Japan Archives - Earth Charter

Earth Charter Manga publication

The Earth Charter Committee of Japan produced an Earth Charter Manga booklet, with illustrations from the famous manga artist Mr. Norio Yamanoi, the holder of the Manga copyright. This manga booklet is available in Japanese and English, and it presents the major global sustainability issues, which are mentioned in the Earth Charter Preamble, in a way that is easy to understand by the general public.

The Earth Charter Manga was launched in Japan in a parallel event at the UNESCO ESD World Conference in Nagoya in November 2014.  Around 150 people attended this event, and since then, this publication has been introduced on many occasions. Members of the EC Committee of Japan are very pleased with the positive feedback this Manga booklet is receiving, and some people have been taking the time to suggest improvements for future editions.

In January 2015, a Library Talk at the UN University building to present this book took place, during which members of EC Committee of Japan made presentations that connected the message of this Manga booklet with the role of the Earth Charter for the post-2015 world. Around 62 people participated, and the Committee members who spoke at this event were Mrs. Wakako Hironaka and Mr. Tatsuru Kunugi.

Overall people think that Manga is a good way to disseminate the values and principles of the Charter in the Asia-Pacific region and Japan and beyond, with selective emphasis on those issues of particular concern for the present and future. There is a widely shared viewpoint (expressed during EC Manga events) that the Earth Charter as a living instrument should evolve in a dynamic way so that it can become more effectively responsive to the emerging needs of the future, reflecting the views and aspirations of people in differing countries and contexts.

The Earth Charter Committee of Japan and Mr. Yamanoi asked the ECI Secretariat to disseminate the Earth Charter Manga as widely as possible, and the Committee would appreciate your comments and suggestions for following editions, since the idea is to update this publication periodically. The Committee would like to know if this booklet could be as useful to promote values for sustainability in different cultural context as it is for Japanese society.

Download the Earth Charter Manga here. ECI appreciates the support of Earth, Water & Green Foundation to make the digital version of this booklet available.

Please send your comments about this publication to info@earthcharter.org under the subject line: Earth Charter Manga

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The Earth Charter at the UNESCO World Conference on ESD in Japan

The UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development, was held in Nagoya, Japan from 10-12 November. Members of the Earth Charter International Secretariat, Council, Commissioners, and Affiliates participated in this important event.

This Conference celebrated the end of the UN Decade on ESD and the launch of the new Global Action Programme on ESD (GAP), offering a good opportunity to galvanize political support and forge new impetus for this process with a call for renewed commitment.

Around 1,000 people from all over the world participated in the Conference including 76 ministerial-level representatives of UNESCO Member States (mostly from African and Asian countries), NGOs, academia, the private sector, and UN agencies, as well as individual experts and youth participants from 150 countries.

At the Conference, UNESCO presented the Final Report of the Decade. This was preceded by two reports, the first one published in 2009 called ‘Review of Contexts and Structures for ESD’, which focused on contexts and structures for ESD. The second report published in 2012 called ‘Shaping the Education of Tomorrow’, which highlighted the processes and learning for ESD.

The final report launched during this Conference and called “Shaping the future we want: UN Decade oF ESD (2005 – 2014)” shows that progress has been made in raising awareness about ESD, in developing a number of national policies or programmes on ESD, in teacher training, and other efforts, but much more still needs to happen.

During the opening plenary, Mrs. Irina Bokhova highlighted the progress made on bringing forth the importance of education in sustainable development policies, and in changes in national policies to incorporate sustainable development in national curricula.

UNESCO sees this first ten-year effort as a solid foundation ground for future efforts on ESD, which will also involve strengthening the ESD part of the new Sustainable Development Goals of the UN Post-2015 agenda, which should also strengthen the links between education and sustainable development policies.

The following are specific outcomes of the Conference:

  • A political declaration that was drafted and adopted during the closing ceremony. The Aichi-Nagoya Declaration builds on the achievements of the Decade, the Bonn Declaration (2009) and the deliberations of the Conference and the Stakeholder Meetings which were held in Okayama. The Declaration also ensures that the outcomes of the Conference will be taken into account at the World Education Forum 2015 to be held in Incheon, Republic of Korea.
  • The Government of Japan announced the creation of an ESD global award.
  • A new Global Action Programme on ESD was launched (GAP). The overarching goal of the GAP is “to generate and scale up action in all levels and areas of education and learning to accelerate progress towards sustainable development”. There are five priority action areas of the GAP:  a) Advancing policy; b) transforming learning and training environments; c) Building capacities of educators and trainers; d) empowering and mobilizing youth; e) accelerating sustainable solutions at local level.
  • GAP Launch Commitments:  During the first semester of 2014, UNESCO called all sectors (governmental and non-governmental) to make specific commitments to implement the GAP. These commitments are plans for concrete activities that support one or more of the five Priority Action Areas. As of 12 November there were 360 commitments made (find the information in this map). During the closing ceremony, a commitment for each GAP priority area was presented. UNESCO selected ECI GAP Commitment on Youth to be presented at this plenary. ECI submitted two Commitments: one on teacher training and another one on youth empowerment and training, based on the work ECI has been doing and continues to do.

A number of workshops and side events as well as exhibitions, information booths were organized to offer more spaces for dialogue and sharing of experiences among all participants. In addition, several activities were organized to allow more participation of Japanese people.   Earth Charter International organized several activities to share its experiences during the DESD.

Earth Charter activities at WCESD:

On Monday, 10 November ECI held a side event at noon called “Looking back to forge the future: Lessons learned from values-based ESD experiences” In this event, with approximately 60 participants, the ECI Secretariat and Council members presented some of the work done over the past few years to contribute to the Decade and to promote sustainability values in different educational settings.

At this side event, ECI’s latest publication “The heart of the matter, infusing sustainability values in education. Experiences of ESD with the Earth Charter” was launched. This publication presents19 stories of how different groups are using the Earth Charter in their educational settings (in universities, schools, or non-formal education).

The experience of the Earth Charter Japan Asia Pacific Committee was presented by Wakako Hironaka and she launched a new booklet put together in Japan called Earth Charter Manga. In addition, insights into the best ways to infuse sustainability values in diverse education environments were discussed. Kartikeya Sarabhai mentioned the importance of sensitivity to the local context, to allow adaptation and interpretation of a principle in a given context. Oscar Motomura shared one lesson that he has learned in his 30 years of experience with training of public and private executives: the importance of facilitating deep dialogue between people from different sectors. The challenge is that this requires time.

On Monday, 10 November in the afternoon, Mirian Vilela co-organized a workshop called “Ethics-Based Educational Innovation: Implications for Teaching and Learning” with Prof. Arjen Wals of the Wageningen University, The Netherlands. The workshop was well attended (around 150 participants), and the presentations and topic generated good interaction with participants.

This workshop explicitly focused on innovative teaching and learning, particularly the capacity building of educators and trainers, using the Earth Charter for illustrative purposes. Two concrete activities, designed to enhance innovative teaching and learning, were presented. First, Waverly Neuberger presented the case of how the Methodist University of Sao Paulo is reorienting itself towards ESD and using the Earth Charter.  She offered many interesting insights and practical suggestions that those working in universities (or even in other type of organizations) can do to make change happen. One idea was to first sensitize and work with colleagues in reconnecting with themselves and nature, as well as having a sense of space and place to be able to see the importance of change with new eyes.

Second, Bob Jickling and Arjen Wals presented an analytical heuristic to assist educators in the evaluation of their own understandings of innovative teaching and learning. In this case the Earth Charter was used to contextualize the analytical tool. There was a rich and vibrant conversation on the role of ethics in formal education in general and the role of ethics in creating meaningful engagement—and action—around ESD. They mentioned that “interest on ethics is on the rise” because for more than 30 years we have known about the dangers of the way we are consuming and producing, but, we are not acting on it. He mentioned that we should avoid making people feel guilty, but make them feel that they can do something positive for other living beings, other humans, and for Planet Earth.

On Tuesday, 11 November in the afternoon, Wakako Hironaka and the Earth Charter Japan Committee organized an event called “ESD and the Earth Charter” mostly for a Japanese audience. Ms. Hironaka opened the event by putting the Earth Charter in a historical context, they launched the Earth Charter Manga booklet they put together, and Mirian Vilela made a presentation about the Earth Charter and some stories of how it’s being used. Presentations were also made by Prof. Tatsuro Kunugi, Prof. Tsuneo Takeuchi, both members of the Earth Charter, Asia-Pacific and Japan Committee, Edo Heinrich-Sanchez, ECI Affiliate from Okinawa, and Dr. Shin-Cheng, Deputy Minister for Environmental Protection of Taiwan. The event attracted about 200 participants.

The Earth Charter Education Center was selected as one of the 25 projects identified as best practices on ESD. In this sense, ECI was able to share materials and information on educational experiences at a booth in the Conference lobby, with Conference participants and the general public. This poster was created for the occasion of this Conference and was shown in the booth. It highlights key messages of several educational experiences with the Earth Charter in Latin America.  (The reason to include only Latin American experiences is because the EC booth was in this region’s area).

Much of the future work of the Earth Charter Center on Education for Sustainable Development will contribute to the implementation of the GAP objectives which are:
1) “to reorient education and learning so that everyone has the opportunity to acquire the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that empower them to contribute to sustainable development”.
2) “to strengthen education and learning in all agendas, programmes and activities that promote sustainable development”.

Another contribution that ECI offered to the end of the Decade was a consultation about Latin American’s youth perspective on the Decade of ESD. This consultation was done in collaboration with:  Futuro Latinoamericano Foundation in Ecuador, National University of Costa Rica, University of Guanajuato in Mexico, UNEP Regional Office in Panama and UNESCO Regional Office in Chile.  Around 400 youth participated in this consultation, through online and face to face workshops.

You can find more information about the UNESCO Conference here.

And here a photo album of the Conference and ECI activities.

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Launch of new book on Intergenerational Learning

Peter Blaze Corcoran’s and Brandon P. Hollingshead’s edited book “Intergenerational Learning and Transformative Leadership for Sustainable Futures” (ISBN 978-90-8686-252-8) was launched at the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development in Aichi-Nagoya, Japan, from 10 – 12 November 2014.

The publication from Wageningen Academic Publications features a collection of scholarly articles on the theoretical frameworks and practical applications of intergenerational and transformative learning models developed over the last decade.

Earth Charter International’s director Mirian Vilela co-authored a chapter, with Marcello Hernandez, titled “Youth leadership and the Earth Charter: intergenerational cooperation and learning”. The chapter highlights some of the lessons learnt from past Earth Charter youth leaders engaging in knowledge exchange across generations.

Several other authors refer to the Earth Charter as a strong ethical guideline for advancing intergenerational learning and transformative leadership.

 “Higher education for strong sustainability” by Rick Clugston and Wynn Calder underlines the need for institutions to employ a holistic understanding of sustainability, as outlined in the Earth Charter.

ECI’s former Youth Coordinator Dominic Stucker, together with Grace Mwaura and Frits Hesselink, introduces the Buddy Experiment, linking Earth Charter Council members to youth around the world, in order to foster guidance and inspiration.

In “Cultivating mentorship: Student Associates for a Greener Environment”, Maria F. Loffredo Roca and Andrew Stansell name Earth Charter principle 4, “Secure Earth’s bounty and beauty for present and future generations” as the foundation of the Student Associates for a Greener Environment programme.

To purchase the book click here.

Table of contents:

  1. “We must start with our own children”: reflectively researching intergenerational leadership for social justice, education and sustainability, Heila Lotz-Sisitka
  2. From locust to honest bee: towards leadership philosophies for sustainability, John Fien
  3. The future of learning for the future: Beyond the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainabile Development, Alexander Leicht
  4. Transformative Learning and leadership for a sustainable future: Challenge Lab at Chalmers University of Technology, John Holmberg
  5. Wicked leadership education: On student-led higher education and sustainability education, Sanna Barrineau and David O. Kronlid
  6. Higher education for stronger sustainability, Rick Clugston and Wynn Calder
  7. ‘EYE for sustainability’: A learning tool for change agents, Valentina C. Tassone and Arjen E.J. Wals
  8. Contradiction or complement: Can higher education be deeper education?, Stephen Sterling
  9. An intergenerational perspective towards increasing young people’s contribution to agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa, Philip M. Osano and Rahma I. Adam
  10. Keeping culture and country strong: participatory methodologies to support intergenerational learning in Aboriginal Australia, Kirsten Maclean
  11. The institutional dimension of sustainability: Policy response for enhanced practice at Universiti Sains Malaysia, Omar Osman, Kamarulazizi Ibrahim, Kanayathu Koshy and Marlinah Muslim
  12. Empathethic apprentice: pedagogical developments in aesthetic education of the social learning practitioner in South Africa, Dylan McGarry
  13. Leaderhship for global responsibility: values and key competencies for a profound shirt towards sustainabuility, Benjamin Kafak, Davod Seghezzi, Brigitta Villaronga, Christine Blome and Klaus Althoff
  14. Participatory mapping for intergenerational learning and resilience in Ethiopia, Million Belay Ali
  15. Child-centers sustainablabe development: Intergenerational learning approaches in Mexico’s central highlands, Sylvia van Dijk Kocherhaler and Jaime Hoogsteger
  16. Developing a relational perspective on intergenerational learning, Ingrid Schudel
  17. Connecting worlds: A Dutch intergenerational think tank initiative in action, Abraham Pieter Vingerling and Erik Thijs Wedershoven
  18. Leadership for biodiversity in South Africa: transformation and capacity development in the GreenMatter programme, Eureta Rosenberg and Sibusiso T. Manzini
  19. The Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies: experiental learning for intergenerational transformation, Wanjira Mathai
  20. Reflecting on climate change education in the Pacific Center for Environment and Sustainable Development, Elisabeth Hollande, Sarika Chand, Keith Morrison, Andra Whiteside, Fetalai Gagaeolo, Matthew Kensen, Judith Beverly Giblin and Kilateli Epu Falenga
  21. Sustainable leadership and environmental education at the Centre for Environmental Education, South China Normal University, Eric Po keung Tsang
  22. Intergenerational Partnership for Sustainability: case studies from the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Dominic Stucker, Grace Mwaura, and Frits Hesselink
  23. Intercultural learning for sustainability: at the ‘nexus’ of the environment, communications and socioculture in Fiji, Yuichi Asai and Osamu Abe
  24. Cultivating intergenerational mentorship: Student Associates for a Greener Environment, Maria F. Loffredo Roca and Andrew Stansell
  25. Sustainability assessment methodology: measuring Universiti Sains Malaysia’s transformation to a sustainability-led university, Suzyrman Sibly, Asyirah Abdul Rahim, Fera Fizani Ahmed Fizri, Normaliza Abdul Manaf and Mahfuzah Othman
  26. The Global University Partnership on Environment and Sustainability: promoting intergenerational learning, Mahesh Pradhan and Brian M. Waswala
  27. Youth leadership and the Earth Charter: intergenerational cooperation and learning, Mirian Vilela and Marcello Hernández-Blanco
  28. Towards a sustainability-oriented university: Tongji practice, Jiang Wu, Daijan Zhu, Hongwei Tan, Fengting Li, Ping Fang Shuqin Chen and Hua Chen
  29. Global and regional networks to promote education for sutainable development in TVET: an Asia-Pacific perspective, Rupert Maclean and Margarita Pavlova
  30. Leadership through service: advancing social justice through intergenerational learning at Florida Gulf Coast University A., James Wohlpart, Madina Behori, Jessica Drummond, David Green, Faith Hawk, Brandon P. Hollingshead, Brandon W. Kliewer, Lauren Morimanno, Jameson Moschella, Eric C. Otto, Mario Roche, Jessica Sauer and Sasha Linsin Wohlpart

To purchase the book click here.

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ECI welcomes Japanese students for one-day Earth Charter workshop

On 17 March 2014, the EC Center offered a one-day workshop to a small group of students from Japan’s National Kyushu University who were traveling through a University of Georgia programme. These students were high intermediate English speakers and were taking a course on the environment and sustainability. As part of the course, they spent a full day at the Earth Charter Center for ESD receiving a workshop on the Earth Charter from two EC staff members.

The workshop consisted of an introduction of the Earth Charter, several games and exercises to open the students up to the ethical aspects of sustainability, a tour of the Seeds of Hope exhibition, a discussion of a statement by Soka Gakkai nuclear expert Hirotsogu Terasaki and of videos of former Earth Charter Council member and former Japanese Environment Minister Wakako Hironaka, a round table discussion with UPEACE students on the ethical aspects of nuclear power, and a walk and talk tour of the Peace Park.

The day was very successful and the students, in spite of the challenges of the subject matter in a foreign language, were able to learn a lot about the Earth Charter, sustainability, and ethical issues surrounding nuclear power.

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2014 World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development

The United Nations Decade of ESD (2005-2014) will come to an end next year. To celebrate its achievements and the launch of future ESD activities, UNESCO is organizing the 2014 World Conference on ESD, to take place in Aichi-Nagoya, from November 10-12.

The Conference websites are ready in these languages:

English: www.unesco.org/new/en/esd2014
French: www.unesco.org/new/fr/unesco-world-conference-on-esd-2014/
Spanish: www.unesco.org/new/es/unesco-world-conference-on-esd-2014/
Japanese: www.unesco.org/new/jp/unesco-world-conference-on-esd-2014/

Stakeholders can contribute resources and data via the Conference’s websites, which will enrich the final assessment report of the Decade. The report will be launched at the Conference.

Find in this link the Key Stakeholder — Questionnaire UN Decade of ESD Final Report. Responses can be submitted until October 31st, 2013.

The website also illustrates UNESCO’s development of a draft Global Action Programme on ESD as a suggested follow-up to the Decade in collaboration with countries and other stakeholders. In addition, key UNESCO ESD publications, videos, and ESD success stories from around the world are accessible on the site. The UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development is organized by UNESCO and the Government of Japan.

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Celebrating the Earth Charter’s 10th anniversary in Japan

The Earth Charter Japan Asia-Pacific Committee is organizing a Conference on Education for Sustainable Development in the Asia-Pacific Region called:

“Mainstream, Link and Collaborate: Dialogues toward an expanded ESD Movement in Asia”.

This conference will take place at Rikkyo (St. Paul) University in Tokyo on 10 September, 2010, and is co-organized with the DESD World Festival Forum chaired by Dr. Ryokichi Hirono, Professor Emeritus, Seikei University, Tokyo and Vice Chair, Japan Asia-Pacific Committee for Earth Charter (JAPEC), Tokyo

This event is supported by a number of entities such as UNESCO, UN University, and others.

Experts on the field of education and sustainable development from all over Asia Pacific region have been invited to this conference. 

The program will include following speakers from Asia:

  • Dr. Kartikeya V. Sarabhai, Director of CEE India and Earth Charter International Council Member; India
  •  Dr. Ahangamage T Ariyaratne: Founder and President of Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement, Sri Lanka;
  •  Dr. Bunthan Ngo, Vice Rector, Royal University of Agriculture, Phnom Penh, Cambodia;
  • Mr. Sophee Tim, Royal University of Agriculture, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  •  Dr. Ranjana Saikia, Director, Environment Education and Youth Services, Tata Energy and Resources  Instiute & Coordinator, RCE Delhi; India
  •  Dr. Jiang Dahe, Director, UNEP-Tongji Institute of Environment for Sustainable Development, Tongj University; ROK
  •  Dr. Jingchun Tang, Associate Professor, Nankai University, Tianjin, China;
  •  Dr. Lalita Siriwattananon, Professor, Thailand; 
  •  Dr. Danai Taitakoo, Lecturer, Department of Landscape Architecture, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.

Find more information in this link.

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Seeds of Hope: Visions of sustainability, steps toward change

A new exhibition inspired by the Earth Charter is going to be launched in English during the Earth Charter+10 event at the Peace Palace, The Hague, Netherlands on 29 June.

The new “Seeds of Hope” exhibition stresses our interconnectedness with the rest of the community of life and the need to broaden our sphere of compassion and concern. It encourages viewers to overcome feelings of powerlessness and highlights the fact that a single individual can initiate positive change.

It also introduces the positive vision for sustainable living expressed in the Earth Charter, and gives examples of eight individuals and groups who have successfully taken action for change, from Africa to the Arctic and Eastern Europe.

The message “It starts with one,” is key — the slogan that the Earth Charter International has chosen for their “Earth Charter + 10” campaign in 2010.

The “Seeds of Hope” exhibition contains 24 panels, including one left blank with a simple tree design so viewers can attach their own statement of what they will do toward sustainability.

The exhibition uses the “Learn, Reflect, Empower” formula outlined in SGI President Daisaku Ikeda’s 2002 proposal on education for sustainable development and as a tool for the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.

See more information and the images here.

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Japan Musical Performs "Our Blue Planet" in New York and Washington

The Earth Charter inspired musical “Our Blue Planet Will it Survive Till Tomorrow?”, created by the Japan Classic Live for the United Nations group, was performed in New York at Hunter College Kay Playhouse Theatre on 1st November and at Stony Brook Southampton’s Avram Theater on 3rd November 2009, followed by two other performances in Washington DC at the Japan Information & Culture Center on 4th November and at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery on 5th November.

Presented in five acts, “Our Blue Planet” is featuring Jupiter melody of Gustav Holt’s “Planets Suites” as the main chorus. The performance  employs not only clasicc music but also rock music.  It’s fascinating stage were composed of dance, play and scenes of international conference (and over 50 performers plus 5 promintnent artists).  “Our Blue Planet – Will It Survive Until Tomorrow?” is an eclectic theater piece with messages about environmental disaster that can be generated should we not take precautions today. It envisions in the year 2100 the people of Earth, living in the devastating aftermath of climate change, will look back and wonder how, when and where it all went wrong. This thought provoking production asks if the countries of the world can and will come together now to protect our planet and our future.

Produced and directed by Ms. Masayo Koike, Chair of the Japan Classic Live for the United Nations and by Professor Emeritus of Seikei University Ryokichi Hirono, this theatrical performance features violinist Kiyomitsu Obana, actor/choreographer Toshijiro Zenki, actor/singer Tekkan, and actor Hiroyuki Watanabe. Senator Wakako Hironaka, Chair of the Japan Earth Charter Committee, and Professor Ryokichi Hirono, the Vice-chair of the Japan Earth Charter Committee, played a major instrumental role on producing the play based on the Earth Charter. The play starts with an introduction to the Earth Charter, for these performances undertaken in early November in the USA it had the participation of Steven C. Rockefeller, Rick Clugston, and Peter Blaze Corcoran. In the play, the Earth Charter’s key message of poverty reduction, human rights protection including gender and child rights, nonviolence to achieve world peace and global environment conservation and protection including global warming prevention are repeatedly conveyed to the audiences and the public and the United Nations are encouragedto join the actors to explore the way forward for realizing the goals and objectives of the Earth Charter .

UNCL is a non-profit organization based in Japan. This year’s performance was co-sponsored by various government agences including the Prime Minister’s office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Environment and JICA. Activities of UNCL has been supported by national NGOs in addition to funding support from the government and and private foundations. Since its establishment 18 years ago, Classic Live has performend on the theme of environment throughout Japan, as well as Asia, Europe and the US, which include performances at the UN Headquarters in 2005 and in Geneva in 2007.

The next performance will take place (in Japanese language) on 12 December 2009 at Tokyo Women’s Plaza Hall in Tokyo, Japan (adjacent to the United Nations House in Shibuya). If time permits, Ms. Wakako Hironaka, member of the International Earth Charter Council and Chair, Japan Earth Charter Committee and Ms Miyuki Hatoyama, the First Lady of Japan, will be one of the performers on the stage, as they have often done on this Environmental Musical in the past.

For more information please visit
Stony Brook Southampton University news

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Earth Charter in Japan and China

The Earth Charter Initiative in Japan has received a new burst of energy thanks to the efforts of Earth Charter Commission, and ECI Council member, Senator Wakako Hironaka.


ECI Executive Director Alan AtKisson has been in Tokyo, and wrote about the special meeting he attended, marking the convening of a new Committee for the Earth Charter in Asia Pacific and Japan. (The Committee has chosen this name to underscore that it intends to reach out beyond Japan‘s borders to promote the Earth Charter in the region.)


Alan also visited Beijing on this trip, and began to explore new possibilities for the Earth Charter there, as well as checking in with ECI’s World Leadership Corps intern, Kat Cooley (stationed in Chengdu for the year).



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