International Earth Charter Conference at the Brazilian Senate

The“Coloquio Internacional de la Carta de la Tierra” (International Earth Charter Colloquium), was held at the Brazil Federal Senate on May 7th, 2012. The colloquium’s purpose was to discuss the Earth Charter as a source of ethical principles in the development and interpretation of national law, and in particular the contribution of the Earth Charter’s principles to nature conservation and environmental protection.

Speakers at the event included the Brazil environment Minister Izabella Teixeira, Senator Rodrigo Rollemberg (President of the Environment Committee, Consumer Protection, Supervision, and Control, CMA), Luiz Fernando Kreiger Merico (Director IUCN Brazil Office), Leonardo Boff (Earth Charter Commissioner), Brendan Mackey (ECI co-Chair, Professor Griffith University Australia), Minister Herman Benjamin (Superior Court, Professor at the Catholic University of Brasilia), Ruud Lubbers (ECI Honorary co-Chair), Cristovam Buarque (Senator of the Republic, PDT-DF), José Carlos Carvalho (Ex-minister for Environment), and Jorge Viana (Senator of the Republic, PT-AC).

Presentations by Ruud Lubbers and Brendan Mackey covered the origins of the Earth Charter, the drafting process, and the global consultations that underpinned its creation. Minister Benjamin revealed how the Earth Charter’s principles related to the Brazilian Constitution. Leonardo Boff provided insights into the philosophical basis of the Earth Charter as an ethic of care. The environment Minister and Senators helped place the Earth Charter in the current context of the environmental, social, and economic challenges facing Brazil, and the need for a holistic and ethical approach as articulated in the Earth Charter.

The event was organized by the Commission on Environment, Consumer Protection, Supervision and Control of the Senate, in collaboration with IUCN’s Environmental Law Commission and Earth Charter International.