United Kingdom Archives - Earth Charter

Launching Reverence for Life Awareness Week in 2018

Reverance for Life SchwezerThe charity “Reverence for Life UK” (RfLUK) will inaugurate the first “Reverence for Life Awareness Week” from the 15th – 23rd September 2018.

Amongst the several projects, they have planned for that week there will be a series of daily postings on Facebook and on their website inviting contemplation of what the phrase “Reverence for Life” can mean and suggesting simple ways in which it can find expression and motivate action in our lives.reverence uk

As one of the celebratory actions, RfLUK will be re-endorsing the Earth Charter as the most profound and up to date expression of the ethics of Reverence for Life in the realm of governance.

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Saving endangered species

In this context, Percy Mark, past chairman of RfLUK and longtime friend and supporter of Dr. Albert Schweitzer, wrote a short essay to show the connection between Albert Schweitzer’s early preoccupation with issues of governance and between Reverence for Life and the Earth Charter.  Find this essay by clicking here.

All are invited to engage with the Reverence for Life Awareness Week at the local level and from your own context between Saturday 15th to Sunday 23rd September. The ‘Week’ is organized around the following themes for each of the eight days.

DAY ONE – Reverence for Life is:


DAY TWO – Reverence for Life is:

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The ethos of a leper community in India


 DAY THREE – Reverence for Life is:  


DAY FOUR – Reverence for Life is:


DAY FIVE – Reverence for Life is:


DAY SIX – Reverence for Life is:


DAY SEVEN – Reverence for Life is:

Percy Mark and Albert Schweitzer in Lambarene, Gabon.

Percy Mark, Verena Mark and Albert Schweitzer in Lambarene, Gabon.


DAY EIGHT – Reverence for Life is:


For more information visit Reverence for Life UK  and Reverence for Life UK Facebook.

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Deep Time Walk, a walk through Earth’s 4.6bn year history, partners with ECI and Mapting

As we prepare for Earth Day, we are excited to share our reflections of the Deep Time Walk application. This app was created after a concept developed at Schumacher College with co-creator Stephan Harding, Resident Ecologist at Schumacher College. Untitled

The mobile app, which you are invited to put in your pocket when first starting the walk, invites you on a 4.6 km walk to discover Earth’s 4.6 billion year history- 1 metre is equivalent to 1 million years of the Earth’s history. Earth Charter Youth Projects Coordinator, Christine Lacayo along with intern Maksim Lavrik experienced this app by walking through the Peace Park trails at the University for Peace. Forests, riverbanks, parks, and other natural settings are ideal places for your walk to be able to fully experience the journey.

During the walk the listener, explores the Earth’s evolution, learns about the role and development of greenhouse gases on Earth, experiences the appearance of bacteria, nucleated cells and, eventually, multicellular organisms, evolution of species, and the arrival of humans. All of this is done in an artistic yet realistic audio experience.

The journey starts from the point where the Earth begins, with zero oxygen and no liquid water. It goes through the birth of Gaia 2 700 million years ago. The ancient Greeks gave this name to the Earth, highlighting the Earth as a living being, the divinity of its creation after the chaos and ability of self-regulation to maintain the delicate balance between living-beings, rocks, water and the atmosphere.

The narrator then raises a rhetorical question, whether science is enough for the understanding of the evolution of the Earth. While the Deep Time Walk offers the scientific explanation based on the latest inter-disciplinary evidence, it also leaves room for spirituality, which correlates with Earth Charter Principle 14d on the integration of different types of knowledge and values into learning including moral and spiritual education for a sustainable lifestyle.IMG_3507

During the walk, the listener recognizes that 252 million years ago the greatest extinction of species occurred with 96 % of marine and 70 % of terrestrial species gone. The Earth became quiet “like the Earth after us” as the narrators mention. We can say this moment represents the preamble of the Earth Charter, with the critical moment in Earth’s history when humanity must choose its future.

The Deep Time Walk helps the listener feel their connection with the community of life and to recognize the role of mankind in the evolution and protection of our living Earth.

Because of the evident connections between Deep Time Walk and the Earth Charter, we are excited to announce our partnership with the Deep Time Walk app and Mapting. Mapting is a free tool that invites users to look for everyday actions that people take which help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while discovering Earth Charter Principles.

At the end of the 4.6 km walk, Deep Time Walk will invite listeners to adopt the Earth Charter and download Mapting and make use of it in their everyday lives- sharing their sustainable development projects and connecting with others around the world using Mapting.

We invite all of those interested in discovering the beauty of Earth’s history and evolution to download the Deep Time Walk app. If you do, you will experience the feeling of remembering that we are one with Mother Earth, that we came from her and nothing within us is separated from her. We invite you to help others remember, to emerge consciousness, and to protect our Mother Gaia.

For more information see: Deep Time Walk. A history of the living Earth.


Written by: Youth Projects Coordinator, Christine Lacayo and Earth Charter Intern, Maksim Lavrik




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If not now, when? Reflection by the Director of Scottish International Storytelling Festival



By Donald Smith

Donald Smith

Can imagination change the world? That was the question behind this year’s Scottish International Storytelling Festival, Open Word-Open World. Of course, the answer is ‘not on its own’. However, imagination can change the way we look at things and pave the way for action.

This year, as part of the 70th anniversary of Edinburgh as a Festival City, storytellers chose to support The Earth Charter Initiative. The Earth Charter sets out principles and values that are vital if humanity is to have a future on this planet. Begun in the nineteen eighties, it has been progressively adopted by voluntary organisations, NGO’s and governments round the world.

As you would expect the Charter emphasises ecology, social justice, conflict resolution and education. But above all, it addresses the need to end our alienation from the rest of nature, and realise our connectedness with other forms of life. Earth is first and foremost, the Charter affirms, ‘Our Home’.

Humanity is part of a vast revolving universe. Earth, our home, is alive with a unique community of life. The forces of nature make existence a demanding and uncertain adventure, but Earth has provided the conditions essential to life’s evolution.

The root cause of humanity’s survival crisis is not our part in nature but our disconnect – our willingness to use the rest of existence as a tool designed only for us, to be discarded or even destroyed when we think that its usefulness is exhausted. That profound alienation from life is a matter for imagination and emotion. It is our apathy- our lack of fellow feeling- that is destroying the planet and ourselves with it.

Yet we are part of nature, and nature is part of us. The web of life is inclusive and inter-connected. Storytellers have woven these relationships and patterns into their narrative webs for millennia. Stories generate understanding and engage hearts as well as minds. That is why the Storytelling Festival brought storytellers together in a Global Gathering to consider what they can contribute to The Earth Charter. This discussion could shape their worldwide art and practice for decades to come.

However, why in Scotland, and in Edinburgh? Seventy years ago, Edinburgh was launched as a European Festival city in order that after six years of bloody global conflict, the arts would be re-established as a means of peaceful understanding and co-existence. The location was inspired by the Scottish Enlightenment with its sense of universal human rights and values, yet also with an awareness of the need for new Enlightenment to embrace a post-colonial world.

The Scottish Enlightenment though did not end with the eighteenth century- a common misunderstanding- but continues to the present day. One of the Scottish Enlightenment’s most creative thinkers, Patrick Geddes, belongs to the early twentieth century. He was celebrated in the Edinburgh Art Festival this summer because of his seminal influence on ‘Making the Future’ and he is also an inspirer of the Storytelling Festival and Centre.

Geddes was an ecologist before his time, a community arts activist, a sociologist, an educationalist, a social reformer, and a ground breaking civic planner. Moreover, his ideas were formed in the crucible of Edinburgh’s then decaying Old Town, where he brought people together to re-story the future. That is what puts Geddes right into the present day- our potential to change the narrative.

Patrick Geddes defied the still prevalent idea that life is driven by competition and conflict- the survival of the fittest. Instead he emphasised that human consciousness can change and evolve, beyond the legacy of physical evolution. Humanity can think and feel differently and so make the future. Yet creative change can only happen, according to Geddes, if we understand our place in the wider universe of life.

There is a lot of Patrick Geddes in The Earth Charter. Nevertheless, the time has come for a leap of consciousness, a step-change rather than gradual development. This is the opportunity posed by humanity’s current crisis- the possibility of a radical shift. However, if we shift backwards into barbarous conflict, that is also the threat. What would a leap forward involve?

We might turn for an answer to a modern storyteller, John Berger, who meditated long and hard on the meaning of the art of live stories. A year before his death at 90, Berger described storytelling as above all an act of hospitality. A willingness to share someone else’s experience and emotions. To wear as it were someone else’s clothes, and feel their lives on our bodies, minds and hearts.

Could such acts of radical empathy hold the clue to our common future? As Berger had written years before, ‘to try to understand the experience of another, it is necessary to dismantle the world as seen from one’s own place within it and to reassemble it as seen from his.’ Or, in the phrase that made Berger famous, we can cultivate ‘another way of seeing’.

Yet that requires a leap of imagination, because as human beings we have inherited a different habit of thought and feeling. ‘Us and Them’ is our underlying default psychology. Regularly we revert to a group mentality of insiders and outsiders. Even in the routine practicalities of everyday life, we have to make an effort to include the outsider, to step out of our habitual comfort zones.

However, such low-level exclusions are also the source of oppression, injustice, conflict and violence on a large scale. When the underlying group mentality takes hold under pressure we are individually and collectively capable of horrifying cruelty, because the ‘Them’ are no longer part of the human ‘Us’. A dehumanised ’Them’ become the object of indifference or even virulent hatred.

The human ability to alienate and hate has been greatly increased by social media. The absence of face-to-face contact makes it easier to name call, denigrate and abuse other people. Gradually that habit of mind corrupts and degrades our social solidarity.

Yet, through self-awareness and empathy, we have the ability to change. When abused others are recognised as characters in a story we share, we can no longer dehumanise them as alien beings. Or as the old proverb has it, ‘once I have heard my enemy’s story, he is no longer my enemy’. Social media also has the power to connect. If North Koreans were able to speak with people beyond their borders, then the bubble of fear in which they are forced to live would be burst.

In leaping the mental barricades of division, we use imagination, but also reason, because we are all inter-dependent, with one common home, the earth. There is no ‘final solution’ that evades the need to live together. The efficacy of destruction and death is a delusion of misdirected power. In the end, the bell is also tolling for us.

Still, the decisive attraction of radical empathy may not be reason or imagination but its emotional fulfilments. We are above all creatures of emotion. The feelings generated by inclusion and fellow-feeling are richer and more fulfilling than a group mentality driven by fear and insecurity. Negative emotion gnaws away at the wellbeing not only of its objects but its subjects too. What is true on a personal level also applies to communities, ethnicities, and nationalities. Hostility is a slow killer, hatred an outright poison.

What might trigger a leap of consciousness? Angus Peter Campbell, poet and storyteller, has just published a novel called ‘Memory and Straw’. In it, a young Artificial Intelligence innovator is working on designing mask-bots with human facial characteristics for robots. They will replace carers looking after the elderly and infirm. This work sets Gavin off on a journey into his own family history, which his partner Emma does not share. As she and Gavin sit looking at the rebuilt Reichstag in Berlin, she tells him:

Your proper work should really be this. To make a story out of glass and steel, not memory and straw. You need to deal with things, as they are, not how they were.

But, Gavin’s personal quest has already overtaken his commitment to technological innovation – he has been captivated by memory and straw.

Angus Peter Campbell acknowledges this antithesis yet moves beyond it. There are two things, he senses that can unite us as human in both realms- glass and steel; memory and straw. These are the love of the present moment, its diversity, richness and uniqueness. Or, as John Berger puts it, ‘hold everything dear’.

However, to enable this awareness we have sometimes to live in slow time. We have to experience our own selves as something real and present, for it is in that way we experience the life of everything around us as significant and real. To empathise with others, and other forms of life, helps gives us a consciousness beyond just existing. In the act of storytelling, a community of awareness is created. The individual consciousness is caught up into something richer and enriching, as the ‘I’ of experience, becomes the ‘we’ of shared story.

Some look to religion to provide such a sense of meaning. If human beings, with or without religious beliefs, act as if life has meaning, then we create the meaning, and become part of it. Storytelling is an art that creates meaning through what links disparate events into a narrative, the atoms into a dance.

Storytellers and story listeners share the making of meaning by what they put into the gaps between the words. They are co-creators and inventors. Therefore, we can endorse the excellent principles and values of The Earth Charter, but it is by storying and living them that the future will be changed. Angus Peter Campbell gives this insight, in a musical metaphor, to Gavin’s partner Emma, who is a composer.

I bet you looked at the notes and said to yourself ‘Music!’. But you’d be wrong. That’s not music on the other side of this page –  just lines and dots and symbols. The music doesn’t happen until you sing through and round and between the marks.

As the Scottish International Storytelling Festival approached, the worst consequences of humanity’s default psychology- ‘Them and Us’ – were once again on global display. The destructive folly of harnessing such emotions for political ends is terrifyingly apparent. The rest of Planet Earth is required to wait on the side-lines, while single track humans indulge in competitive displays of technological power, that are fatally undermining our own means of existence. Such delusions of control literally ‘cost the earth’.

However, the seeds of a different future are already in our hands, minds and hearts. The Global Gathering felt for participants like a transformative event. There was radical empathy and a creative passion to open up the shared web of life; to fully connect us with the diverse riches of nature’s patterns and possibilities. The Gathering took the first tentative steps towards forming a global network of storytellers to work with the Earth Charter.

Above all, there was hope, and joy. The future is a story we can make together. If not now, when?

Donald Smith is Director of the Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2017, Open Word-Open World. ‘Memory and Straw’ by Angus Peter Campbell was published in August 2017 by Luath Publishing.

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Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics Online Youth Course has Started and Next one in Spanish Begins 11 Sept!


Our fifth Leadership, Sustainability, and Ethics online youth course in English started on 19 June. With 25 youth representing over 13 nations we are thrilled to be interacting and engaging youth from so many countries such as Kenya, Nigeria, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Japan, India, Spain, US, UK, Netherlands, and Canada. The 10-week course will end on 28 August and will cover topics such as Leadership, Sustainability, Ecoliteracy, Systems Thinking, Ethics, Facilitation, the Earth Charter.

The course is being co-facilitated by Youth Projects Coordinator Christine Lacayo and Earth Charter Young Leaders, Victor Okechukwu from Nigeria and Rohdof Lactem from Cameroon.

We have some extremely inspiring and sharp youth in this course; representatives from UN Major Group for Children and Youth, 4 people from the National Union of Students in the UK, someone who is actively involved with the Agenda 21 in the Basque region of Spain, the head of a team of 8 passionate youth in Cameroon who form part of the Hope for the World Youth Association which seeks to bring hope to hopeless communities through entrepreneurship, youth capacity building programs, and someone from the Lopez Community Land Trust (LCLT) in Washington state, a non-profit organization on a small island making sustainable communities a reality by holding land in trust for residents of the island and building affordable homes for low income individuals.

Here are some inspiring quotes from the participants with the following forum question: When you dream about a better future, what are three things you envision?

“I envision a future where all basic needs are met. No one will worry about what they will eat, what they will wear, where they will live, or if they can afford to care for their medical needs. The future I envision has no place for greedy persons. There will be perfect leadership, exacting just judgments. In this world that I envision, no one will be convicted of crimes that they didn’t commit. If someone is disciplined or charged with something, they will have to acknowledge that the judgment pronounced on them was just and well deserved. I envision a world full of peace and true happiness. I believe that with the proper leadership and guidance this future will exist for mankind. I must take the first step to be the change that I want to see.” –Quaniqua Williams, USA



“I dream of a world where people are caring towards other people and other animals whom we share our planet with- there are so many injustices towards other human beings that is it difficult to think of a time where we will respect all humans and animals on this planet with equal rights to feel safe, secure and free in our world. Also where all humans understand the true meaning of peace and conflicts and war are no longer an issue. Ultimately where people and planet can thrive and where nature can support all human and animal life on the planet and the people can respect and support nature.” – Hannah Wiseman, UK


“A future in which human rights are respected. A future in which the basic needs of each individual are covered in a sustainable way. Where the production chain, starting with the procurement of the raw material, its handling, consumption and disposal is done in a responsible way and respecting the social and environmental rights of all involved.” – Itxaso Bengoechea Larrinaga, Spain

“The three most important things for a better future for me would be reduced economic inequalities within and between communities and countries, drastic decline in diseases such as malaria, cholera and HIV in developing countries and quality/affordable basic education for all children up until the tertiary level. I believe that if the world will truly become sustainable firstly we need to educate and equip as many people as possible in a short period of time. I believe that quality education will birth solutions that will unlock other Sustainable goals.”

– Olabanji Jackson-oke, Nigeria

Our next online youth training programme will be in Spanish and will begin on 11 September until 20 November. Deadline to apply is 28 August! Email Christine Lacayo, Youth Projects Coordinator if you are interested in registering for our next course: Youthcooridantor@earthcharter.orgLSE Spanish Sept

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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:  http://earthcharter.org/events/leadership-sustainability-ethics-june-2017/


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UK’s first Earth Charter school

Proud to be the UK’s first Earth Charter school
By: Debbie Godfrey-Phaure, CEO Avonbourne International Business and Enterprise Trust

Avonwood PrimaryWhen the little ones arrive at Bournemouth’s Avonwood Primary School they are greeted with the positive mantra – to change the world ‘it starts with one.’ Although they don’t know it yet, these four, five and six year-olds who attend Avonwood are in a very privileged position; they are at the UK’s first ever Earth Charter school.

Avonwood Primary SchoolAvonwood Primary opened its doors in September 2014 as Bournemouth’s newest primary school and the first to adopt the charter as the moral compass for all it does. So from their early years’ curriculum right down to the school mascot, the principles of the Earth Charter seep through everything Avonwood does. And it was no surprise that when the idea for this new school was conceived back in 2013 the Earth Charter would be the heartbeat of its formation.

Avonwood is part of the Avonbourne Multi-Academy Trust, which has endorsed the Charter’s ethos since 2008, when Bournemouth Borough Council became the first Earth Charter local authority.

Debbie Godfrey-Phaure, CEO, says “At Avonbourne Trust we have embraced the Earth Charter principles for several years now. Avonwood Primary School has achieved Earth Charter status. It is part of our personal development lessons and it influences our curriculum throughout all subjects taught at Avonbourne College for girls, Harewood College for boys and our mixed Avonbourne Sixth Form. English lessons may include a debate about the Syrian refugee crisis and in science our students learn about climate change and its impact on the planet. So when we planned to open a primary school to join our family of schools it seemed the perfect opportunity to instill the Earth Charter’s principles from the outset of a child’s education.”

Avonwood Primary School has achieved Earth Charter status.I approached the then UK Director of Earth Charter and asked if could we make Avonwood an official Earth Charter school and three years on we are delighted that this is where we now are – the UK’s first. When Avonwood children enter their purpose-built new school building one of their first sights is the Earth Charter poem which has been painted on the main wall in reception. Underpinning everything they do are the following core values: Treat all living beings with care; promote cultural tolerance and peace; learn about different people and religions and build democratic societies.¨

All of this is carried out in an age appropriate way. And on the day the photos for this article were taken the children witnessed the first butterflies to burst from the cocoons that were being kept in the classroom.

Earth Charter 09The Head of Avonwood, Annie Dowling, said: “Having the caterpillars in the classroom has enabled the children to see nature at work, the beginning of new life. The creatures helped them to understand how we need to care for all living creatures, even the tiniest of insects – and look at the rewards when you do take care of them.”

As part of their early years’ curriculum the children learn about different religions and festivals and their school mascot Woody takes them on a daily journey around the world to learn about different cultures. Acts of peace – such as being a good friend – are rewarded in weekly golden assemblies. The children are also getting a taste of democracy and decision making through the school council.

La escuela primaria Avonwood obtuvo estatus Carta de la Tierra.“Our school logo ‘it starts with one’ is taken from the Earth Charter,” Annie added. The children are learning that to make the world a better place it must all start with them. We begin by making them responsible for the tidiness of their own classroom, and then we broaden that to the whole school and eventually get them thinking about what they can do to make things better for their street, their town, their country and even the globe.

Our school is growing and by 2020 will cater for ages up to 11 and so the teaching of the charter’s principles will evolve as the children do. And it will be a seamless transition for the Avonwood children when they go on to either Avonbourne or Harewood colleges for their secondary years. They will join such initiatives as the Earth Charter awards in which Avonbourne and Harewood students recognise green-minded businesses. Or the Project Emerge charity which sees Avonbourne girls issue loans to aspiring businessmen and women from developing countries. And then there’s the eco business ‘Funneling4Fuel’ that was launched by the sixth form and sees recycled oil used to fuel the Trust’s fleet of mini buses. The Trust’s students are also no strangers to campaigning for justice and have even knocked on the door of Number 10 lobbying David Cameron to support the right of every child to go to school.

All those initiatives started with one student and have gone on to benefit people globally. This generation really does care about more than just themselves. They are far more aware of the world and what is happening in it than my generation.

Having the Earth Charter principles taught at our schools help to reinforce the good hearts of our young people.
I for one am very grateful that we are leaving the world to be looked after by this generation.

Click here to see article on this in the Academy Today.

For more information on Avonbourne Trust’s CEO, Debbie Godfrey Phaure, contact Joanne Cox at Avonbourne Trust at 01202 727018.

Watch here a video of Avonwood Primary School:

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Pictures of Success launched in London on the 23rd of October, 2012

During the launch of Pictures of Success, over forty people heard short speeches about a project developing ways of using the Earth Charter to prompt and guide thinking about ecology, equity, peace and the wider community of life, and helping to raise awareness of development issues and the Millennium Development Goals.

As a part of this project, Pictures of Success has been created to show how constructive engagement with the big issues in the world can enrich the lives of people in mainstream companies and be the motive force for completely new and pioneering enterprises.

Some of the Pictures of Success were briefly introduced. Jane Riddiford, Founder and Director of Global Generation talked about the Skip Garden at Kings Cross and the many activities that have happened in and around it.

Ian Agnew, Executive Director of the Lorna Young Foundation, spoke about establishing the Oromo Coffee Company. This social enterprise in Lancashire is owned by Ethiopian refugees in the UK – a unique Fairtrade company that trades directly with producers. Hayley Griffiths from ActionAid spoke about the creation of the Millione Foundation to support ActionAid schools and education programmes in Sierra Leone.

Invited guest, Reverend Dr. Giles Fraser responded by referring firstly to the beauty and creativity of Pictures of Success and then by reminding everyone that many of the issues that Pictures of Success starts to address are far from beautiful.

Almost exactly a year since he resigned from his post as Canon at St. Paul’s Cathedral, he spoke passionately about the need to do more and to move more quickly to address global problems including climate change.

Gwyn Jones, director of the Association of Sustainability Practitioners described remarkable results from using printed Pictures of Success cards in workshops and conferences to engage “the whole person”.

Thanks were given to Sarasin & Partners, who hosted the launch at their offices overlooking the steps of St. Paul’s.

CarbonSense is keen to collaborate with organizations who would like to replicate the Pictures of Success model for their own community, region, city, or country.  The Web site framework, engagement processes, and lessons learned from the UK Earth Charter in Business project will be incorporated in the model that we believe can work anywhere in the world.

Visit the Pictures of Success Web site.

To order a printed copy of “the Earth Charter in a box” comprising 80 x A5 picture cards, each with a story on the reverse (details here) please contact CarbonSense.

For more information, contact:
Earth Charter UK: billrigby@earthcharteruk.org  Tel: +44 207 183 1847
Pictures of Success and CarbonSense peter.martin@carbonsense.com  Tel. office: +44 1626 777274 

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EC Workshops to be held in London between October and December, 2012

Earth Charter UK is organizing a series of six workshops in central London to showcase the Charter and show how it can support individuals, communities, people’s work, or their organizations.

These workshops will be held between Wednesday October 10th and December 12th, 2012 from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. London time at Headrooms, St John’s Path, Clerkenwell, EC1M 4DD, London.

The precise dates and themes are as follows:


More detailed information on this here.

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Earth Charter UK submits a document to the Parliament in preparation for Rio+20

The paper, presented by Earth Charter UK, introduces the Charter, and its current position in the UK. It then addresses the two key issues of Rio+20 (Greening the Economy and Institutional Frameworks), informed both by international papers prepared for the Earth Charter Initiative on these issues and work currently being undertaken in the UK.

It contains three recommendations for consideration by the Committee:

  1. The UK government should recognize and support the Earth Charter as a means of inspiring commitment and action by individuals and organizations.
  2. The UK government is asked to adopt the fifteen principles of a green economy as providing a working framework. These principals individually and together should form the basis of the UK transition towards sustainability and a green economy.
  3. Given the magnitude and multiplicity of environmental and social issues facing our planet, the UK government is urged to support the call at Rio for the establishment of a World Environment Organization.

More information here.

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Video Contest: Call for Submissions

The Earth Charter International (ECI) is conducting its first-ever International Video Contest, in collaboration with Odyssey 2050 movie project and the British Embassy in Costa Rica.  This contest was inspired by the reflections contest organized by Kenmore School (Arlington, VA, USA) in the fall of 2010 (Read here about this experience).

We are inviting schools from all over the world to be part of this contest, and we would love for your school to participate. We are asking for students to  see the trailer of Odyssey 2050 movie, read the Earth Charter and then, submit videos that explain:

“How can we build a better future together?”

These videos can incorporate everything from written essays, to original poems, songs and interviews. We want to see students have the freedom to explore this question and the Earth Charter in the ways that they find most natural.

Why seeing Odyssey 2050 trailer before creating your video essay?  Because this movie is not finished yet, and the producers are going to use all inputs received to define the direction of this movie.  Therefore, all submissions are going to be sent to the producers of Odyssey 2050.  The film is been produced in Costa Rica by Synchro Films, in coordination of the British Embassy and the supervision of  Thelvin Cabezas, an outstanding film animator who worked on Spiderman 2 and Avatar.

Criteria for evaluation:
Entries will be evaluated on the basis of creativity; how well they express and connect to the values and principles of the Earth Charter; and finally, the production value of the videos themselves.

Rules for Participation

  • Videos should be 3-4 minutes in length.
  • All entries should incorporate ideas from Odyssey 2050 trailer and at least one of the principles of the Earth Charter. For a copy of the Earth Charter, please visit earthcharter.org/discover/the-earth-charter/
  • All videos should be the original work of the student(s) who are entering the contest – this means no previously copyrighted material (including background music, previously published poems, etc.)
  • Videos can be produced by teams, but should be made up of no more than 2-4 students.
  • Entries will be considered in three different age categories: 10-12, 13-15, 16-18 . Please note the category for your submission. (If your grade includes people of two different categories – e.g., 11 and 12 year olds, or 14 and 15 year olds, feel free to enter in either category)
  • Submitting a video includes a release for the Earth Charter to use that video in promotional materials, on our website, etc.

About prizes…

Participating in this contest will give you the opportunity to make an impact on the direction of Odyssey 2050 movie. That is, your ideas will help to define how this movie will end. Also, all submissions entered into the contest will be posted online at our website at www.earthcharter.org.
In this sense, all submissions are winners!

A selection of the entries that best follow the evaluation criteria will be featured at the Earth Charter International’s event to be held in the framework of the global United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development – also known as Rio + 20 – in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012.

Finally, one of the videos selected as best entries will win an iPod.

How to submit your video?

There are several options:

You can upload your video in this platform http://www.vimeo.com/groups/earthchartercontest

You can also upload it to YouTube and send us the link, or send your video to us at: ecvideocontest@gmail.com  

Entry Deadlines
All entries should be submitted by 30 November 2011.
For any further questions, feel free to contact ajimenez@earthcharter.org


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