The Earth Charter has been well-known in Italy since before its launch in 2000 as several consultation meetings on the draft of the Earth Charter were held there and the Italians were active in promoting the nascent Earth Charter document.
In 2000, Pro Natura, the Italian National Federation For Nature, organized a nationwide dissemination campaign of the Earth Charter, which included ten conferences held in various Italian cities to present the document and promote the Italian Earth Charter website. With the support of the Ministry of Environment, Pro Natura developed a CD-ROM with information about the Earth Charter, which has been widely distributed to schools throughout Italy.
In June 2003, an international Earth Charter in action meeting was held in Urbino, which brought together key Earth Charter partners to develop a two-year action plan. The event was sponsored by the Earth Charter International Secretariat, the Center for the respect of Life and environment and the city of Urbino. During that time the Mayor of the City of Urbino was very supportive of the Earth Charter and the city formally endorsed the Charter.
For over 10 years, the ECI Affiliate Italian Committee for Earth Charter (Comitato Italiano Carta Della Terra) has organized a nationwide dissemination campaign of the Earth Charter, which involves several conferences held in various Italian cities to present the document and promote the EC Italian website. Some members of the Italian Committee gave conferences in schools and universities and distributed thousands “Carta Della Terra” CD Rom to students with the support and sponsorship of “COBAT – Consorzio Nazionale Raccolta Riciclo” (the National Consortium to Recycle Wastes). The Earth Charter CD Rom contains a video, many relevant documents, Earth Charter articles, the history of the Earth Charter, photos, and other useful information for students of primary and secondary school. A similar effort takes place every year, where the Italian Committee prints approximately 5,000-10,000 CD Roms, depending on sponsors. Corrado María Daclon from Pro Natura published an article on EC+10 at the COBAT (Consorzio Nazionale Raccolta Riciclo) magazine.
In 2013, several EC events took place in Italy. Green Cross Italy, an ECI Affiliate, once again held its Earth Charter Youth Contest, this year for the 21st time. This environmental education initiative was co-organized in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Education. The aim is to teach and inspire youth to become environment superheroes and find solutions to our Earth’s problems. This year’s theme was focused on one of the biggest problems humanity faces today: “Inizia da te: l’acqua (It starts with you: water)”. In March 2013, the Italian Earth Charter Committee, in collaboration with the Italian Japan Foundation and under the patronage of the Japanese Embassy to Italy and the Japanese Embassy to the Holy See, co-organized a photo exhibition to remember the destruction of Civitavecchia in 1943 and the destruction of Ishinomaki in 2011. The event was attended by several hundred visitors, many from local schools in Rome. The Altaura Farm, an Earth Charter endorser in Italy, held an event in February 2013 that heavily featured the Earth Charter. The event was also in support of organic farming using self-produced organic seeds. The event featured a guided proposal for organic seed exchange led by Dr. Silvia Ferro of an association called Diversamentebio.
Fondazione Cogeme Onlus has been actively involved in the Earth Charter Initiative since 2002, organizing numerous initiatives to promote and disseminate the Earth Charter. For example, in November 2007 Fondazione organized an international event in Castegnato, Brescia, entitled “In the circle of creation: Education and wisdom of native people”. The purpose was to promote a better understanding of the American native people and for participants to consider the Earth Charter as an educational tool. A presentation about the Earth Charter was included as part of this event. In the following years Fondazione organized many other events as different moments of reflection regarding sustainability and the educational potential of the Earth Charter, working on educational processes and using the Earth Charter as a reference document to determine a shared structure for the “Piano dell’Offerta Formativa” (POF) or curriculum proposal oriented towards the key-competences for a sustainable citizenship. This has involved ambitious projects for ambitious challenges: to orient, the basic education focused on future citizens, that could be able not only to face the present challenges but also to predict future ones.
There are various ways to achieve these ends:
• university student internships
• graduation thesis
• voluntary work experience and/or voluntary service
• conventions with universities
• ties to other institutions.
In 2015, Fondazione Cogeme began a new project called “Festival Carta Della Terra”. This festival was organized for the first time in collaboration with 5 local communities and other associations/institutions from 11 October to 14 November 2015. In 2016, Fondazione Cogeme focused its activities on the second edition of this festival to increase and improve environmental policies, and to encourage best practices inspired by the values of the Circular Economy. EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy establishes a concrete and ambitious programme of action, with measures covering the whole cycle: from production and consumption to waste management and the market for secondary raw materials. The proposed actions will contribute to “closing the loop” of product lifecycles through greater recycling and re-use, and bring benefits for both the environment and the economy. Fondazione Cogeme won a call for tenders sponsored by Fondazione Cariplo (Milano) with a project titled “Verso un’economia circolare” (towards circular economy).
In 2015, Terra nel Cuore Association (The Earth in the Heart Association), organized an Earth Day meeting that was attended by approximately 250 students. The Association also organized two teacher training sessions on the Earth Charter.
The organization Centro Studi per la Pace Onlus (The Center for the Study of Peace, CSPACE) organized a school-year long project for five middle-schools on the Earth Charter. The programme was very successful and reached seven classes, around 100 students.
The Gaia Project of Education on global awareness and psychosomatic health has also used the Earth Charter in its education programme. Watch here Gaia Project (5) – Ethics and Universal Principles: a Film on ethics and Universal Principles. The Gaia Project of Education was approved and financed by the Ministry of Labor and Social Policies; in collaboration with UNESCO – FICLU Italian Federation of Clubs and UNESCO Center: