An educational program of UMAPAZ with the Earth Charter

Umapaz (Open University of Enviornment, and Peace Culture) of the Municipality of Sao Paulo, Brazil, has recently graduated the eleventh cohort of the educational program “Earth Charter in Action”. This is a training program for urban socio-environmental agents who form, with Umapaz, a network whose mission is to transform the city of Sao Paulo towards sustainability. The Earth Charter has been used in this program as an ethical framework and an action tool for contributing to building a better city.

The Earth Charter is and has always been one of the main references for the Department of Environmental Education at the Municipality of Sao Paulo, and has been incorporated in this program not only as a teaching and learning tool, but as an inspirational and ground document for rethinking the city and citizenship as well. According to Gadotti (2010), the Earth Charter promotes a new sense of global interdependence and shared responsibility among world citizens, and challenges us to examine our own values and ethical
principles. It is an opportunity for making new alliances and agreements.

During these five years, participants of this program have demonstrated to be agents of change, partners, and collaborators in this network of actions in the name of the city of Sao Paulo. The program has helped to realize that the Earth Charter is and will remain a reference point in the field of urban socio-environmental agents’ training, especially because of its great potential for converging ideas for transformation and dialogue concerning different contexts and needs. The city still needs references and people interested in being part of this process of rethinking urban space and creating new models of action.

UMAPAZ and the city of Sao Paulo are interested in the continuity of this training program, and in the efforts made for extending this network of change.