to know the Earth Charter and how it continues to inspire her in her work today. Watch Esther’s featured Earth Charter story below:
Have you been inspired to engage and act in the Earth Charter Movement? Do you implement the EC values in your life, family, school, or community? How has the Earth Charter affected you? Share your story to reach other youth that may be on the verge of diving in to a new network, lifestyle, and purpose.
ECI envisions to catalyze stories in the form of an essay, video, performance, art work, etc. to share with others through the ECI website, social media, or even in future print publications. Write us at email@example.com
Esther Kelechi Agbarakwe met the Earth Charter in 2006 in Calabar, Nigeria. She participated in an Earth Charter E-Glo (Earth Charter Global Learning Opportunity) training programme that taught her about using your voice through social media, communications, and blogging to build a sustainable future. In 2016 she went on to work as an Advisor to the Ministry of the Environment in Nigeria and now works as the Climate and SDG Action officer for the United Nations Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth.
“My favorite Earth Charter Principle is the first one- Care for the Community of Life. I love it because it makes me feel more connected to the human species and everything that is on Earth—whether it is a fly, a human being, or a plant. The Earth Charter was really my first entry into environmental issues. Its principles expanded my mind to see things differently (unusual as it may be where I come from). It could really interest you to know that Earth Charter covers a whole wide range of issues, from faith to humanity.
I still have my Earth Charter in Action book in my room. I don´t joke with it. I read it a lot. It reminds you where you´re going. It gives you that inspiration to keep going because it´s hard sometimes. It´s fun a lot of the time, but you always get to a crossroad at some point in your life. You have to look back and see that we´ve come a long way.”
In this video, Esther explains how she came to know the Earth Charter and how it continues to inspire her in her work today. To read her full interview conducted in November 2016 by past Earth Charter Youth Projects Coordinator, Sarah Dobson, go here.
To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), many youth (from a heterogeneous network of nationwide ethnic groups and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) converged on EISERVI, Biyem Assi, Yaoundé, to brainstorm on issues surrounding global human rights practice, with Cameroon in spotlight. The interactive conference, dubbed, ‘stand up for human rights’, which took place on Saturday 12th May, 2018 – featured a video presentation from www.youthsforhumanrights.org, in which participants were treated to the 30 articles of the UDHR. Besides, as current or prospective human rights advocates, those present committed themselves to the course by recording their voices through the online portal, www.standup4humanrights.org/en – a motion expected to continue in the days ahead.
During the panel discussion featured at the conference, some national and internationally-recognized human rights laws and organs (and their modus operandi) – like: the Earth Charter Initiative; UDHR; AU Charter; UN Charter; National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms Cameroon; etc – were brought to the attention of participants. Panelists and the audience also sought to understand why many people are still grossly unaware of the UDHR (hence their basic human rights entitlements and despite existence of the UDHR since 1948. In a contemporary context shrouded by the paradox where different countries, world leaders, and or citizens still overtly violate human rights, the discussion also verified what actions governments worldwide were taking to implement/respect basic human rights. The discussions continued with how governments, civil society, and individuals could contribute towards improving human rights experience, while equally ensuring that those charged with the duty of implementing and respecting human rights do so to the latter. Besides, ways of improving citizens’ awareness on basic human rights; and how to stand up for one’s rights; among others were proposed. Quizzed at the end, on what their take-home message was, some participants gave their impressions about the event. To Vania Umenjoh, ‘…the take home message was that as individuals, we have a part to play in promoting & defending human rights…within the legality of our respective contexts. ‘I gathered a lot, among which were: the various means of…promoting and protecting human rights…’, Yaouba divulged.
Likewise, Franktherese Enow stated that despite the errant disregard of some citizens’ human rights: to stand up for such rights, one needed to be conscious of their existence, and that human rights were inalienable (irrespective of status) nationally and internationally. ‘I learnt about the Earth Charter Initiative for the very first time, and I’ll find out more about how to enhance its mission…’, Anne Ando. Suffice it to underscore that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document (translated into over 500 languages) for upholding human rights globally–– that was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly (resolution 217A) in Paris on 10th December, 1948; setting out for the first time, a common standard for the universal achievements of human rights for all peoples and nations.
Thank you for those who participated in our International Youth Day photo contest from 10- 17 August. We were looking for captivating images of SDGs 4 Quality Education and 5 Gender Equality with a caption using the hashtags #YouthDay and #SafeSpaces4Youth.
On Sunday, August 5, we celebrated International Youth Day early with Earth Charter Young Leaders, youth from Quitirrisí, youth from the University for Peace, and Guaravito – Sustentabilidad y Conservación at the University for Peace. Our event consisted of creating a cultural exchange between various groups of youth with different backgrounds and traditions with a central theme of #SafeSpaces. Some of the activities included a blessing of the land by an Elder from Quitirrisí, an introduction to safe spaces for youth by Guaravito – Sustentabilidad y Conservación, an introduction of the Earth Charter and a transformative activity from Joanna Macy. To conclude, we had an interactive walk around the Peace Park to learn more about the biodiversity in the protected area of El Rodeo.
The purpose of our International Youth Day event was to foster a sense of belonging and purpose in our Youth to inspire them to go above and beyond all endeavors in life. Moreover, by providing them with #SafeSpaces, we encourage them to use their voices, speak their minds, and always fight for what they believe in.
A conference on Education, the Earth Charter,
and the Sustainable Development Goals
The Earth Charter is a universal expression of ethical principles to foster sustainable development.
The Earth Charter Initiative is the global network that embraces, uses and integrates the Earth Charter principles.