City of Munich endorses the Earth Charter

By unanimous vote, the Munich City Council officially endorsed the Earth Charter on Oct. 25, 2006, acting on a petition filed by the Ecological Democratic Party. Joachim Schwanck, spokesperson of the Department of Health and Environment, introduced and supported the petition to the councillors.

The official resolution statement reads, “The regional capital Munich endorses the Earth Charter and supports its aims by striving to promote and implement it.” The vote came two weeks after the Municipal Committee on Environment unanimously adopted the Charter.

The draft resolution that Mr. Schwanck presented to the Council supports the endorsement with the following arguments (as translated from German):

Sustainable Development requires a change of consciousness and behaviour to bring about the necessary deep transformations of our lifestyles. The Earth Charter is the first document that expresses globally accepted ethical principles for a sustainable treatment of the Earth and integrates them into a global code of behaviour and conduct for sustainable development.

The endorsement will officially and internationally express Munich’s accordance with and support of the values and aims of the Earth Charter, and will document the leading role of Munich in regards to sustainability.

In addition, the draft resolution lists the following ways how Munich could make beneficial use of the Earth Charter:

  • It could promote the Earth Charter in the German Association of Cities and Towns (“Deutscher Staedtetag”)
  • By relating the Charter to the corresponding sustainability aims of the municipality, the Earth Charter could be translated into concrete actions
  • The Charter could be used as an integrating framework for Munich’s Local Agenda 21 Process (LA21)
  • The Charter could be used as an educational tool in the Local DESD-Campaign that has been initiated by the LA 21 Initiative of Munich’s banks, educational institutions and related municipal agencies
  • The Charter could be used as a tool for assessing the conduct of Organizations, Institutions and Businesses