Africa and Middle East Archives - Earth Charter

Burkina Faso

During the Earth Charter Initiative consultation process in the 1990s, there were three active groups in Burkina Faso: The National Council for Sustainable Development (CONAGESE); Green Cross Burkina Faso; and the Volunteer Association for Development (ADV). CONAGESE is an organization functioning under the umbrella of the government of Burkina Faso and is a multi-stakeholder council.

Starting in 1998, these organizations promoted the idea of the Earth Charter throughout their network, and were active in generating feedback to the drafting process of the Earth Charter. During that time, Green Cross Burkina Faso formed an Earth Charter Committee, which included the participation of several key people and organizations in the country.

Green Cross Burkina Faso (GCBF) continues to use the principles of the Earth Charter related to ecological integrity as inspiration and foundation for their activities. In 2014, they organized the following activities, as part of their commitment to promote the Earth Charter:

  1. Conflict Prevention project related to Natural Resource Management in the Volta Basin (PRECOGRN) PHASE III – this project aims to introduce sustainable agricultural practices to limit the use pesticides in Burkina Faso.
  2. Research project on how gender perspective and the rights of local communities are included in the mining code of Burkina Faso. They found that these are not well included therefore the project made recommendations to for their inclusion.
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Bahrain

The Bahrain Women Association for Human Development participated in the Arab Regional Meeting on the Earth Charter in 2001. Since then, they have been making efforts to promote the sustainability vision articulated in the Charter. For example, they created the Environmental Citizenship Program (2003) with which they provided many workshops for middle and high school students on the principles of the Earth Charter. They also introduced the Earth Charter in radio public service announcements (2010).

Bahrain Women Association for HD participated in the 10th anniversary of the Earth Charter and are part of the Earth Charter MENA network. In recent years, they have focused on creating workshops for youth associations, women organizations, universities, and government agencies. The Association is also involved in a number of environmental events happening in the country. For these events, they have created post cards and booklets with inspiring images and phrases related to the Earth Charter.

The Bahrain Women Association has continued to be involved in the Earth Charter Initiative, offered Earth Charter workshops, and members participated in the Earth Charter +15 Art Project One by Dutch artist Alette de Groot.

In 2011, IMPACT Bahrain, a marketing and advertising company endorsed the Earth Charter and supported it by creating a temporary Earth Charter website in Arabic. A representative of this company is a member of the Earth Charter MENA Network.

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Benin

In 2000, the NGO Benin 21 started a process to disseminate and promote the Earth Charter among governmental agencies and officials, NGOs, research institutes and civil society in general. This process entailed the elaboration of a short version of the Charter in French, which was translated into five local languages (Fon, Adja, Idaatcha, Baatonou, and Dendi). In addition, several songs and poems about the principles of the Earth Charter were created in French and Fon, which were made available on tape and were widely distributed. In this dissemination process, Benin 21 encouraged NGOs and public and private organizations to adopt the Earth Charter in their work and personal lives. During the national presidential election that year, special efforts were made to promote the principles of Democracy, Non Violence, and Peace.

In recent years there have not been many Earth Charter activities in Benin.

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Ghana

In early 1999 a national committee was established by the Ministry of Environment and Science and Technology to work on the consultation of the Earth Charter in Ghana. The National Committee was only active during the Earth Charter consultation process; it had representatives from the University of Ghana, the National Commission on Women and Development, Friends of the Earth, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology. They organized a national consultation forum on the Earth Charter in December 1999 and participated in the Benchmark Draft at the regional meeting of the African National Earth Charter Committees, in Cape Town, South Africa.

Activities with the Earth Charter before 2010 were organized by the Youth Group YEA-Ghana. They organized workshops and seminars on topics related to environmental protection and volunteerism. They implemented tree planting and clean up awareness and exercises, and organized educational trips with schools. They also undertook long and short-term projects in agriculture, disease, and pest management with a focus on being environmentally friendly. Through these profiles you can see the former Earth Charter Youth Groups in Ghana.

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Iran

In 2010, the Corporate Social Responsibility Development Center endorsed the Earth Charter and signed an MoU as EC Affiliates. A representative of this organization participated in the Earth Charter’s 10th anniversary celebration in Jordan. This organization is also part of the Earth Charter MENA Network.

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Israel

In 2001, organizations such as the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel, the Israel Association on Society-Nature Relations, and the Kibbutz Lotan’s Center for Creative Ecology were involved in the dissemination of the Earth Charter in Israel. The latter helped with the translation of the Earth Charter into Hebrew.

In 2006, a group of committed individuals formed “Earth Charter Israel”, a volunteer initiative that is part of the Earth Charter Communities (ECC), whose mission was to generate awareness about the Earth Charter principles in the general public. They opened an online Forum where citizens of Israel and the world could initiate dialogue on different topics related to sustainability and peace. The forum was in Hebrew, Arabic, and English.

Youth activities were organized by Earth Charter Youth Initiative Israel.

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Jordan

jordanJordanian organizations and individuals have actively participated in the Earth Charter Initiative since 2001. Important supporters are HRH Princess Basma Bint Talal (an Earth Charter Commissioner), The Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development (JOHUD), and the Land and Human to Advocate Progress (LHAP).

In November 2001, JOHUD organized the Arab Regional Meeting on the Earth Charter, which resulted in the endorsement of the Earth Charter by many groups, and in the “Amman Declaration ”.

A year later (2002), all 99 municipalities in Jordan jointly endorsed the Earth Charter; this was the first step towards developing sustainable development plans for cities in Jordan.

In 2003, the Black Iris Earth Charter Youth Group Jordan was created, to promote interreligious cooperation and dialogue. In 2005 as a result of Black Iris’s work, the Earth Charter was recognized as one of the international reference documents by the Higher Council’s youth and environment division.

At the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg, the official representative of the Jordanian government, as part of the heads of states intervention, called the attention to the Earth Charter as “a vision to inspire a new sense of global interdependence and shared responsibility for the well-being of the human family and the larger living world.”

In 2003, during UNESCO’s 32nd General Conference, the Government of Jordan submitted a Draft Resolution for UNESCO’s recognition of the Earth Charter. The resolution was approved and UNESCO now recognizes the Earth Charter as an important ethical framework for sustainable development.

From 23 to 24 November 2010, under the patronage of HRH Princess Basma Bint Talal, JOHUD organized a regional meeting in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Earth Charter. This was done in collaboration of the Ministry of Environment, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) West Office, and Earth Charter International Secretariat. As a result the participants signed the Dead Sea Declaration (in Arabic and English), and the Earth Charter Middle East and North Africa Network was formed.

JOHUD continues to be an Earth Charter Affiliate. In 2014, they started a project to create an eco/agro tourism and learning center close to the Baptism site in Jordan, where they plan to use the Earth Charter in their educational projects.

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