South Africa

In 1999, a special regional Earth Charter Consultation workshop was held in Cape Town with the participation of the Deputy Mayor of Cape Town. The meeting brought individuals and organizations from Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Uganda, and Zimbabwe together and generated significant contributions to the drafting process of the Earth Charter.

In 2002, a number of Earth Charter activities were organized during the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg. As a result, the first draft of the official declaration included the following reference in paragraph 13: “recognition of the relevance posed in the Earth Charter”. On the last day of the Summit in closed-door negotiations among government officials, the reference to the Earth Charter was deleted from the Political Declaration.

At this Summit, the Ubuntu Alliance on Education for Sustainable Development was formed and members signed the Ubuntu Declaration, which expresses full endorsement of the Earth Charter. Earth Charter and Ark of Hope workshops were also held during the Summit, under the leadership of Sally Linder. Workshop facilitators went into the black settlements of Soweto, Zandsprite, and Diepsloot, where they spent over a week sharing the vision of the Earth Charter with children and young people and had discussions with them through dialogue and art about their hopes and aspirations for the future.

In 2007, Professors of the Environmental Education and Sustainability Unit at Rhodes University began to use the Earth Charter as the theoretical framework for an Environmental Education, Ethics and Action research program. The professors introduced new methodologies for enhancing the use of the Earth Charter to stimulate dialogue and for addressing ethical dilemmas.