Earth Charter and Rio 2012 Archives - Earth Charter

Rio 2012 and the Earth Charter in Syria

The Earth Charter and Green Economy is the focus of this year’s activities of the Department of Development at Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Syria, and the main sight of the Rio +20 preparations in Syria and the region.

This Department, under the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Syria, is implementing a project called SAWA: Sustainable Actions for The World Academy.  This is a series of capacity building initiatives for state and non-state actors to link local and national sustainable development activities with the global agenda.

The project is carried out in collaboration with the State Ministry of Environmental Affairs and ESCWA (The UN Economic and Social Commission for West Asia), which is leading the preparation to Rio +20 in the Arab region.

As a part of the national preparation for Rio +20 in Syria, the project team organized the first training workshop (March 2011) on the transition towards Green Economy including trade and environment and green jobs. The workshop was facilitated by ESCWA and AFED (Arab Forum for Environment and Development).

A second training workshop took place in June 2011 to discuss preparations for a national green economy forum in the country.

In these workshops, Mr. Melhem Mansour (project manager of the Department of Development at Greek Orthodox Patriarchate) introduced the Earth Charter and made a presentation called “Ethics of transition towards Green Economy” derived from the report of Earth Charter and Green Economy.  Participants of these workshops were active private sector and SME’s in Syria, in addition to governmental employees.

The Earth Charter was also discussed when Mr. Bashar Zietoun from AFED presented the concept of environmental corporate responsibility during the Green Jobs training session organized by Mr. Mansour.

SAWA project will present the Earth Charter as a reference for CSR strategies in the upcoming national Green Economy Forum to be held in January 2012.

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An independent policy paper on the Earth Charter and Rio+20 is now available

A policy-relevant paper addressing the key themes of Rio+20 was developed as a collaborative effort among Klaus Bosselmann, Peter G. Brown, and Brendan Mackey. The paper entitled “Enabling a Flourishing Earth: challenges for the green economy, opportunities for global governance” explores the relevance of the Earth Charter to the Rio+20 focus areas of the Green Economy and the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development.

In the paper, the authors pose the question: “…how can we make more secure, abundant and widely shared those classes of public goods that are central to sustainable development but which cannot be satisfactorily addressed through market-based macroeconomic policy instruments?”

The authors address the shortcomings of tackling the economic challenges with technical solutions and tinkering with the extant system and stress the importance of inserting an underlying and universal ethical framework, elements of which can be found in the Stockholm Declaration, the Rio Declaration, the Johannesburg Declaration, and the Earth Charter. They continue to assert their belief that the goals of global economics and governance should be based on the Earth Charter’s first four principles.

On the subject on the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development, the authors are quick to point out the inadequacy of current governance structures to address the scale and complexity of our challenges. They stipulate that the response must come from the perspective that, first and foremost, we all belong to the same planet and that it has natural limitations to its exploitation and that all humans share a common home and destiny, as well as a role in its governance.

The authors conclude that the underlying approach to addressing these challenges is to look at the big picture and realize that we are all interconnected and responsible to each other. The Earth Charter can certainly guide us in these endeavors.

You can read the full paper here.

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NEW: Five short videos on People's voice on Rio+20

Five new videos interviews were developed to present the opinion of different stakeholders about the importance of Rio +20, their expectations and suggestions to have a successful and productive process in Rio next year. The voices of the inverviewers is focused on the People’s Summit that is envisioned to take place in June 2012.

The interviews were conducted during the first preparatory meeting of Rio +20 Peoples’ Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro from 30 June to 2 July 2011.

Following you will find a list of the videos and the interviewers with the option to see it in Portuguese only or with English Subtitles. The subtitles in English were done by a volunteer, we apologize for problems with their quality, nonetheless we are grateful to have the videos translated so that the voices represented can be disseminated to more people around the world.

People’s Voices Part 1 
English Sub-titles – Part 1
Portuguese only – Part 1

– Marcos Arruda, PACS Institute
– Adriana Charoux, IDEC – Brazilian Institute for Consumer Defense
– Sheila Ceccon, Paulo Freire Institute
– Pedro Telles, Vitae Civilis Institute
– Alba Rodrigues, GAO
– Nair Jani, World March of Women 

People’s Voices Part 2
English Sub-titles – Part 2
Portuguese only – Parte 2

– Muriel Saragoussi, Oxfam
– Rubens Born, Vitae Civilis Institute
– Mariana Santana, Gambá – Environmentalist Group of Bahia
– Kika – Brazilian Women’s movement and Afro movement 

People’s Voices Part 3
English Sub-titles – Part 3
Portuguese only – Parte 3

– Audalice Otterloo, ABONG, the Brazilian NGOs Association
– Francisco Biazini, GAO
– Thomaz Enlazador
– Luis Felipe, Rio Eco Consciente
– Edna Santos Arrais, CESRJ, the Spiritual Council of Rio de Janeiro 

People’s Voices Part 4
English Sub-titles – Part 4  
Portuguese only – Parte 4

– Gabriela, Student of Cinema
– Abdulai Sani Aleisso, Brotherhood of Creole African Muslim
– Isis de Palma, Ágora Institute
– Beloyanis Monteiro, Abong, Brazilian NGOs Association and the SOS Mata Atlantica Foundation. 

People’s Voices Part 5
English Sub-titles – Part 5
Portuguese only – Parte 5

– Pedro Ivo, Alternativa Terrazul Association
– Maria Cristina Vailannt Viera, Minas Gerais Institute for Nature Conservation
– Maria dos Santos, African Descendants of Brazil Association .
– Gustavo Marín
– Sean, from the Acre region

A video to invite civil society from all over the world to take part in the People’s Summit was also made. The hope is that it will engage more people to join in the discussions. Click here to see it: With English Sub-titles    /  Click here to see In Portuguese only

The videos were made on a voluntary basis by ProPlaneta in collaboration with the Earth Charter International.

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Rio+20 The Youth Factor

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated during the High-level Meeting on Youth, “Young people can and must play a central role in bringing dynamic new ideas, fresh thinking and energy to the Rio+20 process.”

The UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil in 2012 (more commonly known as Rio+20) represents another milestone in ongoing international efforts to accelerate progress towards achieving sustainable development globally. Rio +20 will take place in June, 2012; 20 years after the second UN Conference on Sustainable Development held in Rio in 1992. Major contributors to these movements are youth and the momentum they are building up within their countries is quite astonishing. The goal of the Earth Charter Initiative for Rio 2012 is to emphasize the need for a comprehensive ethical framework, articulating shared values and principles to inspire and guide different actors in the transition to a sustainable future. The aim is also to demonstrate the relevance of the Earth Charter to the objectives of the Rio+20 Conference.

The Earth Charter has recently partnered with Peace Child International, specifically to collaborate on the Road to Rio+20 global youth mobilization towards Rio+20 with the intent of:

1. Promoting the opportunities of Rio+20 in the Earth Charter network, in particular among its youth groups and leaders;

2. Promoting the Earth Charter, the values and principles for a sustainable future, and its activities in the Road to Rio+20.

More specifically, ECI and Peace Child International are collaborating on online activities such as an e-conference that is meant to bring together as many youths as possible to dialogue and discuss what issues and actions should be taken towards getting inter-governmental stakeholders to renew their commitments in regards to sustainability, poverty eradication and the importance of having a green economy.

Another important component of this e-conference however is to also ensure that youth are heard not only in a structured formal way, but also in a way that is open and engaging for youth to speak their minds and discuss what actions are already being done on a local level, and how we can ensure that they will carry on after the UNCSD comes to a close. Other ways ECI and Peace Child International will be collaborating is by promoting each other’s youth networks through various online tools such as Facebook, twitter, websites, etc. There is an especially high response and dialoging going on our Earth Charter Youth Facebook page about RIO+20 that will keep you up-to-date as we continue to make our way on the Road to Rio+20.

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Knight Foundation, TakingITGlobal, and the Global Youth Action Network launch new initiative to strengthen Youth Movements

New York, New York (July 26, 2011) – Today at the United Nations High-level Meeting on Youth, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, TakingITGlobal, and the Global Youth Action Network announced, an upcoming project that will serve the purpose of aggregating and showcasing youth-led and youth-serving projects globally. will launch later this year, providing young people and youth-serving organizations with a tool to effectively share information about their projects, to promote projects and initiatives collaboratively, and to help track and celebrate the collective progress being made worldwide to tackle the world’s most challenging issues.

“After a decade of serving young people making a difference in their communities through our network, we’re excited to facilitate the creation of an online hub of youth-led initiatives across the globe,” said Jennifer Corriero, Executive Director of TakingITGlobal. “ will connect key organizations working to support young people in their efforts to improve the world, helping to amplify the support they provide and the lessons being learned through their engagement with youth.”

The need to meaningfully include young people in understanding and coordinating the global response to the challenges of our time has been established through efforts like the United Nations International Year of Youth, which concludes on August 12th. As the number of young people around the globe continues to grow, issues such as unemployment impact young people in increasing proportions. One need not look any further than the discontent and strife that set the stage for the Arab Spring to see the incredibly profound need and call for change delivered through a movement fuelled by people-power. Successful change – whether it is in the realm of politics, law, the environment or the academy – is a process that relies on effective collaboration.

“ is a transformational idea that will strengthen and celebrate youth leadership around the world,” said Jeff Coates, Strategic Initiatives Associate for Knight Foundation. “The initiative will inform youth-friendly policies and make it easy to identify and support effective youth-led community projects in any area.”

The initiative will hold a meeting on the Future of Youth Movements, in Spring 2012, to bring together stakeholders across sectors to explore how Youth Movements can be made most effective.

Young people and youth-serving organizations interested in participating in this exciting new initiative can register online to receive more information at

TakingITGlobal ( provides innovative global education programs that empower youth to understand and act on the world’s greatest challenges. Often described as a “social network for social good,” the award-winning is available in 13 languages and offers a diverse set of educational resources and action tools intended to inspire, inform and involve. Since being founded as a charity by two young Canadians in 2000, 30 million people have accessed the website to learn, grow and realize their potential.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation ( supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities, and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged.

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Earth Charter holds online regional dialogues

From June 28th to 30th 2011, the Earth Charter International Secretariat organized a series of online meetings to begin opening dialogues on the Rio+20 conference next year. In total, three meetings were held, one for Latin America, Spain, and Portugal (Iberoamerica), the second one for North America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, and the third one for Asia and the Pacific. These meetings brought together around 70 Earth Charter affiliates, partners, and youth activists, who are working closely with the ECI Secretariat in different focus areas.

These links contain the recordings of each meeting:

These meetings’ objective was to bring the Earth Charter community in these regions closer together to share views on the ECI’s current plans and strategies, as well as offer participants an overview of the Rio+20 preparatory process.
Mirian Vilela offered a short presentation about the ECI objectives for Rio+20, which are:

“To emphasize the need for a comprehensive ethical framework articulating shared values and principles to inspire and guide different actors in the transition to a sustainable future and to demonstrate the relevance of the Earth Charter to the objectives of Rio+20 Conference and process.”

All participants were given the opportunity to speak and broadcast video of themselves and a chat box was available for ongoing interaction.  Overall, these meetings were successful in informing participants and fostering the kind of meaningful dialogue that will help embed the Earth Charter message in Rio+20 discussions in these regions.

The ECI Secretariat plans to hold more meetings of this kind at the end of August, so please be on the lookout for information regarding upcoming opportunities to connect with the ECI and other Earth Charter community members.

You can also read about the ECI’s Rio+20 strategy by clicking here.

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Earth Charter Initiative Prepares to Participate in the Rio 2012 Conference Process

The Earth Charter International Council and Secretariat have identified goals and objectives to help those involved in the Earth Charter Initiative to contribute to the Rio 2012 Conference and its preparatory process.

The Rio+20 Conference’s objectives are to (a) secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, (b) assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, and (c) address new and emerging challenges. The focus of the Conference will also include the following two themes: (a) a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication and (b) the institutional framework for sustainable development. This Conference will take place on 4 – 6 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The goal of the Earth Charter Initiative for Rio 2012 is to emphasize the need for a comprehensive ethical framework, articulating shared values and principles to inspire and guide different actors in the transition to a sustainable future. The aim is as well to demonstrate the relevance of the Earth Charter to the objectives of Rio 2012 Conference and process.

The ECI Rio+20 objectives are to:

1. Collaborate with the preparatory process and help ensure the successful outcome of the Rio+20 goals.

2. Draw government and non-state actors’ attention to the need for an inclusive ethical framework and shared values that inspire and help guide intergovernmental and government decisions toward strong sustainability and a green economy, and to understand the role the Earth Charter can play in facilitating this process.

3. Present the Earth Charter as a comprehensive articulation of shared values, a vision of strong sustainability, and an integrated ethical foundation for a green economy.

4. Invite governments and non-state actors to make use of the Earth Charter as an ethical framework and guide for advancing sustainability.

The ECI Secretariat is committed to actively collaborating in the preparatory process of Rio 2012, and in making extra efforts to ensure the successful implementation of this Conference.

In this context, the Secretariat has collaborated with the Stakeholder Forum and Bioregional to produce a paper called:  “Principles for the Green Economy: A collection of principles for the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication“. 

The paper hopes to contribute to the emerging debate on defining principles for the green economy to ensure that it serves in the interest of sustainable development.  It can be found at a special site created by the Stakeholders Forum in relation to the Rio 2012 Summit:

In addition, the ECI Secretariat has produced a paper called: “The Earth Charter and the Green Economy” that analyzes the synergies between the efforts towards a green economy and the work of the Earth Charter.

More information on the Rio+20 Conference can be found at

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NEW interview with Maurice Strong released!

Earth Charter International releases an inspiring video interview with Maurice Strong, former Secretary General of the 92 Earth Summit and member of the Earth Charter Commission. In this interview made in Beijing, China in early September 2009, Maurice Strong shares his thoughts on:

1. The Earth Charter
To watch this specific part of the interview click here.

2. Peace and Sustainability  
To watch this specific part of the interview click here.

3. Rio+20 in 2012  
To watch this specific part of the interview click here.

4. Climate Change
To watch this specific part of the interview click here.

5. His Motivation in Life 
To watch this specific part of the interview click here.

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