Latvia Archives - Earth Charter

Earth Charter youth network wants to expand in Europe!

An example of an European Earth Charter effort:

In March 2011 the Earth Charter International along with the Earth Charter Youth Team organizes a one-day online conference to inform the European youth organizations and individual activists on the Earth Charter and its usefulness as an educational instrument when building a more just, sustainable and peaceful world.

So far some 100 organizations have joined the Earth Charter youth network from Europe and Central Asia. In addition, there are 16 official Earth Charter Youth and Student Groups (ECYG) in 16 European and Central Asian countries.

ECYGs are action-oriented societies, networks, or organizations that bring alive the vision of the Earth Charter in the local and/or national communities. The youth study the declaration, get inspired by it and then organize small action projects on sustainability.

Youth in Europe promote the Earth Charter by

  • organizing events where they present the declaration
  • translating the document
  • informing other organizations on it
  • training people on sustainable development and ways of living.

National Earth Charter Websites in Europe and CA:

Finland | Germany | Greece | Italy | Latvia Norway | Russia |

From the related articles below, one can see some examples of the European Earth Charter youth activism.

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Meeting Mathare Roots – an Earth Charter Youth Group in Nairobi, Kenya

An Earth Charter youth activist, e-GLO 1 graduate, Irina Pleva from Latvia lived in Nairobi, Kenya for 6 months. During that time she visited an Earth Charter Youth Group Mathare Roots in Mathare slum and shares her experience here with us.

Thank you Irina for taking the initiative in setting up the meeting and spending a day with a fellow Earth Charter Youth Group! Special thanks for the inspiring video! This is a great example to all of us – when we get a chance to travel, why not to connect with the local Earth Charter Initiative activists?

Jaana Laitinen
Earth Charter International Youth Facilitator


From already the first days being in a country one can experience inevitable spirit of its diversity, observed and found in everything and everywhere… from the biodiversity of ecosystems inhabiting areas with the baobabs, coconut trees or cacti, to variety of urban communities, informal settlements, indigenous tribes, and their respective lifestyles.
Furthermore this diversity is followed by an impressive assortment of non governmental and social organizations, functioning as aid to country’s improvement. I learned that only in one Nairobi slum there are hundreds organizations working for the slum’s causes! In one of these – named the Mathare slum, I also found an Earth Charter affiliate organization with whom I got in contact thanks to Jaana, our Earth Charter youth coordinator.
I arrived to Kenya as a young environmentalist who came to support for 6 months the work of the United Nations Environment Programme in Nairobi. At the same time representing the Earth Charter youth group, I couldn’t miss a chance to meet and to visit one of the Earth Charter Youth Group based in Nairobi – Mathare Roots group
To visit them at a first place was a challenge. I was new in Nairobi and fairly unfamiliar with the area, furthermore I have never seen or been in the slums ever before! I was confused what to expect, I was unsure how to behave there particularly being “mzungu” (a white person), but I felt really ambitious to meet a group of young enthusiasts devoted to better and improve their community. To connect with them was my eagerness. 
I very soon received a welcoming feedback from the Mathare Roots group leader Elijah. I started to plan my visit, while very soon by a positive chance met a Finnish girl, Tiina, who as turned out already some years is closely involved in Mathare Roots youth work. With her grateful heart she facilitated a tree planting event for the Mathare slum with participation of Mathare Roots youth, and undoubtedly I was enthusiastic to support her initiative. 
At a day of event we together were heading to Mathare slums, changing one matatu (public transport in Kenya) to another, crossing crowded Nairobi downtown and the central business district into direction towards the “other reality”, home of more then 500 000 inhabitants of Nairobi…
A bunch of very smiling, accurate and friendly kids surrounded us after we arrived to the destination. There we were also accompanied by few German girls joining the initiative, and George – Elijah’s friend and co-founder of the organization.
George is a very enthusiastic young guy grown up together with Elijah in Mathare slum, and both eagerly decided one day to improve their home, and to connect with the world around them for the support. That’s how Mathare Roots joined the force of the Earth Charter. I got a chance to visit their “office”, which turned out to be a very tiny small room in an old abandoned house, which is now livable with few chairs, the colorful graffiti on the wall spelling the organization’s name, pinned cardboard with the alphabet letters, few decorations and a computer – their digital window and a grasp to the outside world. Through the little window – view to the densely crowded street massed with people, animals, noise. Nevertheless this place is appreciated by all the community, and kids may find here joy, peace and educational support.  
We decided to plant the trees near the community school. To get there we passed a busy part of the slum, climbing up the garbage hill, and crossing one of their “rivers”, a tiny stream of water contaminated with all possible toxins from the ground. Above that all we carefully carried with us the little trees along with a drop of hope they may bring something good for the community.
Each of us had its own little tree, between which were also few mangos. The kids were happy about each little sprout and with a care were bringing clean water from the school’s tank to water them. They were also cheerful to play with the camera while I taught them to film and make pictures. There is no happier moment for those kids as to hold one in their hands.

With a joy and enthusiasm they were running around with a camera, recording the moments of our tree planting event. I collected and edited the captured moments into one video, to showcase their efforts for both the filming and planting the trees. I think they did a great job:

At the end of the day we all together with George decided to bring the kids beyond the usual borders of their “home” and to rest having some fun in one of Nairobi’s parks. For the kids it had been a great day, and the same way we all enjoyed it.
To meet Mathare Roots youth, and George had been an experience which encouraged to think how diverse is the Earth Charter and all of us who shape it, and how important is to connect and to learn about each other. With our assorted abilities, realities, experiences there is always something we can do for each other. 
George’s and Elijah’s enthusiasm and devotion to initiate and develop the Mathare Roots organization showcases that each of us may become an essential element of drive to influence lives of the others and better our communities.
If you wish to get in touch with Mathare Roots youth group or to support by any means their activities, kindly liaise with Elijah (his contacts in the video credits). Yet if it happens for you to be in Nairobi, I very much encourage you to visit them.

   Irina Pleva, Latvia

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Several new Earth Charter national websites are online

The Earth Charter International is pleased to announce the creation of several new national Earth Charter websites. Making basic information on the Earth Charter available in as many languages as possible is a key part of the ECI strategy. The purpose is to reach out to individuals and groups in different parts of the world in their own language. We are happy that the following new EC countries are ready:





We invite you to share this information with groups and individuals that might be interested in this.

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Earth Charter in Action in Daugavpils, Latvia

A diverse group of one hundred people from 18 countries gathered at the 7th International JTEFS/BBCC Conference in Daugavpils, Latvia, on May 5-8, 2009. The conference, which focused on the interrelationship between sustainable development, culture and education, was organised by the Institute of Sustainable Education at the Faculty of Education and Management of Daugavpils University in cooperation with the Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability (JTEFS) and the Baltic & Black Sea Circle Consortium (BBCC) and the UNESCO Network on Reorientation of Teacher Education towards Sustainability.

The sub-theme of the conference was “Research and Implementation of Education for Sustainable Development,” which allowed for a great diversity of contributions under the suggested sections of the conference. The main emphasis of the conference was synergy between the research and implementation of ESD and the enrichment of research methodology and methods in the current context of ESD. The proposed sections entailed the wide scope of research and practice aspects initiated during the previous conferences and suggested by BBCC and UNESCO network members.

The sections at the conference were:

  • Phenomenology of Education for Sustainable Development:
  • Research for Education for Sustainable Development:
  • Teacher Education for Education for Sustainable Development:
  • Education for Sustainable Development in Higher Education:
  • Organisation of Learning and Research Environment in Education for Sustainable Development (preschool, primary, and secondary level):
  • Education for Sustainable Development and Social Work:
  • Education for Sustainable Development and E-learning:
  • Photography in the Context of Globalization and Sustainable Development:
  • Earth Charter as a Framework for Education for Sustainable Development:
  • Earth Charter Youth Initiative and Multicultural Approach to Education for Sustainable Development

Marina Bakhnova-Cary, the Earth Charter Coordinator for Europe and Central Asia, joined Marcos Estrada de Oliveira, a 2008 alumus of UPEACE, former intern of the Earth Charter and member of the Brazilian Institute of Education for Life (IBEV), and Dmitry Savelau, of the Youth International Education and Earth Charter Youth Group NEWLINE, at the conference. They gathered together with members of the Earth Charter youth network at Daugavpils University to present and discuss the Earth Charter as an ethical framework and multicultural approach to education with a wide international audience of educators.

During the poster session, Marcos Estrada de Oliveira contributed by presenting his research project, ENSI’s “Quality Criteria for ESD-Schools,” as a school self-evaluation tool. His research was carried out, with the support of the Earth Charter, at the UN-mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. He also facilitated the workshop “Boundary Crossings: the Interaction of the Earth Charter” and “Quality Criteria for ESD-Schools.” This workshop was co-facilitated by Dmitry Savelau, who also led a workshop and discussion on “Global Citizenship for Sustainable Development,” which was carried out both in Russian and English. Working together, in a dual language workshop, was an enjoyable and stimulating experience for all. The outcomes of this workshop could be seen by the continuing discussions and drawings prepared by the participants.

After this, Marina Bakhnova-Cary facilitated a session about the “Earth Charter as a Framework for Education for Sustainable Development” and the “Earth Charter Youth Initiative and Multicultural Approach to Education for Sustainable Development.” In this session, Marcos Estrada de Oliveira presented his investigation “Education for Sustainable Development within the Formal Curriculum in Costa Rica: The Example of Earth Charter Materials in Primary Schools.” The session continued with Solvita Raga presenting an “Integrated approach for the implementation of the principles of sustainability in preschool,” which was followed by Ieva Utin??ne with the research “Students about Sustainability.” The session was finished with the presentation “Students about the Earth Charter,” by Inga Miez??te.

Hopefully, this meeting of minds across borders has increased awareness and stimulated a spirit of research and practical application of the Earth Charter among those who had a chance to participate. May their efforts continue, unite and grow in scope for the promotion of the basic values of the Earth Charter through new initiatives and activities both locally and globally.

This article is based on a report made by Marcos Estrada de Oliveira with the help of Inga Gedzune, Ginta Gedzune, Dmitry Savelau and Ieva Utin??ne.

More about the this same subject here and here.

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