Europe and Central Asia Archives - Earth Charter

Uzbekistan

In 1999 an Uzbek National Workshop was held in Tashkent where the Earth Charter was introduced. This was followed by national consultations and discussions on Earth Charter drafts. These activities were organized by the National Commission for Sustainable Development of Uzbekistan. More than 50 representatives from government institutions, NGOs, business, local authorities, youth, and scientific organizations from around the country participated in this workshop. This workshop was followed by two major Earth Charter events held in 2000, a Regional Earth Charter meeting with participants from all the countries in Central Asia, and an Earth Charter Youth meeting.

At the present time the political situation in the country does not allow active involvement of the civil society in the national development policy.

There was one Earth Charter Youth Group in Uzbekistan, called ECYG School Connect. They joined the Earth Charter Youth network in July, 2008. This ECYG’s mission is to build a better environment though training and partnership.

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United Kingdom

In March 2006, at Imperial College London, Earth Charter International convened an invitational seminar with about seventy-five UK opinion leaders in sustainable development called, “The Value of Values: Global Ethics and the Future of Sustainable Development”. The seminar’s purpose was to introduce the Charter to this group, and to set the stage for the expansion of Earth Charter activity in the United Kingdom.

Participants ranged from sustainability directors of companies to heads of research institutions, from representatives of leading NGOs to local government officials, from well-known financiers to small business entrepreneurs. A strong youth contingent was also invited, reflecting the Earth Charter Initiative’s prioritization on the substantive engagement of youth in sustainable development work. ECI has a complete multi-media package documenting this ground-breaking seminar, which featured internationally renowned speakers as John Elkington, Alexander Likhotal, Ruud Lubbers, Herman Mulder, Jane Nelson, and Princess Basma Bint Talal.

In Great Britain, the Earth Charter movement continued to make waves in Bournemouth at the Avonbourne and Harewood Colleges. Avonbourne considers itself an “Earth Charter” school, as its Primary School vision and values are based on the Earth Charter. Other Earth Charter projects that were carried out through Avonbourne in 2014 include an award-winning effort to recycle cooking oil for a school mini-bus and a successful initiative to have the school certified as a Fairtrade school. The schools also continue to use the Pictures of Success tool.

In February 2007, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and Earth Charter Commissioner, Wangari Maathai, was the guest of honor at the special seminar on the “The Earth Charter, Past and Future” at Exeter College, one of the oldest colleges at Oxford University. The seminar brought together a small number of international Earth Charter leaders with members of the newly- formed Earth Charter UK Trust. During that time the Earth Charter UK was established.
Together this group took a fresh look at the Earth Charter’s past and future — partly with an international focus, and partly with an eye to the Earth Charter’s future in the United Kingdom.

In September 2008, a diverse group of representatives of faith-based organizations in the UK came together to explore the Earth Charter. Among the key speakers were Dr. Doug Bourn, chair of the Earth Charter Council of Trustees in the UK, Rabbi Jeffrey Newman, Founder of Earth Charter UK, and Michael Slaby.

Since the 2007 formation of the Earth Charter UK, participants have worked to introduce the EC nationally, regionally, and locally within the sectors of Education, Youth, Faith Communities, Business, and Government, including NGO’s.

Possibly the most important development in the UK with regard to the EC has been the endorsement by Bournemouth Borough Council and this has been followed by the endorsement also of the Bournemouth 2026 Partnership, which involves 200 local voluntary and statutory groups. During 2009, the Earth Charter UK looks forward to continuing work with the Charter in schools in the area, and the involvement of local business. All this came about through the work of a local Inter-faith group www.eco-faith.org which saw the environment and climate change as the greatest issue facing Earth and the Earth Charter as a way of thinking about such issues which could unite many people.

In this way, the process of introducing the Earth Charter in the UK shows how true is the phrase that “the individual can make a difference.” This is also true of individual organisations. Once the inspiration of the Charter, combined with its practical, specific detailed requirements, has
communicated with a person or group then change and development can happen very quickly. You can find more information on the South West of England, Faith and Interfaith, Education and Business if you go herePlease see the new case of the Avonbourn School in Dorset.

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Tajikistan

In 1999, the NGO “Foundation to Support Civil Initiatives” started to be involved in the Earth Charter Initiative. As part of their effort, they disseminated the Earth Charter among key organizations in the country and coordinated several local meetings to discuss the first and second drafts of the Earth Charter text.  Since then the Foundation and its Chairperson, Dr. Muazama Burkhanova, have promoted and used the Earth Charter in various ways. Numerous activities and events have been held in the country to promote the Earth Charter principles and its vision and mission in the country. Among such activities were educational workshops and training sessions at different levels, from secondary schools, to the teachers of the remote rural
areas, to the local authorities in the cities and in the distant makhaljas (community centers). The high-level training projects for the Tajik governmental officials, youth organizations and the national Academy of Sciences were also held during this period. The Foundation, as the Earth
Charter Tajik Affiliate, organized summer camps for children and youth from cities and rural areas, held educational games, used Earth Charter videos and made various presentations about the Earth Charter.

The Earth Charter affiliate in Tajikistan was able to organize a meeting of high school students to learn about the Earth Charter and present the Earth Charter at a roundtable on Earth Day 2014.

Between 2007 and 2008 the Earth Charter Guidebook for Teachers and the Earth Charter brochure were translated into the Tajik language and published. This made the wider dissemination of the Earth Charter vision and mission possible among all sectors of the Tajik civil society, and has led to new educational opportunities and activities. In 2009, the Ministry of Education of Tajikistan approved the launch of a series of pilot Earth Charter lessons in secondary schools of Dushanbe. The first lesson took place in school N1 for forty students of the 8th grade, and it followed by another 15 lessons once a week, (16 lessons in total, and each lesson covering a corresponding principle of the Earth Charter). The first lesson was received with great enthusiasm by teachers and students.

There was one Earth Charter Youth Group in Tajikistan, called ECYG Dushanbe: “Live Earth”. They joined the Earth Charter Youth network in December 2008. This group’s mission was to raise awareness about the Earth Charter among Tajik youth and to promote Earth Charter values and principles into the national educational system.

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Switzerland

The Earth Charter has been used in Switzerland since at least 2009. There is an Earth Charter Schweiz website that has contact information and

In 2014, Earth Charter Switzerland was active around Switzerland making presentations of the Earth Charter, co-sponsoring events, offering workshops, and participating in public events. EC Switzerland was present again at the LifeFair, co-sponsored a film screening “The Vanishing of the Bees”, offered workshops at the Social and Environmental Forum, and presented the Earth Charter to children.

In 2013, Earth Charter Schweiz was very active with representatives making appearances, facilitating workshops, collaborating with other organizations, and participating in international sustainable development dialogues. Some of the activities of EC Schweiz in 2013 include co-organizing the 12th LifeFair Forum on the Green Economy in Zurich, collaborating with Greenpeace Switzerland on educational initiatives, and participating in a national dialogue to determine the Swiss position on the post-2015 sustainable development agenda. In 2013, the Earth Charter was presented to hundreds of people at different venues and from a variety of communities including faith groups, private sector groups, and other NGOs.

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Sweden

The Earth Charter has been known in Sweden since at least the year 2000. In June of that year, Green Cross Sweden conducted Earth Charter Empowerment workshops during the Global Environmental Youth Convention. Over 400 youth representatives from all over the world attended the workshops. Basic Earth Charter presentations were made. In December 2002 Ảre Municipality became the first municipality to endorse the Charter in the Country. Green Cross Sweden has been taking a very active role in promoting the Earth Charter in Sweden.

Barbro Holmberg, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, is a former Earth Charter Council member.

On April 26th, 2014, The Earth Charter was highlighted at the celebration of the 20th anniversary of Green Cross Sweden and the GCS Annual Event: A Journey through Global Challenges to Human Consciousness, held in Göteborg, Sweden. The keynote speaker was Drubpon Konchog Khandro-la, a nun of the Drikung Kagyu tradition of Buddhism, from the nomadic territory of Drikung. The event was attended by approximately 150 people. GCS also continued working with the Green Belt Movement and the collaboration on the Peaceful Transitions project supported the production and distribution 1,000 copies of the Earth Charter Declaration to schools, where approximately 2,000 school children and parents were trained on the principles of the guidelines of the Charter in Kenya.

In June 2007 and 2008 the Earth Charter featured at the Tällberg Forum, an annual gathering held in the Swedish region of Dalarna, which has emerged as a premier global conference in the field of sustainability. The Earth Charter received significant and increasing attention at the Tällberg Forum 2007. Ruud Lubbers, a member of both the Earth Charter Commission and a founding member of the Earth Charter International Council, was a prominent plenary speaker, and his mention of the Earth Charter was picked up by a number of others, including Tällberg Founder Bo Ekman. The Charter was also the subject of a number of discussions during plenary sessions and workshops.

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Spain

SpainIn October 2000, the Earth Charter Catalonian Committee was formally created, with agreement upon a constitutional document endorsing the Charter. The Earth Charter was translated into Catalonian. In the same year, Vivim Plegats (Living Together), a multicultural program for peace and cooperation established in 2000 by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Department of Social Welfare of the Balearic Islands, started to use the Earth Charter as an educational tool. They developed adaptations of the Earth Charter to children and youth for teachers to use it in their classrooms. The Earth Charter has since come to be used by different organizations in Spain since its introduction in 2000.

In 2014, ECI Affiliate Values Foundation organized one Conference and two Seminars with approximately 300 people. The seminars were called “Impulses for a better world”, under the slogan “The Earth Charter in Action”. The first seminar took place on 5 April in Soria, and the second one on 18 October in Huelva. The annual Conference that Values Foundation organized was called “Projects and Utopias for a better world”. 2014 was the 8th time that they put the Conference together under the theme: “Living without fear, can you imagine it?”

In 2013, Values Foundation organized two conferences:

  • “The Earth Charter works. The path of the heart”, in March.
  • “The Earth Charter: Finding our inner strength. Living without fear”, in October.

Find all the details on the wealth of information and inspiration from these conferences through this link. Another activity that Values Foundation organized with the Earth Charter was the 7th edition of the Projects and Utopias for a better world Conference, on April 13th and 14th, 2013 in Vitoria‐Gasteiz. This conference focused on showing and discussing solutions for a more sustainable way of living. Finally, another important activity to report from Values Foundation in Spain is the training programme that they organized called “Emotional Intelligence through the Earth Charter”. This programme was created as a response to a request from professors of a school in Madrid (Colegio de Ensenanza Infantil y Primaria “La Rioja”). The Department of Education of the University of Granada continued to use the Earth Charter in five undergraduate courses and in many other graduate level courses in 2013. They’research with students. For example, the thesis called “Experiential learning for the development of Earth Charter values, a study for primary school” (“El aprendizaje vivencial para el desarrollo de valores de la Carta de la Tierra. Un estudio en educacion primaria”) was presented in September 2013. In this paper, the research team proposed a series of educational activities to promote Earth Charter values in primary schools.

In 2008, the Avalon Foundation used the Earth Charter in two parallel activities: One is through the organization of activities aimed at the general public and, the second is for the 150 volunteers within the Foundation, through the six workshop training program “Education for Peace”. Also the Earth Charter was presented in several primary and secondary schools as well as universities in Seville, Huelva and Valencia. These sessions were carried out in the Faculty gardens, and all teachers and students were involved in the activities.

In June 2007 Fundacion Valores held its third annual conference, entitled “Projects and Utopias for a better world”. This series of conferences provides an opportunity to reflect on the Earth Charter principles, as well as on processes of education for sustainable development and values-based education. It is also meant to promote knowledge-sharing about what different organizations from Spain are doing regarding these issues. As a result of their efforts the University of Granada has incorporated the Earth Charter in various projects including courses in the department of education.

In April 2006, Fundacion Valores organized its 2nd Congress “Proyectos y Utopias para un Mundo Mejor” (Projects and Utopias for a better World), with the objective to engage individuals and organizations in exploring ways to use and promote the Earth Charter in their sphere of influence. This very successful event, held at the Palacio de Congresos Municipal Campo de las Naciones Unidas de Madrid, included the participation of Leonardo Boff, Federico Mayor, and students of Universidad de Granada. They organized a number of activities (such as forums and educational workshops) to engage different groups of Spanish society with the Earth Charter.

Foro Soria 21, founded at an event in March 2001 in which HRH Prince of Asturias and Maurice Strong participated, has been incorporating the Earth Charter as part of its activities and numerous events organized with the purpose of promoting awareness and use of the Earth Charter. Foro Soria 21 encourages public authorities and the private sector toward long-term commitment to sustainability through the lenses of the Earth Charter. Mr. Amalio de Marichalar, the head of Foro Soria 21, has taken part in a number of Earth Charter International events and incorporates the Charter as part of his efforts.

For more information about the activities in Spain, please see their country
website: www.cartadelatierra.es

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Scotland

In October 2003 Scotland’s Second Earth Charter Community Summit took place. It was organized by members of Earth Charter Scotland in conjunction with Fife Council, Benarty Regeneration Action Group, the Lochore Country Meadows Country Park Rangers, as well as Rev. Monica Michelin-Salomon from TIBAL, an interfaith organization. The main theme of the event was “Propagating the Seeds of Change”. Action for change, a local NGO, has been promoting the Earth Charter through its activities for a number of years.  In the education field Duns Primary School is using the Earth Charter to help build intercultural bridges. More information about this here.

An Earth Charter Student Group was formed in the UK in September 2009.

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Serbia

An Earth Charter Youth Group called ECYG KRIO was established in Serbia in June 2008. Youth group’s mission was to encourage and support young people to take an active role in building sustainable world, based on respect for nature, civil, social, and economic justice, culture of peace for current and future generations.

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Tatarstan (a constituent Republic of the Russian Federation)

In 2001, following the initiative of the president of Tatarstan, the parliament of Tatarstan adopted a resolution endorsing the Earth Charter. As such Tatarstan’s government, a multi-ethnic semi-autonomous Republic, adopted the Charter and uses the document in a variety of ways. The official ceremony, held in April 2001, was followed by the international conference with participation of the Earth Charter Commissioners, Kamla Chowdry, Mirian Vilela (Executive Director of the Earth Charter International Secretariat), Earth Charter activists from Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Belorussia, as well as focal points from various countries and regions of the world.

In 2005, a beautifully illustrated coffee-table book “Earth Charter in Tatarstan” was published. The first edition was presented to the delegates in Amsterdam at the “Earth Charter +5” conference in November 2005.

In 2007, an Earth Charter meeting took place in Tatarstan, where the President, the Prime Minister, and many top officials and ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the Earth Charter. The Earth Charter Guidebook for Teachers was translated from English into Russian and Tatar and was published by the Ministry of Education of Tatarstan. It is widely used in the secondary schools of the Republic.

The Tatarstan Republic Academy of Sciences worked out an innovative historical-architectural program promoting the Charter, by which parks, monuments, natural reserves, and even highways will bear the name of the Earth Charter to raise the awareness of the wider public. In 2008, the Volga Regional Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development was inaugurated at the Tatar State University for Liberal Arts in Kazan.

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