China Archives - Earth Charter

Reflections as the New Earth Charter Youth Projects Coordinator

By: Christine Lacayo

My first month of work ends and I’m excited to share some of my reflections!

As the Earth Charter Youth Projects ChristineECCoordinator, my main responsibility is to motivate, guide, and engage young people to create a more just, sustainable and peaceful world. What is the best way to do this? I think the beauty of this position is the flexibility and creativity the job requires. I have the ability to incorporate my passions and interests to expand and create new opportunities and stories. I’m excited to bring my passion for visual media and writing to collect all Earth Charter Youth actions and stories that are taking place around the world. As an ocean advocate, I would also like to continue sensitizing my community members on the importance of taking care of our ocean ecosystems!

Some of the main projects I’m focusing on now include promoting our app Mapting, used to take pictures of actions related the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We have our next photo competition to celebrate International Day for Biological Diversity starting from 12-22 May.Mapting_FB_AD

I’m also facilitating our next online training programme for youth, Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics (LSE) starting 19 June. This 10-week course is designed to prepare and empower young people with the skills and knowledge to be effective ethical sustainability leaders and implement Earth Charter-inspired projects.

One of my favorite roles of my job is having a group of Earth Charter Young Leaders, those who have completed the LSE course, from all over the world. These leaders are from countries such as St. Lucia, Germany, Kenya, Nigeria, Japan, Netherlands, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Rwanda, and Spain, just to name a few! My responsibility is to support them along their year commitment as an Earth Charter Young Leader implementing activities and workshops in their community.

I’m also diving into the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Leadership Training Programme created by esd-training-flierEarth Charter International for the UNESCO Global Action Program (GAP) on ESD focusing on priority area number 4: empowering and mobilizing youth. The training is designed for young people from 18-35 who are active leaders in sustainable development in their communities.  At the beginning of July, I will be co-facilitating the training programme in Brasilia, Brazil for selected young leaders from across Latin America!

I’m very excited to start this dynamic new job not to mention the stunning nature views and sounds from my office! I’m happy to be back in the country I grew up visiting as my second home while promoting a more peaceful and sustainable world using the skills and knowledge I’ve gained from my studies and experiences!IMG_0032




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Earth Charter Manga publication in Chinese

EC-Manga Chinese SD voiceThe Earth Charter Manga, produced by the Earth Charter Japan Committee, has been a big success.  Now, there is a translation of this resource available in Chinese.  This translation and design has been done in installments, coordinated by the Earth Charter International Affiliate CEDS Asia, based in Hong Kong.

Calvin Yip is the Chinese student who has been doing the translation work, with several of his fellow students.  This resource was published in the magazine called SD Voice, page 25, and focuses on the topic of war and conflict.

This resource will be very useful during this year, considering Earth Charter International’s slogan for 2016: “Sowing a culture of peace”

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Promoting the Earth Charter in China

As part of the efforts to bring the attention of the Earth Charter to Chinese society, a first meeting of people interested or involved in the EC Initiative was held on July 23, 2014.  Among the participants were Government representatives, university professors and researchers, members of civil society, media and private sector organizations.

The meeting’s objectives were: a) to provide an opportunity for the Chinese experts, researchers and other members working on the Earth Charter to meet with each other and to learn their respective activities; and b) to discuss how to promote Earth Charter in China. 

ECI Council Member, Dr. Wang Hua, chaired the meeting, and Prof. Tian Qing offered a presentation on the rationales and principles of the Earth Charter as well as the EC participatory drafting and development processes. After Prof. Tian’s presentation, the participants discussed about how to promote the Earth Charter in China.

The participants first confirmed the importance of the Earth Charter for China as the application of EC values and principles will contribute to the on-going development of ecologic civilization and environmental, economic and social sustainability in China. The rationales and principles of the Earth Charter are consistent with the ecological civilization that China is building up and many of the EC principles can be used to direct the work of building ecological civilization in China.

The challenges that EC promotion may encounter in China were also discussed. One of them being the importance to further adapt into Chinese specific circumstances many of the concepts in the Earth Charter, through the process of writing, training and dissemination.  EC rationales and principles are consistent with Chinese governmental policies; however a good presentation suitable for the Chinese context is required at the beginning of EC activities in China.

The following are the main points agreed by the meeting’s participants: (1) Creating EC China network to disseminate and promote EC with good coordination; (2) Building EC promotion platform while taking advantage of new and high networking technologies; and (3) Involving both public and private partners including mobilizing private contributions to increase EC impacts while ensuring that EC China remains not-for-profit.  

These are specific activities to implement to reach the above mentioned agreements: 

  • Organization of a workshop on the Earth Charter (in 2015), expanding EC China network.
  • Creation of an EC China webpage, building the platform for EC dissemination, publication and training,
  • Exploration of a possible recognition of the Earth Charter by the Government in the context of ecological civilization development in China. 
  • Recruiting more people to join the Earth Charter China.

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Recovery of the Heart book

“Recovery of the Heart, Dialogues with People Working towards a Sustainable Beijing” is the title of the most recent book by Stephanie B. Tansey, a longtime supporter of the Earth Charter and Director of the Earth Charter Communities Network (ECCN). With ECCN, she has promoted the Earth Charter message through local community groups in Turkmenistan, Israel, Nigeria, and now in China. According to her, the methodologies she uses are very effective to promote dialogue and foster communications skills.

This book introduces nine extraordinary Beijingers, both Chinese and American, their struggles, passions, and why Chinese wisdom and values are interconnected with a future, sustainable Beijing. It is written as a dialogue between the author and these Beijingers, but it is also one between Chinese and Western thought on humanity’s relationship with nature.

Some of the Beijingers in this book have used the Earth Charter in their work. For example, Mac Fan was one of the founders of the New School of Collaborative Learning, in China. This school used the Earth Charter as a tool for intercultural dialogue. Mac Fan explains his experience with the Earth Charter in detail.

The book suggests that dialogue from the heart, expressed publicly and privately, will create a tangible synergy, and is the way to build a sustainable society in Beijing.

Find information about how to buy this book here.

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Activties of Earth Charter Taiwan, Province of China

Earth Charter Taiwan, Province of China continues to be very active in offering training programs for high school students, in the form of Conferences and support for project implementation.  

One of EC Taiwan, Province of China’s focuses is to train students to participate in Caretakers for the Environment International (CEI) Conferences. This project started since 2010, when Nancy Tzu Mei, from ECT, met Fatima Almeida, who is also an ECI Affiliate and is on the board of CEI.  Fatima invited Nancy and ECT to use CEI as motivation for students to get involved in sustainability actions.  

In 2012 ECT offered training to students from Ping-Pei Senior High School in preparation for CEI Conference.  This high school started the “Special Indigenous Program” after typhoon Morakot had destroyed numerous indigenous villages in August 2009. 

To select and train the candidates for CEI 2012, held in Maastricht, Netherlands; the school and Earth Charter Taiwan, Province of China organized two workshops – ‘Introduction of Environmental Education’ and ‘ Gunter Fables and Blue Economy’; and also hosted the conference – ‘Food and Agriculture in Environmental Education’ on Earth Day.
Under the guidance of senior indigenous teachers, 44 students conducted their individual research that focus on special food from their own tribe that could be harvested from the land or collected from the forest and the ocean. At the end, five students were selected to participate in CEI 2012, under the theme: ‘Securing Food for the Future by Learning from Indigenous Wisdom’.

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Invitation to online workshop on dialogue and communication skills

The Earth Charter International Secretariat in collaboration with Stephanie Tansey (read her bio in the second part of this article) is organizing an online workshop on dialogue and communication skills to promote sustainability.  

This workshop will take place on October 13th, 2011 at 13:00hrs GMT  (2:00pm London time, 9:00am New York time, 9:00 pm China time). 

Use this link to enter to the virtual meeting room:

Click on the ‘Launch Class’ button, the system will ask to type your name, please add your country too, only use alpha numeric characters (no space or symbols, e.g.  MaryCanada). 

In this workshop, Stephanie Tansey, a longtime supporter of the Earth Charter, will demonstrate how she has been teaching the principles of the Earth Charter and the methods she uses that have worked effectively in Turkmenistan, Israel, Nigeria, and now in China. 

Stephanie Tansey is part of the Earth Charter Communities Network (ECCN), an informal group of passionate educators who believe that just agreeing that the Earth Charter principles are critical to the whole community of life is not enough.  ECCN’s intent is to create communities where the principles become values for living wisely. To accomplish this goal, they have found that better dialogue skills, writing communication, community-building, and deepening the connection between our traditional cultural values and the values of a modern, sustainable society are critical. Participants discover that thinking, communicating and acting like a community of life has made their relationships improve, their writing is more effective, and their desire to support their community grows. In many cases their community changes for the better.

ECCN programs, in Israel from 2005, Nigeria from 2008 and China from 2009, are a work in progress as they are constantly creating and implementing new ways of practicing sustainability. As Stephanie Tansey said:  “This is the power of teaching the principles of the Earth Charter. People become global citizens who want to save the world and go out into their communities to help them get better”.

Stephanie Tansey is the director of Earth Charter Communities Network, an informal international network of people dedicated to nurturing self-educators to want to become global citizens. Today she teaches this program at Beijing Normal University’s Environmental Education Center, and at a village project in sustainable society-building in Henan, China.

In other countries, this program has helped to create a community education center in Turkmenistan, nurtures communication in adult and women’s groups in Israel and Nigeria, has transformed an at-risk school for the poor into a center of change of a whole community in Nigeria, and was the foundation for the beginning of a community enterprise in Nigeria. ECCN has handbooks for their programs in English, and one in Hebrew and Arabic coming out soon.

She was born and raised in Japan, has a B.A. from New York University in Humanities and an M.S in Japanese from Georgetown University. She began a Social Foundations of Education PhD program in University of Maryland College Park in 1991, but moved to Beijing and chose instead to establish the New School of Collaborative Learning (1993-2004).

The Earth Charter was the foundational document for the school mission which was to nurture global citizens. She began designing transformative education programs using the Earth Charter in 1999 in the Washington, DC area, at the SGI Imagine Peace Conference at the World Bank in 2001 and at an at-risk school in Fairfax, VA and has continued to develop her program to the needs of the countries she lived in with her husband Bob, then a U.S. Diplomat. Now living in Beijing again, believing that China could be a tipping point for the planet, she is dedicated to helping teachers and students awaken to their potential as transformational global citizens.

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3,400 visitors toured Seeds of Hope Exhibition in Malaysia

‘Seeds of Hope: Visions of Sustainability, Steps toward Change’
exhibition features the Earth Charter as part of the message it convenes.   This exhibition was held from 9 April till 1 May, 2011 at Wisma Kebudayaan Soka Gakkai Malaysia (SGM) in Kuala Lumpur, as one of the main activities for SGM’s Month of Sustainable Development in April 2011. More than 3,400 visitors, including many school children, toured the exhibition which was opened to public from 11.00am – 6.00pm daily for 23 days. There were 3 languages exhibition panels on displayed – namely Bahasa Malaysia (national language), English and Chinese for the convenient of visitors from different races. Many SGM volunteers were involved on duty, including exhibition guides and working committee, as well as student division and future division who have creatively organized many interactive games to enhance the exhibition.

The opening ceremony of ‘Seeds of Hope Exhibition’ on 10 April 2011 was attended by many guests and SGM members. SGM Youth Renaissance Choir performed 2 songs – ‘Hijau’ (Malay) and ‘????????????’ (Japanese) during the opening ceremony in which the lyrics carries the message of love to the Earth. SGM General-Director Mr Choo Kong Fei delivered his welcoming remarks and Celine Lee, a 13 year-old young girl from SGM Future Division presented a special message and poem to convey the children’s hope for the future world.

The guest of honour – YB Senator Tuan Gan Ping Sieu, Deputy Minister of Youth & Sports, then delivered his speech and declared the opening of the exhibition. YB Gan was impressed and expressed his appreciation to the SGM youth’s performance and voluntary effort in the event. He agreed with the ideal and effort of SGM in peace and sustainable development. Mr Choo presented a set of books as souvenir to YB Gan as token of appreciation.

Other invited guests including the Ambassador of Romania to Malaysia – Mr and Mrs Petru Petra; Prof. Tai Shzee Yew, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Universiti Putra Malaysia; Artists Dr. Cheah Thien Soong and Richard Wong; and many members from SGM. 

The exhibition was widely reported in major newspapers. The effort by SGM has impressed the invited guests and visitors:
Educational and I’m inspired by the collection of thoughts of noble people throughout the world.  It reinforces my humble belief that all human beings on this earth are trustees of our Earth.
–   YB Senator Tuan Gan Ping Sieu, Deputy Minister of Youth & Sports

Great works! Start with the young and hopefully they can influence their parents and neighbours. Congratulations!
–   Prof. Tai Shzee Yew, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Universiti Putra Malaysia

The “Seeds of Hope” exhibition and its related activities are part of the sustainable development education by Soka Gakkai Malaysia in building a culture of peace in Malaysian society. The exhibition will continue to tour and displays at various locations throughout the nation, including educational institutions like schools, colleges, universities as well as community centres.

Held under the backdrop of the Earth Charter’s “Seeds of Hope” Exhibition and hosted by the Youth Division from the Soka Gakkai Malaysia (SGM) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a Youth Forum was held on 24th April 2011, initiated by Andreanna Ten who attended the Earth Charter+10 Conference at Ahmedebad, India last year.

Inspired by the theme of the Earth Charter’s Exhibition: “It Starts With One”, The Youth Forum discussed how the youth can exert a meaningful influence on the current environmental issues faced by society, the Earth Charter’s inclusive ethical framework, its shared values and how it can contribute to the Rio+20 Earth Summit next year.

Find here the full report of this forum.

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New Affiliate from Hong Kong, China

The ECI Secretariat is pleased to announce that the Centre for Environment and Development Studies (CEDS) of Hong Kong, China, has joined the Earth Charter Initiative as an Affiliate.

CEDS provides planning, architecture and landscape architecture consultancy services in China including in Hong Kong, China.  Their mission is to deliver sustainable solutions for resolving issues concerning the built environment.

CEDS plans to use the Earth Charter in its Corporate Social Responsibility actions, and raise awareness about the Earth Charter with different audiences.

As part of their commitment to promote the Earth Charter, CEDS sponsored 3 outstanding youth leaders to attend the Earth Charter + 10 International Conference held at the Centre for Environmental Education at Ahmedabad, India on 1-3 November 2010.   CEDS will continue to provide capacity-building opportunities to more youth leaders.

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Report on EC+10 Taiwan, Province of China


Ancient Wisdom, Sustainable Future


Earth Charter Taiwan, Province of China Secretariat



Focusing principles of EC

    As an affiliate of ECI, TESA has been focusing on the following 5 principles:

4.b. Transmit to future generations values, traditions, and institutions that support the long-term flourishing of Earth human and ecological communities.

8.b. Recognize and preserve the traditional knowledge and spiritual wisdom in all cultures that contribute to environmental protection and human well-being.

9.c. Recognize the ignored, protect the vulnerable, serve those who suffer, and enable them to develop their capacities and to pursue their aspiration.

14.d. Recognize the importance of moral and spiritual education for sustainable living.

16.f Recognize that peace is the wholeness created by right relationships with oneself, other persons, other cultures, other life, Earth, and the larger whole of which all are a part.


Background Understanding of Ancient Wisdom and Modern Civilization

Ancient aboriginal culture is a totally different sphere apart from modern civilization. It is only possible to create a dialogue between the modern and the ancient on the very premise that our world today is indeed short of ancient wisdom.

Being stable in nature, ancient cultures have little negative impact on the environment. Modern societies on the contrary, act completely otherwise. If modern civilization keeps growing at its present speed, the first problem it will face is the exhaustion of natural resources.

Taiwanese indigenous people in the past held a sacred attitude towards nature. To them, nature belongs to a sacred domain and human beings are part of nature, just like trees, birds or animals, but never ruler of nature. Humans are to follow rules of nature, observe all species and learn from them how to co-exist with Mother Nature. Human beings depend on Earth’s resources for survival and therefore they should request permission to use these resources with a humble heart. The indigenous peoples’ idea is that humans are allowed and permitted to access nature by means of performing certain rituals. Here we can see a clear difference between traditional aboriginal society and modern society.

The respect for land disappeared when humans began to think that natural resources are easily acquired and utilized. The pride of being able to overcome nature makes humans take everything for granted, so they do not think the use of resources requires permission. In the meantime, humans also institutionalized political systems, transaction rules, state machines and even laws to facilitate their desires. All these look sensible, but as a matter of fact there is no ground for justification. Human beings can’t exploit natural resources at will, but such realization only comes with the result of deficiency, extinction and pollution of natural resources from overuse.

We would be wrong to believe the life we are living currently draws on both modern and ancient wisdom. This compels us to find another possibility, which may exist in ancient aboriginal cultures, or perhaps exists in a future that we need to shape together.

The greatest catastrophe facing modernity is that humans are living in a world without soil and making judgment based on abstract written language. We sincerely hope to awaken our society to the ancient indigenous wisdom with the fragrance of soil from nature.


Based on the above understanding, TESA accept the invitation of ECI secretariat to host the EC+10 conference in the Asia Pacific Area, with the title of “Ancient Wisdom, Sustainable Future”.


2010 Asia Pacific EC+10 Conference

 12-15 October, 2010, Taitung, Taiwan, Province of China


Ancient Wisdom, Sustainable Futures

Objective: To share TESA’s effort in integrating prehistoric civilization, indigenous cultures and permaculture in order to secure the earth’s bounty and beauty for present and future generations with the theme of EC+10: Dialogue, Collaboration and Action. .

Conference Venue: National Taitung University

Tours: Archaeological Cultural Park and tribal villages (Bunun, Peinan, Rukai, Peiwan tribes) in eastern Taiwan, Province of China


Program Schedule

Tuesday October 12th 2010       


Opening Ceremony                                           Peiwan tribe


Welcoming Address                                        Hen-biau King


I. Earth Charter and Climate Change                         Brendan Mackey    


II. Towards a Sustainable Way of Living                      Tzu-chau Chang


III. Earth Charter and Sustainable Future                         Ella Antonio


IV. Earth Charter and the Declaration of Human Rights  Hsin-huang Michael Shiao


V. Ancient Wisdom and Permaculture          1. Peter Morehead 2. Shu-te Huang


Panel Discussion


Celebration Dinner and Entertainment                              Amis Trib


                 Wednesday October 13th 2010       08:30-09:00 Registration


Pasibubu Chorus                                             Bunun Tribe

The Vision of EC+10                          ECT President: Hen-biau King


VI Gift to the Modern World from Indigenous People             Da-chu’an Sun

VII Development of Taiwan’s Indigenous Communities          Yohani Isqaqavut

VIII Land Conservation and Cooperative Economics                Walis Beilin

IX. Earth Charter and Indigenous Cultures  Case Reports:

Forest Museum                                              Aliman

Aboriginal Arts and Crafts                                     Fei-yu

The Hunter’s School and Community Center                       Sakinu

Slate House and Culture Center.                              Jung-ci Liu

X. Endorse the Earth Charter                              All the Participants

Thursday October 14th 2010


Tour to Forest Museum of Bunun Tribe


Visiting Museum of Prehistory and Peinan Archaeological Cultural Park

Dinner at Youth Center of Peinan tribe


Friday October 15th 2010


Tour to the Traditional Slate House and Culture Center of Rukai Tribe

And the Hunter’s School and Community Center of Peiwan Tribe


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