The Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) Comission – Integral Ecology of the Confederation of Latin American and Caribbean Religious (CLAR) organized a “Seminar on Integral Ecological Conversion,” which was held in San José, Costa Rica, between the 29 November and 1 December 2019.
The Earth Charter International Secretariat was invited to participate in this seminar, specifically in a panel on “Concrete Actions to Take Care of the Planet (on global, territorial, community, personal scales), and under the theme: “The Earth Charter. Planetary ethics.”
The 22 Conferences of Latin America and the Caribbean Religious were invited to this seminar, of which 46 religious from 14 countries participated.
Alicia Jiménez delivered the presentation on the Earth Charter. The majority in the audience did not know about the Charter, so it was a good opportunity to expand its audience. In addition to sharing about the history of the drafting of the Earth Charter, and its ethical basis, some of the main similarities or coincidences between the Encyclical Laudato Si’ (LS), written by Pope Francis and launched in 2015, and the Earth Charter (EC) were highlighted:
- Care ethics, where the Encyclical makes a call to cultivate and guard with responsibility the creation, with special attention those living in deep poverty. - Concept of being “a single human family” (Preamble to the EC; LS 13; 52);
- Principle of responsibility, which the EC mentions as universal and differentiated responsibility (Preamble), and the Encyclical as a diversified responsibility, in relation to climate change (LS 52).
- Notion of interdependence and intrinsic value of living beings (LS 86, 140, 164; Preamble, EC Principle 1a).
- Commitment to the common good as a central and unifying principle in social ethics (LS Section IV, Chapter IV; EC Principle 2b). - Precautionary principle (LS 186; EC Principle 6).
- Justice with future generations (LS 22, 53, 67, 109, 169, section V of Chapter IV); EC Principle 4a and the Preamble).
- Concept of extended peace (includes inner peace) (LS 225; EC Principle 16f).
The presentation concluded in recalling that one of the challenges mentioned by Pope Francis in the Encyclical Laudato Si’ is in the importance of accompanying current technological growth and education processes with the development in values and consciousness of the human being. The Earth Charter International has recognized this challenge, and for this reason since 2003 it has promoted the integration of values and ethical reflection in educational processes. More than 180,000 people have participated directly in training of the Earth Charter International, based in Costa Rica. Thousands more people are trained through the educational processes carried out by different members of the global Earth Charter network.
You can find the Final Message of this Seminar here (available in Spanish).