The Earth Charter at the World Social Forum 2021

The Earth Charter Brazilian Network with the support of Alternativa Terrazul and Earth Charter International participated at the World Social Forum with 2 activities that took place on Tuesday 26 January, 2021.

The first activity was called: “The relevance of the Earth Charter in the face of the civilization crisis, and other crises”.


  • Leonardo Boff: Theologian and Writer
  • Fritjof Capra: Scientist and Writer.
  • Mirian Vilela: Executive Director of ECI
  • Moderators: Pedro Ivo and Moema Viezzer – members of Earth Charter Brazilian Network.

The recording of this event is available in EC Youtube Channel:

Most of the event happened in Portuguese, Fritjof Capra spoke in English and there was translation of other moments during the event.

Mirian Vilela presented the Earth Charter, as a declaration of 16 principles for building a sustainable, just and peaceful world. It can be seen as a compass or guide that individuals, organizations and nations can use for their decision making.

Leonardo Boff, participating through a video recording, reminded us to the important unprecedented moment we are living, therefore, we need to form a global partnership to care for Earth and one another or risk the destruction of ourselves and the diversity of life. The Earth Charter presents a new ecological paradigm, that see the Earth as a living and interdependent being. To move to this new paradigm, we require a change of mind and heart, a new sense of global interdependence and universal responsibility. Having a sense of collective responsibility will enable a sustainable way of living.

Fritjof Capra said that none of our major problems (including the COVID pandemic) can be understood in isolation. These are interconnected, therefore to understand and solve them we need to learn how to think systemically, in terms of relationships and patterns. Solutions for our pressing problems need to be regenerative, and many of these solutions have been discussed in previous world social forums. Capra argues that we have the technologies and solutions to solve the problems. Why our leaders don’t help us to build a more sustainable world?

We realize that the conceptual level is not the whole story. We need to deal with values and ethics. Ethics is usually associated with philosophy and religion, but it can be linked to science. In evolution, natural selection favors the communities that practice cooperation, in humans we call this ethical behavior. Ethics has to do with communities, it is behavior for the common good.

Capra reminded us that we belong to 2 communities, we are all members of humanity and to the global biosphere (the community of life). In this sense, we should behave as members of the community of life in a respectful way, so the biosphere can continue to sustain life.
For Capra, the Earth Charter covers the broad range of ethical principles to be members of the community of life. Even though it was written 20 years ago, it continues to be very valid and the ethics that we need today.

The second activity at the World Social Forum was a panel with members of the Earth Charter Brazilian network, where they shared good practices of putting the Earth Charter into practice in Brazil.