The Urban Life and Environment Research Group of Simon Bolivar University has been very actively implementing different educational initiatives with the Earth Charter since 2012. In 2014, their activities included an Earth Charter workshop for community leaders in a Unit called “Towards a sustainability culture in businesses, working with the Earth Charter”. This Unit is part of a Certification Program on Sustainable Development for business entrepreneurs. They also include the Earth Charter in four graduate courses.
A student from the Sustainable Development Certification Program developed a research project called “Development of a country label strategy in Venezuela, under the framework of sustainable development and the Earth Charter”.
Another student from this University, María Elisa Febres, worked at the ECI Secretariat in 2013-14 to develop a database that correlated international legal instruments with the Earth Charter.
In 2000, the National Earth Charter Committee was established in Trinidad and Tobago, through an initiative of the tropical Re-Leaf Foundation. The committee was composed of representatives from different organizations and from all major sectors: indigenous people groups, women, youth, farmers, the business community, and academia.
In 2011, the Cropper Foundation, in collaboration with the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO and the UNESCO Office for the Caribbean, organized a regional workshop for the Caribbean, on Education for Sustainable Development in Port of Spain, capital of Trinidad and Tobago. The ECI Secretariat was invited to present the Earth Charter in one of the plenary talks on good practices.
In 2008, Asociación Cultural Pirámide (Pyramid Cultural Association) and Earth Charter Peru (a group of five people) started to be engaged in the Earth Charter Initiative with the objective to raise awareness about the Earth Charter and promote its use in various spheres of action.
In 2010, the Jesuit University or Peru, Antonio Ruiz de Montoya University, offered an Earth Charter Course within the university extension courses. The course was called “Earth Charter: Current Global Situation and the New Paradigms. Exchange of Experiences for a Balanced World.”
In January 2013, the Earth Charter was presented for the first time on the Island of Nevis by Nicole Helene Augusta Slack, a University for Peace student who also works as Health Planner and Health Educator with the Nevis Island Administration. Nicole organized several workshops, one targeted for children and youth, another for university undergraduates from the University of Virginia visiting the Island, and a third for a religious community.
Activities around the Earth Charter started in Mexico in early 1998, through radio programs and sustainability forums. The Consultative Council for Sustainable Development (NCSD) initially coordinated the activities with the Earth Charter in this country.
In 2000, NCSD from Mexico contributed to the dissemination of the Earth Charter through its national network. The Earth Charter was used in the elaboration of an Environmental Program of the State of Michoacán. Also, the Municipality of Morelia promoted the active participation of civil society in the implementation of the city Program for Sustainable Development where the Earth Charter was incorporated.
The Earth Charter was formally introduced in this country in 2002, following the official support that President Vicente Fox offered to the Earth Charter during the Johannesburg Summit.
In November 2003, the first national gathering on ethics for sustainability took place in Morelia under the theme, “Educating for a Sustainable Way of Life with the Earth Charter”. The event included political support from all levels of government including the Ministry of the Environment and the State Government of Michoacán, he State Council of Ecology organized it.
In 2014, Mateo Castillo, who is one of the main coordinators of the EC Mexican Network, offered 14 workshops and organized 10 Conferences around Mexico. In addition, there were EC activities in 12 Mexican States that included more than 50 workshops, 14 conferences, numerous radio spots, extension and certification programmes, and several publications. The activities in total counted thousands of participants all over Mexico.
In 2013, the Earth Charter Mexican Network was formally launched, with the aim to help with the implementation and follow up of Earth Charter activities in this country. This network is composed by focal points from each State, and is coordinated by the Social Participation and Transparency Unit of the Ministry of Environment (SEMARNAT). The first meeting to establish this network took place in early November 2013, in Aguascalientes.
The National Chamber of Industries (CANACINTRA) in Mexico City formalized its endorsement of the Earth Charter in 2013. CANACINTRA, with more than 50,000 members, publically expressed its commitment to using and promoting the Earth Charter as a reference and guide in its decision-making processes and work programmes. Other Mexican companies that endorsed the Earth Charter in 2013 are Delta Development Group and Madisa CAT.
The Municipality of Aguascalientes is an example of a local government that has been using the principles of the Earth Charter for their strategic planning, policies and projects. In this video, the Mayor Mrs. Lorena Martinez (2011-2013), explains how they’ve been putting the Earth Charter into action.
In October 2007, the 4th National Earth Charter gathering took place in Monterrey. In April 2007, in connection with a special national ceremony for
Earth Day, which was hosted and keynoted by the President of the Republic, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa. Mexico’s Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Education entered into a formal agreement to collaborate in the dissemination of the Earth Charter throughout Mexico’s educational system. The agreement also marked a formal adoption of the UN Decade for Education for Sustainable Development (“DESD”), which ECI has partnered with UNESCO to
promote. The agreement was personally signed by Mexico’s Secretary of Environment, Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada, and Secretary of Education, Josefina Vazquez Mota.
Several leading Mexican NGOs and institutes have endorsed the Charter since the year 2000. More than 130 academic institutions have endorsed the Earth Charter, including every single one of Mexico’s 74 technical schools and institutions.
See the Earth Charter youth activism in Mexico here.
In 1998, the Earth Charter was part of an effort that launched a national commitment document titled “Ethics, Transparency and Sustainable Development”. The Government and civil society representatives elaborated on it with the purpose of stimulating understanding of a series of ethical values based on the vision for sustainable development to help generate a deep process of change. This declaration included the commitment of the country to implement Agenda 21 and the Earth Charter.
During 1999 and 2000, the National Council for Sustainable Development (CONADES) organized a series of seminars and workshops in various parts of the country. The principles of the Earth Charter were discussed in these activities, to foster its implementation at all levels.
In Guatemala, the Nature Conservation and Community Development Organization (ORCONDECO) created and implemented the Environmental and Cultural Scholar Education Programme, with Maya Q’eqchi’ children and youth in 56 schools of the Lachuá Ecoregion. The aim of this programme is to create awareness about the value of life and sacred nature. They have integrated the Earth Charter in the programme since 2010 and continue to use it actively. In 2014, they added new Earth Charter resources for the programme, including a youth poster.
Intiwasi Foundation, located at Baños de Agua Santa, Ecuador, was one of the Earth Charter promoters in this country. In 2010, this organization created the Earth Charter Gigantographies exhibition, which is an exhibition of huge pictures of EC principles that were exhibited in different museums in Ecuador. Along with this exhibition, they organized a number of workshops to reinforce the message of the exhibition.
In 1998, PRONATURA convened a group of individuals and organizations to form a National Earth Charter Committee that would help raise awareness about the Earth Charter and put together a collective contribution to the Earth Charter consultation process. Their effort to promote the Earth Charter included developing and disseminating programs for television and radio and various workshops.
In 2000, the Earth Charter Committee continued disseminating the Earth Charter through a series of Earth Charter articles, which were published in newspapers and magazines that year. The Poveda Center also joined this effort to support the Initiative through education programs in schools.
During the official state government interventions at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, held in Johannesburg, the Dominican Republic’s government affirmed, “As is evident, our commitment to sustainable development is a practical and real commitment, practiced every day and supported by an ethical conception of development. It is for this reason that we also want to state that the Dominican Republic supports the principles established in the Earth Charter that put people and the natural environment ahead of short-term economic interests.”
In 2014, a network of organizations that work with people with disabilities in Dominican Republic (called La Red Iberoamericana de Entidades de Personas con Discapacidad Física en la República Dominicana) published an environmental education material that is based on the Earth Charter.
In 2008, the University Pedro Enríquez Ureña offered two orientation courses for teachers, in the framework of a Post-Graduate Program for Teachers of the Ministry of Education. Sixty teachers from different regions of the country participated.
Transformative Teaching and Learning with the Earth Charter
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.