Earth Charter Events in the Netherlands towards the end of 2013

The Netherlands is a hotspot of Earth Charter activity with a variety of events and activities inspiring different sectors of society. Here are some of the highlights of Earth Charter events in the Netherlands at the end of last year.


On December 19, Earth Charter Netherlands organized the meeting “The Earth Charter in Action” at the Peace Palace in The Hague, where the Earth Charter was launched 13 years ago.

The network meeting focused on business and centered on the following question: How can you, as an individual, make an active contribution to the solutions to global issues using the Earth Charter?

Participants were given the opportunity to exchange knowledge and experiences on how they use the Earth Charter as a compass for their actions and were inspired by plenary contributions by Ruud Lubbers (Earth Charter Commissioner and former Prime Minister of the Netherlands), Volkert Engelsman (CEO Eosta), Ralien Bekkers (UN Youth Representative for Sustainable Development), Jan van de Venis (Chair, Stand Up for Your Rights, lawyer, and World Connector), and Avraham Soetendorp (Earth Charter Commissioner). Eveline Fokker provided the musical entertainment and Ama van Dantzig (Dr. Monk) was responsible for moderating the event.

The messages of the speakers and participants were: fight cynicism, work together, think in systems, and celebrate life!

Photographs by Petra van der Ham


‘It Starts with One’, was the slogan used for an inspiration day on December 10th, 2013 in De Horst, Driebergen, The Netherlands. The leadership event was organized by Geke Kiers and her organization, L’ Esprit. The slogan was launched in 2010 by the Earth Charter International Council as the central theme for the celebrations of the 10-year anniversary of Earth Charter, to inspire Earth Charter +10 events and dialogues around the world. Based on discussion in the Council about the meaning of ‘It Starts with One’  the poem was drafted by Fernanda Baumhardt (Brazil), Steven Rockefeller (USA), Kartikeya Sarabhai (India), and Alide Roerink (The Netherlands).

The speakers at the event included Earth Charter Commissioner Ruud Lubbers, Claudete da Costa from Brazil, Earth Charter Friends Geke Kiers, Alide Roerink, Bart Kuil, and Lynn Zebeda. Inspired by the slogan “It Starts with One”, a song by Jazz Singer Astrid Seriese and guitarist Erwin van Lugten was composed especially for this inspiration day on leadership for managers and coaches.


A list consisting of 100 young front runners in the Netherlands in the field of sustainability was launched on November 15 in Amsterdam. The list, which was fully published by one of the largest Dutch newspapers, is an initiative of Earth Charter Endorser ‘DJ100’. Together with Earth Charter Affiliate NCDO, DJ100 organised a launch party in a club in Amsterdam. During this event, which was attended by around 150 innovators in the field of sustainability, attention was paid to the principles and the global network of the Earth Charter.

Photos by Annemarijne Bax

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