New Zealand Archives - Earth Charter

Earth Charter Affiliate speaks in UN General Assembly Dialogue on Harmony with Nature

Photo 3The Seventh Interactive Dialogue of the United Nations General Assembly on Harmony with Nature took place on Friday, 21 April 2017 under the Theme: Earth Jurisprudence.

The event counted with the participation of Professor Klaus Bosselmann, ECI Affiliate from New Zealand and Director, New Zealand Centre for Environmental Law, University of Auckland, who, as an Earth Jurisprudence expert, made a presentation on “The Next Step: Earth trusteeship”.

In Professor Bosselmann´s speach he made a proposal to “accompany the current SDG process with high-level ethical dialogue and promote the idea of nation-states as trustees for the Earth and that the UN should provide a forum for achieving that.”

Below you can find Professor Bosselmann´s intervention:

Interactive Dialogue of the General Assembly on Harmony With Photo 5Nature

Friday, 21 Apr 2017

Trusteeship Council, UN Secretariat Building, New York

Theme: Earth Jurisprudence

¨An Earth-centred worldview recognizes the intrinsic value of Nature; understands humans as fundamentally part of the natural world, that is, one life-form among many evolved from the same natural processes. It further recognizes that there are biophysical limits to human activity and that our socioeconomic systems are embedded in natural systems. In this worldview, human-Earth relationships are based on a symbiotic connection, are interconnected and are subject to the natural laws of the Universe.

Photo 4Indigenous peoples’ philosophies, spiritualities and traditional forms of knowledge worldwide express the understanding that human governance systems must be derived from the laws of the Earth and comply with them.

Experts from around the world working in the natural and social sciences similarly recognize the need for an evolved, holistic worldview that must be rooted in respect for Nature and in the interdependence of the well-being of humankind and of the Earth.

In order to forge a balanced, healthy relationship between human activity and the Earth, there is an urgent need for society to reconsider how it perceives and interacts with the natural world.

Photo 2Earth Jurisprudence recognizes that the Earth is the source of laws that govern life. It provides a cohesive framework reflecting the integrated nature of the world in which we live. And, as the source of laws that govern the community of life, Earth Jurisprudence also provides a cohesive framework underpinning many disciplines, weaving them together to create a more effective, holistic governance approach, one that reflects the integrated nature of the world in which we live.¨

In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 22 April as International Mother Earth Day. In so doing, Member States acknowledged that the Earth and its ecosystems are our common home, and expressed their conviction that it is necessary to promote Harmony with Nature in order to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations. The same year, the General Assembly adopted its first resolution on Harmony with Nature.

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10-week Youth Online Training Course: Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics to Start 19 June, Deadline to Apply 17 May!

Don’t miss the deadline to sign up for our next 10-week youth online training programme in Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics. The course will begin on 19 June and participants will need to apply by programaWednesday 17 May! This course is designed to train young people around the world, from the ages of 18-30, on how to become active leaders in their community towards a more just, sustainable, and ethical world.

The course will offer you an opportunity to expand your knowledge and skills on certain themes such as leadership, ethics, sustainability, Earth Charter principles, Eco literacy, Systems Thinking, and how to successfully design and implement a workshop in your community.

Our goal at the end of the course is to successfully strengthen your knowledge and skills on leadership in sustainability, enhance your consciousness to contribute to the greater good, inspire like-minded individuals to collaborate across borders and to carry out your work in your communities, and develop the confidence to use your voice as a leader!

Alumni of this course have the opportunity to become an Earth Charter Young Leader (ECYL). This programme is a year-long leadership opportunity to serve as a focal point in the Earth Charter Youth Network to mobilize and engage other young people around the Earth Charter vision and principles.

Register now by visiting our site:


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Two new books that feature the Earth Charter

Klaus Bosselmann is a renowned environmental law scholar who has been promoting the Earth Charter for many years. He is a Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Auckland, New Zealand, and this year (2015) he has published two books that feature the Earth Charter prominently.

Earth Governance: Trusteeship of the Global Commons (Edward Elgar, July 2015); 320 pages.

The predicament of uncontrolled growth in a finite world puts the global commons – such as oceans, atmosphere, and biosphere – at risk. So far, states have not found the means to protect what, essentially, is outside their jurisdiction. However, the jurisprudence of international law has matured to a point that makes global governance beyond state-negotiated compromises both possible and desirable. This book makes an ambitious, yet well-researched and convincing, case for trusteeship governance.

Earth Governance shows how the United Nations, together with states, can draw from their own traditions to develop new, effective regimes of environmental trusteeship. Klaus Bosselmann argues that the integrity of the earth’s ecological system depends on institutional reform, and that only an ethic of stewardship and trusteeship will create the institutions, laws and policies powerful enough to reclaim and protect the global commons.

This comprehensive exploration of environmental governance will appeal to scholars and students of environmental law, and international law and relations, as well as to UN and government officials and policymakers.

Orders can be placed on this website, which also contains links to selected chapters that can be downloaded.

National Strategies for Sustainability (New Zealand Centre for Environmental Law Monograph Series, Vol. Four, 2015); 185 pages.

This e-book reviews national strategies for achieving sustainable development in the European Union, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Taking a comparative perspective, it identifies the main features of advanced national strategies  (e.g. goals, comprehensiveness, effectiveness) and contrasts them with efforts in New Zealand (lagging behind most OECD countries). The book provides state-of-the-art guidance for developing a national strategy for sustainability in New Zealand as well as in other countries.

This publication may be downloaded at Amazon:

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Earth Charter workshop at 12th IUCN AEL Colloquim

On June 30th, a side event called “Importance of ethics for international environmental policy and law” took place during the 12th IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Colloquim, at Universitat Rovira I Virgili.

The workshop was organized by Klaus Bosselmann and Prue Taylor Professors at the New Zealand Centre for Environmental Law, in the University of Auckland; Donald A. Brown, Professor at the Widener University School of Law and Peter Burdon, Senior Lecturer at the Adelaide Law School.

The aim of this workshop was to explore the importance of global ethics for international policy, law and governance, particularly with respect to the Earth Charter and to global climate change. 

The workshop was attended by approximately fifty participants, mostly environmental law scholars from around the world.
During the event, Klaus Bosselmann gave a presentation on the history and significance of the Earth Charter for the development of international environmental law, highlighting two aspects:

  • the all–inclusive character of the Earth Charter (representing many sectors of emerging global civil society), hence its potential for a “world constitution” and
  • its recognition in a number of international agreements (mostly around the notion of ecological integrity) and in the legal literature.

The discussion centered on promotion of the Earth Charter in law courses, research/publications and actual policy formulation.

Then, Peter Burdon spoke on “ethics in action” making the point that any ethical documents will only ever have a significant impact if fully implemented and tested on a day-to-day basis. This led to a discussion about IUCN’s responsibility to “walk the talk” (following its own endorsement of the Earth Charter).

The second part of the workshop was devoted to climate change ethics and a new international project coordinated by Prue Taylor and Don Brown.  Find more information about this project here.

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New book: The Earth Charter, Ecological Integrity and Social Movements

The Earth Charter, Ecological Integrity and Social Movements is a recently published book
edited by Laura Westra and Earth Charter International Director Mirian Vilela. This book offers a variety of perspectives through a collection of 19 chapters written by scholars from universities situated in different parts of the world.  It provides a series of analyses of issues of concern in terms of ecological integrity,  international law for
human rights and social movements and it relates them to the Earth Charter. The book also shows the strong connection between ecological
integrity and social justice, particularly in the defense of indigenous people. It includes contributions from both the North and the global South,
specifically from Central and South America.

Among the chapters are submissions by climate ethics specialist Don Brown, by international
law academic Klaus Bosselmann on the Rule of Law Grounded in Earth, and by Leonardo Boff and
Mirian Vilela on the social movements in Brazil. The other chapters are equally compelling comprising papers from
all over the world and from many esteemed universities.

You can
purchase the book here and see the pdf attachment at the bottom of the article to receive a 20% discount with your purchase.

These are
the book’s contents:

Prologue: Summons to a New Axial Age: The Promise, Limits, and
Future of the Earth Charter

Ron Engel


Mirian Vilela


Laura Westra

Part 1: The Earth Charter and the Search for
Common Ground

1. The Rule of Law Grounded in the Earth: Ecological Integrity as
a Grundnorm

Klaus Bosselmann

2. The Earth Charter, the Commons and the Common Heritage of
Mankind Principle

Prue Taylor

3. Realising Earth Democracy: Governance from Below

Peter Burdon

Part 2: International Law, Ethics and Social

4. The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human
Rights: Presenting the Problem as the Solution

Mihir Kanade

5. Norms For Scientific Claims Made in The Face of Scientific
Uncertainty: Lessons From the Climate Change Disinformation Campaign

Don Brown

6. What a Difference a Disaster Makes-or Doesn’t: A Comparative
Case Study of Governmental and Popular Responses to Hurricanes Katrina and

Sheila Collins

Part 3: International Law, Human Rights and
Ecological Integrity

7. The Law of Transboundary Groundwater

Joseph Dellapenna

8. Oceans for Sale

Jeff Brown and Abby Sandy

9. Land Grabbing, Food Security and the Environment: Human Rights

Onita Das and Evadné Grant

10. Is a Green New Deal Strategy a Sustainable Response to the
Social and Ecological Challenges of the Present World?

Eva Cudlínová

11. Frack Off! – Law, Policy, Social Resistance, Coal Seam Gas
Mining and the Earth Charter

Janice Gray

Part 4: Indigenous Voices for Integrity

12. Canadian Avatar: Reshaping Relationships Through Indigenous

Kathleen Mahoney

13. Sharing the River of Life: The Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign

Jack Manno

14. Indigenous Laws and Aspirations for a Sustainable World

Linda Te Aho

15. Moving Toward Global Eco-Integrity: Implementing Indigenous
Conceptions of Nature in a Western Legal System

Catherine Iorns Magallanes

Part 5: Government Decisions, Environmental
Policies and Social Movements

16. Society, Changes and Social Movements: The Case of Brazil

Leonardo Boff and Mirian Vilela

17. Environmental Sustainability Beyond The Law: A Venezuelan

María Elisa Febres

18. Costa Rica: The First Latin American Country Free of Open Pit
Gold Mining

Eugenia Wo Ching

19. The Earth Charter. An Environmental Policy Instrument in
Mexico – a Soft Law or Hard Policy Perspective

Francisco Javier Camarena Juarez

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An innovative way to raise funds with lottery

Cause U Effect!!

Southern Cross Community Enterprises is a values and outcome driven non profit enterprise that has created a revolutionary world’s first online community lottery, non profit network, and community enterprise facility for the benefit of Australian communities.

Their unique Winners Charity Choice Raffles allows players to win cash and prizes, and make donations to the charity of their choice.

The idea is to allow individuals to express and exchange their values and ideas, and help to build respect, empathy and understanding between people.

SCCE has adopted the Earth Charter as their constitutional charter and ethical code of practice.  For Chris Ross, Founder and Trustee of SCCE, it is their intention to promote and encourage this document in the processes and programs they support.

They are planning to specifically funding and supporting projects that involve youth, conservation and environment, cultural exchange, and innovative community enterprise initiatives.

This will include an online community enterprise market where non profit community groups can develop and sell merchandise online.

SCCE is just starting; therefore their range of activities is limited to Australia.  Nonetheless, they would like to work with organisations throughout the world to share their vision and create a global community enterprise network that supports free, ethical, and sustainable exchange of trade, friendship, and ideas. 

Read here an short explanation of how to participate.

For more information please contact:

Southern Cross Community Enterprises
ABN: 25 107 769 422
26 Bay View Drive
Tathra NSW 2550
PH: 0264941085

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New Book launched: "The Earth Charter, A framework for global governance"

The Earth Charter is now widely understood as the leading ethical framework for global governance. What does this mean for the further development of international law?

This book examines some key features of international environmental law such as state sovereignty, global governance, sustainable development and the precautionary principle. With a focus on current failures and shortcomings, the text analyzes The Earth Charter’s potential to provide a legal framework for future global governance.

A theme throughout this text is the need to examine and understand existing global governance systems, of what passes for “justice” as trade continues to supersede the rights to life and health everywhere, and to re-examine the meaning of democracy.

The uniqueness of this text is that it analyzes The Earth Charter from a legal as well as ethical point of view. Bringing together the expertise of lawyers specializing in environmental law, the text can be used as an introduction to the challenges surrounding current international law and governance. It should be of interest to students and scholars of international law, environmental law and international relations and further to anyone interested in issues of sustainability.

The primary readers of this text are civil society (NGOs), policy makers, and academia, especially students taking university courses related to sustainability and/or international law and policy. The book will be a main text in courses specifically concerned with global environmental governance, and a supplemental reader in courses addressing sustainability more generally.

This book was launched on 29 June 2010 at the celebration of the Earth Charter’s 10th anniversary in The Hague, Holland, in the presence of HRH Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands. 

The Authors:
Klaus Bosselmann is Professor of Law and Director of the New Zealand Centre for Environmental Law at the University of Auckland.  J. Ronald Engel is a professor emeritus of theology and senior research fellow at the Centre For Humans and Nature in Chicago.

The book:
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: KIT Publishers (September 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9460220932
ISBN-13: 978-9460220937

Click here for information about how to order this book.

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Professor Klaus Bosselmann receives the first IUCN Annual Scholarship Award

Earth Charter International is happy to announce that Professor Klaus Bosselmann, Earth Charter Affiliate from New Zealand, received the first annual Scholarship Award as best researcher in the category of Environmental Law Academic with more than 10 years of experience.

The award ceremony took place at the 7th Annual Colloquium of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law, held in Wuhan, China, 4 November 2009.

Professor Bosselmann is the Director of the New Zealand Centre for Environmental Law at University of Auckland. His research focuses on the theoretical dimensions of environmental law and he is particularly interested in the ethics of sustainability with respect to climate change, biodiversity, justice and human rights.

Some of Professor Bosselmann’s current projects are closely related to the Earth Charter. Together with Ron Engel he is currently editing the next book : “The Earth Charter: a framework for global governance” due mid 2010. He is a member of IUCN Commission on Environmental Law and in its Ethics Specialist Group. Moreover, he has authored or edited eighteen books, contributed numerous book chapters and published numerous scholarly journal articles. Many of his works refer to the Earth Charter.

Bosselman’s Books include:
The Principle of Sustainability (Ashgate, 2008)
Governance for Sustainability: Issues, Challenges, Successes (IUCN, 2008)

Bosselman’s Chapters in books with reference to the Earth Charter are:

“The Way Forward: Governance for Ecological Integrity” in Reconciling Human Existence with Ecological Integrity (Earthscan, 2008),

“Earth Charter”, entry for Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (Oxford University Press, 2008).

“The Earth Charter and Global Environmental Government” in Global Environment: Problems and Policies (Atlantic Publ., 2007)

“The Earth Charter in the Classroom: Transforming the Role of Law” in Education for Sustainable Development in Action – Good Practices using the Earth Charter (UNESCO and Earth Charter International, 2007)

“The Significance of the Earth Charter in International Law” in Toward a Sustainable World: the Earth Charter in Action (Kluwer International, 2005). 

Essays on the Earth Charter by Prof. Klaus Bosselmann in scholarly journals:

“In Search of Global Law: The Significance of the Earth Charter” (2004) Worldviews: Environment, Culture, Religion 8 no. 1: 62-75, “Die Erd-Charta: Entwurf einer Ethik der Nachhaltigkeit” (2002) Natur und Kultur 3: 57-72.

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New book: Strong Sustainability for New Zealand

Sustainable Aotearoa New Zealand (‘SANZ’), in collaboration with New Zealand National Committee of UNESCO released a report called: Strong Sustainability for New Zealand: PRINCIPLES AND SCENARIOS.

One of the authors, Klaus Bosselman, Earth Charter Affiliate, said “the report defines the concept of sustainability around Earth Charter principles – including ecological integrity – and what it may mean for New Zealand: what is wrong with the way NZ is going, why is “triple-bottom-line” so flawed and how can we envisage the transition towards a sustainable society?”

SANZ is a national network of academics and professionals. The Board of SANZ has produced this ‘think tank’ piece to stimulate debate.  For more information visit:

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