Earth Charter Youth Initiative Coming of Age

The Earth Charter Youth Initiative (ECYI) is experiencing renewed growth and activity. We are especially grateful to the generosity of Plan Netherlands for providing the funding necessary to take the Initiative to a new strategic level.


• The ECYI page is becoming more interactive and informative

• New Earth Charter Youth Groups are being formed in many countries

• ECYI is establishing new partnerships are being made with regional and global youth networks

• We are development new programs including a guide to support to youth in getting engaged in global governance, an online leadership training, and even a micro-grant program to support high-impact projects


Dominic Stucker, the International Youth Coordinator and Leah Wener, World Leadership Corps Fellow, have worked closely with Michael Slaby, the former International Youth Coordinator in supporting the growth and ensuring the high quality of the ECYI. Alan AtKisson, our Executive Dirctor, Core Group members and other ECYI leaders have been consulted throughout the development process, to ensure that Earth Charter Youth engagement is fully integrated into Earth Charter International’s core strategies.


The two Earth Charter Youth Initiative web pages now include one with information on joining the Youth Initiative, Core Group names and e-mail addresses, and youth contributions to the Earth Charter in Action book, while the other includes our active Youth Blog, a link to read and endorse the Earth Charter, and a list of our ECYGs by region with contact information. Among other features, we will initiate more in-depth profiles of each ECYG, complete with their photos, project reports, and project proposals.


Earth Charter Youth Groups

Our newest ECYGs are in Latvia, Finland, Peru, and two in Kenya. These are being formed at a rate of 1 each month, bringing our total to 18 ECYGs in 16 countries. We expect this rate to increase throughout 2007 as there are literally 2 dozen additional groups who have expressed an interest in joining. ECYGs are engaged in a range of meaningful sustainable development projects including:


• Promoting sustainable rural livelihoods in the Lake Victoria Basin

• Promoting alternative urban livelihoods in the slums outside of Nairobi

• Working to bridge the digital divide in Rwanda

• Organizing an Earth Charter Workshop for teachers and secondary school students in Ethiopia

• ECYG Coordinator from Congo participating in the Youth Caucus at CSD-15 in New York City and running an ECYI Information Desk

• Helping to rehabilitate child soldiers in Sierra Leone

• Translating the Earth Charter into Finnish

• Organizing a Europe-wide Earth Charter workshop for youth in Latvia

• Administering an environmental micro-grants program in China

• Promoting the MDG’s and sustainable lifestyles in the Philippines

• Advocating for sustainable river basin management in Canada

• Promoting alternative, renewable energies on US campuses

• Organizing a radio series on the Earth Charter in Mexico and the Philippines

• Beautifying parts of two cities in Peru with ecological murals

• Running Earth Charter workshops in Brazil



The youth staff at ECI are also reaching out to strategic youth networks and organizations to collaborate on projects and form partnerships. Three current examples include:


• The ECYI, as a member of the International Coordinating Committee, is collaborating with the Global Youth Action Network (GYAN) and Youth Service America (YSA) in promoting Global Youth Service Day on April 20-22nd. See www.gysd.net for more information.


• The ECYI is working closely with the United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY) in integrating an Earth Charter presentation into their Peacebuilding Trainings that they conduct for youth in the Netherlands, Europe, and Africa. See www.unoy.org for more information.


• In anticipation of the upcoming Youth Caucus held in conjunction with the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) conference at the UN in New York City, the ECYI is registering a Partnership for Sustainable Development with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division of Sustainable Development. Among other benefits, this will allow ECYI to request an Information Desk at CSD-15. See www.un.org/esa/sustdev/index.html for more information.


Strategic Programs

In addition to ECYGs and ECYI Partners, we are initiating three strategic programs that seek to empower youth to engage in local sustainable development projects and participate in global governance processes.


• E-GLO (Earth Charter Global Leadership Opportunity), an online leadership training for youth around the world, is in an early, though enthusiastic, phase of development.


• We have initiated research on youth participation in global sustainable development decision-making processes, which we plan to compile into a short, practical report.


• We are laying the foundation for an Earth Charter Micro Grants Program for Youth.


Thank you for your interest in our activities. I encourage you to “Post a Comment” below for all to read.


Dominic Stucker

Earth Charter International

International Youth Coordinator