Asia and the Pacific Archives - Earth Charter

Vietnam

In 2007, the UNESCO Hanoi office with partnered with the ECI Secretariat to translate and print EC brochures to be disseminated throughout the country in different education for sustainable development activities. One of the activities was the National Advocacy Workshop on education for sustainable development, organized by Vietnam National Commission of UNESCO. 

In 2009, with the help of volunteers from Vietnam and Brazil, an EC website in Vietnamese was launched through the efforts of Ngoc Anh Nguyen.

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Philippines

phillipinesThe Philippines carried out a very interesting participatory process of consultation to develop a Filipino Earth Charter in 1991. This was the first attempt in the world to develop an Earth Charter. The Filipino Earth Charter was adopted by the State and civil society organizations during the “Gathering for a Human and Ecological Security” conference in 1995. This document is known as the Filipino Contribution to the People’s Earth Charter.

An Earth Charter Core Group in the Philippines was created to help organize their contributions to the International process of drafting the Earth Charter; an important contributor was the Philippine Institute for Alternative Futures (PIAF). In 1999, they focused on promoting the sustainability values of the Earth Charter.

An important activity in 1999 was the nationwide tour of the Indigenous Peoples’ Theater, an Earth Charter production called “Seven Rituals of Mother Earth.”

In 2000, an Earth Scouts Initiative was launched in the Philippines that used the Earth Charter as its foundation and source of inspiration. That same year, PIAF engaged in a series of training sessions nationwide regarding sustainable development and the Earth Charter.

Earth Charter Youth Groups (ECYGs) have been very active in this country. In 2003, the organization called “Eco Trekkers Society” started to use the Earth Charter in their local campaigns against the introduction of genetically modified organisms. In 2007, the Philippine Resources for Sustainable Development, Inc. (PRSD), another ECYG, initiated a five-day bike tour around a major water reserve to raise awareness about industrial pollution and over fishing. See the Earth Charter Youth Groups’ profiles.

In Manila, the Earth Charter Secretariat and the EC Affiliate Earth Council Asia Pacific organized three Earth Charter Forums in 2007. The events took place at the Environmental Studies Institute (Miriam College); the Philippines Women University; and the Soka Gakkai Center (where an Earth Charter forum was organized years before).

In this occasion, a weekly radio show called Kalikasan Kaunlaran!, broadcasted a program on the Earth Charter, on prime time nation-wide. This radio program is continually opening discussions on issues related to sustainability, with outstanding guest speakers.
For more information on this program contact EARTH Institute Asia:
earthinstitute@gmail.com

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Taiwan Province of China

The Taiwan Ecological Stewardship Association (TESA) has been very active since 2004 in promoting the Earth Charter within youth and indigenous communities in Taiwan.

In July 2008, TESA started a network called Earth Charter Taiwan. Since its beginning, EC Taiwan has been very active, offering study groups, immersion Camps for youth, basic courses, and youth volunteers training. In addition, TESA organized a series of Environmental Ethics Lectures, conducted by Dr. Holmes Rolston III, where the Earth Charter was discussed in depth during a period of six weeks. TESA also published a four-volume publication called “TESA Series in Thought and Praxis of Environmental Ethics”, where the Earth Charter is featured. It is available only in Chinese.

Also, Dharma Drum Mountain World Buddhist Association of Taiwan is using the Earth Charter in its campaign of protecting the spiritual
environment.

In 2013, TESA organized the 28th Caretakers of the Environment International Conference ‘Nature, Culture and Future’. This Conference provided a very interesting setting to promote the principles of the Earth Charter, and see its applicability with children from different ages and cultural settings. TESA also continued offering training programmes for students, in the form of Conferences and support for project implementation, to empower them to participate in this international Conference. The involvement of TESA with CEI Conferences comes from the collaboration between two Earth Charter Affiliates (ASPEA from Portugal and TESA). This is a great example of how members of the Earth Charter Initiative can collaborate in a decentralized way and bring the values of the Earth Charter to different settings.

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Thailand

thailandIn 1999, the Grassroots Action Program of the Thailand Environment Institute (TEI) catalyzed a dialogue process between various stakeholders to define the Earth Charter’s meaning for communities, municipalities, and other groups in Thailand, as well as to give feedback to the drafting process of the Earth Charter. The Thai initiative focused on the idea that the Earth Charter is a means to support both Agenda 21 and Local Agenda 21.

In January 2000, thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Thai Society of Value Creation and the Japanese Buddhist Society, a National Earth Charter consultation was organized. TEI fostered the translation of the Earth Charter, as well as its dissemination through various events and networks. In June 2000, the Charter was presented in various activities such as the International Congress on environmental Ethics and Education, and it was featured in radio programs.

In February 2001, the Rajabat Institute Phranakhon and TEI organized a Colloquium on the Earth Charter in Bangkok; the colloquium brought together a diverse group of experts and leaders in the field of sustainable development.

IUCN held its 3rd World Congress in Bangkok, in 2004. At this Congress, a resolution in support of the Earth Charter was adopted (Res 3.022, 2004). The resolution recommended IUCN use the Charter as part of its policies and programmes.

In May 2011, the 8th Conference of the United Nations Day of Vesak took place in Bangkok, Thailand. The Day of Vesak is an important holiday in the Buddhist tradition, and has been an opportunity over the past eight years to discuss the role of international Buddhism with regards to a number of important global issues, including sustainable development. During one of the workshops focused on “Environmental Preservation and Restoration”, Dr. Colin Soskolne, Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada), presented a paper on “The Earth Charter for Sustainable
Community Development from a Buddhist Virtues’ Perspective”.

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Sri Lanka

sri lankaThe Sarvodaya Shramanada Movement of Sri Lanka has supported the Earth Charter since its drafting process. Mr. A.T. Ariyaratne, founder and President of the Sarvodaya Movement is an Earth Charter Commissioner, and continues to be an important supporter of the Charter.

The Sarvodaya Movement is Sri Lanka’s largest and most broadly embedded people’s organization, with a network of more than 15,000 villages. The movement works in community development; they have endorsed the Earth Charter. In August 2000, the Sarvodaya Movement brought together over 2,000 people in a remote and inaccessible village to learn about the Earth Charter. They have then committed to put the Charter’s principles into action. Examples of practical activities they are implementing include financing the use of solar power, micro-credit and village banking systems, education for sustainability, training for organic agriculture, and others.

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South Korea

The Earth Charter process in Korea was activated under the leadership of Mr. Sungnok Andy Choi, Chairman for the Youth Forum Committee, during the 1999 International NGO Conference. In collaboration with the Korean Federation of Environment Movement, they brought together a significant group of individuals and organizations in Korea to define their viewpoints with regard to the Earth Charter.

In the year 2000, a seminar called “Conceptualization of the Earth Charter and its Role in Korean Society” was organized by the Earth Charter Research Team in South Korea to find ways to effectively communicate the Charter in the Korean context and discuss its role in Korean society.

Also in 2000, the Earth Council and Soka Gakkai facilitated several Earth Charter-related activities, such as a seminar entitled “The Earth Charter, Agenda 21, and Korean Civil Society”, which was co-presented by the Korean National Earth Charter facilitator, along with the Chairman of Incheon City Agenda, the deputy Minister of the Environment, and the Director of the Korean committee for Earth Day.

Although there has not been much activity around the Earth Charter in South Korea in the past years, a Korean Earth Charter website is still available, with information on the Earth Charter and various environmental and sustainability issues.

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Singapore

Under the leadership of the Singapore Environment Council (SEC) an Earth Charter dialogue process was initiated in 1999 in Singapore. During that time various environmental groups were invited to provide feedback and share their views on the Earth Charter Benchmark Draft II. The Earth Council conducted a series of meetings in November and December 2000 with SEC, NGO representatives, and Ministry of Environment officials in order to prepare the ground for the establishment of a multi-stakeholder mechanism. The Earth Charter was incorporated as part of that effort.

In January 2000, the Singapore Soka Gakkai (SG) Association, with the support of the Singapore Environment Council, held a workshop on the Earth Charter with 90 representatives from different sectors of society. A forum called “The Youth and the Earth Charter” was attended by 600 Singapore SG Association Youth Division members.

In recent years there have not been many activities specifically on the Earth Charter in Singapore.

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Papua New Guinea

papua new guineaIn 2002, the 870 tribes of Papua New Guinea (PNG) used the Earth Charter as a model to create their Tribal Charter through a public consultation process similar to the drafting process of the Earth Charter. The Tribal Charter describes historical and natural challenges faced by PNG tribes and how these challenges are linked to those faced by all tribes globally. It outlines fundamental principles and offers suggestions for forging partnerships with other stakeholders to develop and implement sustainable, peaceful, and equitable practices in managing natural resources for long-term survival.

The final text of the Mama Graun Tribal Charter is an example of what a community or group can achieve with the Earth Charter as an inspiration vision.

The first Papua New Guinean Earth Charter Youth Group was established in July 2009.

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Pakistan

Representatives from the Pakistani civil society participated in the drafting process of the Earth Charter Benchmark Draft II. An active participant was Parvez Hassan, former President of the IUCN Commission of Environmental Law, who led the drafting process of the IUCN Draft Covenant on Environment and Development and who has made efforts to link the Earth Charter and this Covenant.

See here the Earth Charter Youth Groups that promote the Earth Charter in Pakistan.

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New Zealand

new zealandThe New Zealand Center for Environmental Law (NZCEL), of the University of Auckland, took on the role of coordinating the New Zealand National Earth Charter Campaign in mid-1999. In addition, Pauline Tangiora, a member of the Earth Charter Commission supported and promoted the Earth Charter since its drafting process.

In February 2000, the Tindall Foundation provided a grant to the NZCEL to help set up the National Earth Charter Campaign. Two months later, a coordinating group was formed to establish a National Earth Charter Committee. Since then, they have undertaken many activities, including setting up a local Earth Charter website.

Two faculty members of NZCEL, Klaus Bosselman and Prue Taylor have been using the Earth Charter for many years and promoting it through the National Committee. They have written various books and articles about the Earth Charter. They have also been using the Earth Charter in their undergraduate and graduate level classes in the Law School, and the School of Architecture and Planning.

In 2002, SGI-New Zealand hosted a series of Earth Charter meetings, where the principles of the Earth Charter were discussed.

The Congregation of Aotearoa New Zealand Dominican Sisters started an education center for the communities of Korimako. Since 2001, this Center has generated a process of education for sustainable development using the Earth Charter.

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