Promoting the Earth Charter in China

As part of the efforts to bring the attention of the Earth Charter to Chinese society, a first meeting of people interested or involved in the EC Initiative was held on July 23, 2014.  Among the participants were Government representatives, university professors and researchers, members of civil society, media and private sector organizations.

The meeting’s objectives were: a) to provide an opportunity for the Chinese experts, researchers and other members working on the Earth Charter to meet with each other and to learn their respective activities; and b) to discuss how to promote Earth Charter in China. 

ECI Council Member, Dr. Wang Hua, chaired the meeting, and Prof. Tian Qing offered a presentation on the rationales and principles of the Earth Charter as well as the EC participatory drafting and development processes. After Prof. Tian’s presentation, the participants discussed about how to promote the Earth Charter in China.

The participants first confirmed the importance of the Earth Charter for China as the application of EC values and principles will contribute to the on-going development of ecologic civilization and environmental, economic and social sustainability in China. The rationales and principles of the Earth Charter are consistent with the ecological civilization that China is building up and many of the EC principles can be used to direct the work of building ecological civilization in China.

The challenges that EC promotion may encounter in China were also discussed. One of them being the importance to further adapt into Chinese specific circumstances many of the concepts in the Earth Charter, through the process of writing, training and dissemination.  EC rationales and principles are consistent with Chinese governmental policies; however a good presentation suitable for the Chinese context is required at the beginning of EC activities in China.

The following are the main points agreed by the meeting’s participants: (1) Creating EC China network to disseminate and promote EC with good coordination; (2) Building EC promotion platform while taking advantage of new and high networking technologies; and (3) Involving both public and private partners including mobilizing private contributions to increase EC impacts while ensuring that EC China remains not-for-profit.  

These are specific activities to implement to reach the above mentioned agreements: 

  • Organization of a workshop on the Earth Charter (in 2015), expanding EC China network.
  • Creation of an EC China webpage, building the platform for EC dissemination, publication and training,
  • Exploration of a possible recognition of the Earth Charter by the Government in the context of ecological civilization development in China. 
  • Recruiting more people to join the Earth Charter China.