This year we will commemorate the 19th anniversary of the launch of the Earth Charter on 29 June 2000. Affiliates and partners already shared information on Earth Charter Day events happening in the Netherlands, Canada, Germany, and Mexico. We would love to hear about any additional plans for this yearly celebration. Stay tuned for reports about EC Day events from around the world.
This is also a great opportunity to remind everyone that 2020 will be an eventful year since we will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Earth Charter! We want to encourage everyone who is part of the Earth Charter Movement to organize local or national events to commemorate this special milestone. Help us in showing the world the relevance of the Earth Charter in current times.
At Earth Charter International, we will be organizing a series of webinars to connect with our global community. It is an invitation to learn about the Earth Charter and its connection to other themes such as the SDGs, Education for Sustainable Development, Extinction Rebellion, Economics and Rights. We will hold these global online dialogues all throughout 2020.
We invite you to use #EarthCharter in your social media posts.
Apply now to participate in the next offering of our interactive and innovative Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics Online Youth Training Programme to be held from 07 October – 13 December 2019 for young people aged 18-30!
This training programme seeks to enhance young people’s skills and knowledge to be ethical sustainability leaders and implement Earth Charter-inspired projects, contributing towards a more sustainable and peaceful world.
By participating in this programme, you will have the opportunity to join a global network and support your fellow participants as you explore your role as a leader in your own community.
Participants will receive an Earth Charter International certificate as recognition of their successful completion and an invitation to become an Earth Charter Young Leader.
To ensure that we can build a sense of community among participants, space is limited. Early applications are encouraged.
Click here for application materials and more information about this programme.
Amidst all of the populism, nationalism, and violence on the rise around the globe, it is important now more than ever, to promote a new earth ethic, an ethic of love, global peace, harmony, and unity. With more and more outbreaks of war, violation of liberties and corruption, there is a strong urgency to revisit our values and ethics and to develop empathy towards the care of our natural ecosystems, for those less fortunate, fleeing from poverty, violence, natural disasters, and climate change.
We invite you to embrace the 2019 Earth Charter International slogan, “Towards a New Earth Ethic”, and to inspire others in recognizing the commonalities rather than the differences among each other.
“We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny.”
– Preamble Earth Charter
We invite you to watch Fritjof Capra and his reflections on the need for an Earth Ethic, on the essence of community embracing an ethical behavior, and how the Earth Charter can provide a framework for this:
This course took place on 10 -11 May 2018, the Earth Charter Center coordinated the first day of the course, the second day was a field visit to a farm of the National Electricity Company of Costa Rica (CNFL).
Thirty teachers from all over Costa Rica, rural and urban, and from public and private educational centers participated.
The main objective of the course was to offer basic training on the philosophical and ethical principles of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) with which ASPnet works, using the Earth Charter, an ethical framework recognized by UNESCO for the development of ESD worldwide.
On the first day of the course, activities were carried out to expand knowledge about the concept of sustainability and systems thinking. The ESD policy framework was presented, and activities were carried out to introduce the principles of the Earth Charter. The course was highly participatory in order to seek a joyful process for the participants.
The Earth Charter Center has been for several years offering this training in support of the UNESCO Associated Schools Network.
To help stimulate dialogue around the relevance of the Earth Charter to contemporary issues, ECI Executive Director, Mirian Vilela, invited Prof. Brendan Mackey* in 2017 to write an essay as a personal reflection on the Earth Charter’s current relevance and the ways in which it can be used to help promote a more just, sustainable and peaceful world.
The idea then evolved to broaden this activity by inviting a group of people, who are engaged with the Earth Charter Initiative, to write a brief response to Brendan’s essay and to share all these reflections on the relevance of the Earth Charter to contemporary issues by posting them on the ECI website.
We hope these materials will stimulate an expanded dialogue on the significant and relevance of the Earth Charter to contemporary issues and the challenges of the Anthropocene. We invite you to read the essays and contribute to the discussion.
Click here to read the essays or see the list below.
We welcome anyone who has been working with and reflecting on the Earth Charter and its uses, to share with us their responses and reflections. If you would like to make a contribution to this dialogue please email a short essay (700 words max.) by 30 June 2018 to the ECI executive director at email@example.com.
We will go through the essays received and put together a digital book with a collection of them. During the 2nd semester of this year, we shall have an online forum on this and the release of this publication.
*Director of Griffith University’s Climate Change Response Programme. Brendan was a member of the Earth Charter Drafting committee, former co-chair of Earth Charter International Council and is a senior advisor of the Earth Charter Initiative.
Rudolphus Franciscus Marie “Ruud” Lubbers 7 May 1939 – 14 February 2018
It is with a great sense of loss and sadness that I learnt about the passing of Ruud Lubbers. His life is an extraordinary example of dedicated public service at the local and national level and internationally. For all of us involved in the Earth Charter initiative he was a great friend, an inspiring colleague, and a visionary leader.
Ruud Lubbers played a central role in bringing Maurice Strong and Mikhail Gorbachev together in 1993 and 1994 and in the launch of the Earth Charter consultation and drafting process as a civil society initiative. The support of Queen Beatrix and the generous financial support of the Dutch government during the early years was critical, and it would not have happened without Ruud’s leadership as Prime Minister. It was the support of Ruud and the Queen that made it possible to celebrate the launch of the Earth Charter at the Peace Palace in the Hague.
Ruud was among the most active members of the Earth Charter Commission and was deeply involved in the drafting process. For example, he was a strong supporter of participatory democracy, and it was Ruud’s insistence that led to inclusion of the word “participatory” in Principle 3. A strong advocate for establishing high ethical standards in government and business, he also recognized the importance of including in the Earth Charter universal spiritual as well as ethical values. In his speeches and writings on the Earth Charter, he emphasized both the spiritual and ethical dimensions of the Earth Charter vision.
After the launch of the Earth Charter in 2000, Ruud remained committed to building the Earth Charter movement and to supporting and funding the ECI Secretariat at UPEACE as an instrument for promoting the Earth Charter vision worldwide and for implementing its principles at all levels. He served for many years on the Earth Charter International Council. It was through the exceptionally generous support of Ruud and his family that the Earth Charter Secretariat was able to build the Earth Charter Center on the campus of UPEACE.
I will always remember Ruud with admiration, gratitude, and deep appreciation for his friendship. It was a privilege to have had the opportunity to know and work with him over the past two and a half decades. I send my deep sympathy to his family at this time of great loss. Let us all give thanks for Ruud’s life and the deep concern and caring spirit that guided his many efforts to help build a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world.
Rudolphus Franciscus Marie “Ruud” Lubbers 7 May 1939 – 14 February 2018
It is with deep sadness that I share with you the passing away of Mr. Ruud Lubbers on 14/02/2018. It is hard to say good-bye to him, as he was so special and dear to us. He was a friend and a mentor to me and many of us involved in the Earth Charter Initiative. I am hugely grateful for the opportunity of meeting him and learning so much from him throughout many years of working together.
Mr. Lubbers was a very active Earth Charter Commissioner and great supporter of the Earth Charter for many years. It is a great loss for the Earth Charter Initiative and to the world. However, we have many reasons to be grateful to him. I will always remember his sense of freedom and informality to speak with people and the fact that he was especially comfortable in speaking his mind.
As a political leader. who embraced the deep ethical and spiritual dimensions of sustainable development, he was a unique voice emphasizing the importance to bring ethics to the world of business and politics.
In the last few years of his public life, in speeches he offered at Earth Charter meetings, he often highlighted the importance of nurturing our spirituality and soul. At the Earth Charter+10 event in Ahmedabad, India in 2010, he said:
“We need to include Pneuma / Prana – i.e. spirituality in what we are doing and the way we address challenges. We … now realize that we should nourish ourselves with spirituality… We may even begin to speak about four ‘P’s: People, Planet, Profit and Pneuma”. (Pneuma is the ancient Greek word for “breath” and in a religious context for “spirit” or “soul”)
He often stressed the importance of understanding our responsibility to secure a healthy environment to current and future generations, and of considering new participatory approaches in politics to realize the aspiration of sustainability, which in itself, requires, as he used to say, the willingness and skills to engage, dialogue, and collaborate with different sectors: government, business and civil society sector.
I can still hear his voice saying repeatedly:
“There is a need for complimentary governance. We have always considered politicians to govern and manage the common responsibilities and resources. However, the need is now to involve civil society into governance” (in 2010 at the Earth Charter+10 Conference in Ahmedabad, India).
Herewith we share with you some photos, writings and videos of him.
On behalf of all involved in the Earth Charter Initiative, we send our sentiments and heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr. Lubbers and to the people of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
May his soul rest in peace.
Earth Charter International
The final phase of the Course on Formulation and Design of Public Policies for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) was held from 12 to 14 September 2017. This was a special course that we planned and implemented at the request of the UNESCO San Jose Office with the support from the Japan Fund for ESD. The course’s objective was to: “Strengthen the capacities of senior level decision-makers and key personnel in the Ministries of Education and Environment of Central America and Dominican Republic for the development of Education for Sustainable Development Public Policies.” This effort is related to the first priority area of the UNESCO Global Action Programme on ESD and to the Sustainable Development Goal 4 Target 7.
This course lasted three months (June to September), and had two modalities: face-to-face and virtual. The first part of the course consisted of face-to-face sessions for three intensive days, held at the Earth Charter Center of ESD facilities in the University for Peace, Costa Rica. It continued with a virtual phase that lasted seven weeks, where participants had the opportunity to deepen the topics introduced in the initial face-to-face phase. The course ended with a face-to-face meeting, also held at the EC-ESD Center in Costa Rica, where participants presented their final projects and proposed some actions to follow up this course.
In their assessment of the course, the participants mentioned having had a transformative experience, where some experienced a change in their worldviews and perception of the type of education that each country in the Central American Integration System (SICA) should promote. For their final projects, participants had to generate a proposal for an ESD public policy and an action plan for the design of this policy in their countries. These proposals were an exercise that it is expected to generate actions to instill the vision of ESD in their countries’ education systems.
For the Earth Charter Center on ESD, it was a great satisfaction to have developed this process in a way that helped participants to have a better understanding about sustainability, ESD and ways to generate a public policy on ESD. Some participants expressed that this experience help to generate what some called “a change of paradigm” or “falling in love” with sustainability. The majority of the participants are Ministry of Education officials who have the potential to promote changes in national education policy, curricula, as well as to promote sustainable schools and teacher training programs on ESD. We hope to continue supporting the empowerment process of these participants, so they become agents of change in their institutions and contribute to the 2030 UN Education Agenda.
Established in 2005, AASHE is comprised of over 900 members across 48 U.S. states, 1 U.S. Territory, 9 Canadian provinces and 20 countries.
We asked Julian Dautremont-Smith, Director of Programs of AASHE, to share with all of us what is the meaning of the Earth Charter for them and why it was important to endorse it. This is what he shared:
AASHE is pleased to endorse the Earth Charter.
We greatly value the Charter’s comprehensive approach to sustainability, especially the inclusion of social and economic justice, democracy and peace along with ecological integrity.
We have a similarly holistic understanding of sustainability and refer the Earth Charter as a key document in understanding sustainability in our Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), a self-reporting framework used by hundreds of colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. For example, a course is counted as being sustainability-inclusive if it contributes towards realizing one or more of the principles outlined in the Earth Charter.
The Earth Charter is a universal expression of ethical principles to foster sustainable development.
The Earth Charter Initiative is the global network that embraces, uses and integrates the Earth Charter principles.