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The Earth Charter in Practice: An Introductory Workshop


E A R T H C H A R T E R I N T E R N A T I O N A L. The Earth Charter in Practice: ... Bellagio Forum for Sustainable Development. The Club of Budapest ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Earth Charter in Practice: An Introductory Workshop

The Earth Charter in Practice An Introductory
  • Advanced Seminar in International Environmental
  • An International, Multi-Institution Collaboration
    of the Asia Pacific Initiative
  • December 8th, 2006
  • Presentation by Hana Heineken,
  • on behalf of the
  • Committee for Promoting the Earth Charter in
    Japan and the Asia Pacific

The Earth Charter A Declaration of Principles and
Values for Building a Just, Sustainable, and
Peaceful World
From the new Earth Charter brochure
The Earth Charter …
  • Synthesizes many existing international
  • Adds the (often missing) ethical dimension
  • Provides a context for how and why to engage
    in sustainability work and use other tools and
  • Acts as a framework that unifies inspiration and
    commitment with action and implementation
  • Is a Peoples Charter, grounded in an
    international, massively multi-stakeholder
    consultation process

The Earth Charter represents a Global Consensus
on Sustainability and an Ethical Call to Action
Core sustainability values
Responsibility to take action
I. Respect for nature II. Universal human
rights III. Economic justice IV. Culture
of peace
  • Protect ...
  • Care ...
  • Transmit ...
  • Adopt ...
  • Support ...
  • Reduce ...
  • Require ...
  • Eliminate ...
  • Honor ...

The Sixteen Core Principles of the Earth Charter
  • 1. Respect Earth and life in all its diversity.
  • 2. Care for the community of life ...
  • 3. Build democratic societies ...
  • 4. Secure Earth's bounty and beauty for future
    generations ...
  • In order to fulfill these four broad
    commitments, it is necessary to
  • 5. Protect and restore ... Earth's ecological
    systems ...
  • 6. Prevent harm ... apply a precautionary
  • 7. Adopt sustainable patterns of production,
    consumption, and reproduction ...
  • 8. Advance the study of ecological sustainability
  • 9. Eradicate poverty ...
  • 10. Ensure that economic activities ... promote
    human development ...
  • 11. Affirm gender equality ... ensure universal
  • 12. Uphold the right of all ... to a healthy
    natural and social environment
  • 13. Strengthen democratic institutions ...
  • 14. Integrate sustainability into formal
    education and life-long learning ...
  • 15. Treat all living beings with respect and
  • 16. Promote a culture of ... peace
  • … Supported by 61 more detailed subprinciples

The Charter is a Comprehensive and
Inclusive Definition of Sustainable Development
The Mission of the Earth Charter Initiative
  • The mission of the Earth Charter Initiative
  • is to establish a sound ethical foundation
  • for the emerging global society
  • and to help build a sustainable world
  • based on respect for nature, diversity,
  • universal human rights, economic justice,
  • and a culture of peace.

A Brief History of the Earth Charter Initiative
A Brief History of the Earth Charter Initiative
The Earth Charter Commission … was responsible
for the final text of the Charter
CO-CHAIRS Mikhail Gorbachev, Russia Mercedes
Sosa, Argentina Maurice Strong, Canada Amadou
Toumani Touré, Mali A.T. Ariyaratne, Sri
Lanka Princess Basma Bint Talal, Jordan Leonardo
Boff, Brazil Pierre Calame, France Severn
Cullis-Suzuki, Canada Wakako Hironaka, Japan John
Hoyt, USA Yolanda Kakabadse, Ecuador Ruud
Lubbers, The Netherlands
Wangari Maathai, Kenya Elizabeth May, Canada
Federico Mayor, Spain Shridath Ramphal,
Guyana Henriette Rasmussen, Greenland Steven
Rockefeller, USA Mohamed Sahnoun, Algeria Awraham
Soetendorp, The Netherlands Pauline Tangiora, New
Zealand/Aotearoa Erna Witoelar, Indonesia Kamla
Chowdhry, India (In memoriam)
A Brief History of the Earth Charter Initiative
Earth Charter Endorsements
Selected Endorsers Includes over 2,500
Organizations, Institutions, Cities and Ministries
  • African Womens Development and Communication
    Network, Kenya
  • Arab Office for Youth and Environment, Egypt
  • Associaçao Portuguesa de Educaçao Ambiental -
    ASPEA, Portugal
  • Australian Centre for Environmental Law
  • Bellagio Forum for Sustainable Development
  • The Club of Budapest
  • National Council on Environment and Sustainable
    Development, Portugal
  • The CORE Trust, United Kingdom
  • Consejo Estatal de Ecología de Michoacan, Mexico
  • Council of the Parliament of the Worlds
  • The David Suzuki Foundation, Canada
  • Development Alternatives, India
  • Environmental Defense, United States
  • Fundación Mundo Sustenable, Mexico
  • Fundación Valores, Spain
  • Fundación Cultura de Paz, Spain
  • The European Environmental Bureau
  • The Ministries of Environment in the Nations of
    Brazil, Costa Rica, Honduras and Mexico
  • The Government of the Republic of Niger
  • National Committee for International Cooperation
    and Sustainable Development, Netherlands
  • National University, Costa Rica
  • National Wildlife Federation - NWF, United States
  • The Green Belt Movement, Kenya
  • Green Cross International
  • Grupo de los Cien, Mexico
  • Grupo Xcaret, Mexico
  • Instituto Paulo Freire, Brazil
  • International Consortium on Religion and Ecology
  • International Council of Local Governments for
  • Sustainability - ICLEI
  • International Institute for Environment
  • Development - IIED
  • Inuit Circumpolar Conference - ICC
  • The Jane Goodall Institute
  • Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development
  • Kehati, Indonesia
  • LEAD International
  • Lenting, Indonesia
  • The National Center for Youth Development,
  • Nigeria Natural Resources Defense Council,
    United States
  • Pro-Natura, Italy
  • The Senate of Puerto Rico
  • The Senate of Australia
  • The Parliaments of Tatarstan, Kabardino-Balkaria,
    and Kalmykia, Russian Federation
  • Physicians for Social Responsibility, United
  • Stockholm Environment Institute, Sweden
  • Third World Academy of Sciences - TWAS, Italy
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and
    Cultural Organization - UNESCO
  • United Nations University
  • University for Peace, Costa Rica
  • The US Conference of Mayors
  • Vitae Civilis, Brazil
  • The Wilderness Society, Australia
  • World Conservation Union - IUCN
  • Women Environment Development Organization -
  • World Federation of Engineering Organizations
  • World Resources Institute, United States

A Brief History of the Earth Charter Initiative
Earth Charter International Developments in 2006
  • Creation of new international governing Council,
    engagement of new leadership, staff, and
    strategic partners
  • Conversion of former Earth Charter Secretariat
    (Costa Rica) to Earth Charter International, an
    international network of Centers and Affiliates
    (authorized representatives)
  • Opening of new head office in Stockholm, hiring
    of staff
  • Expansion of global education work based in Costa
    Rica, special partnership with UNESCO to promote
    Decade for Education for SD
  • Expansion of international Youth Initiative,
    partnership with Plan Netherlands and other
  • Creation of Earth Charter Business Initiative,
    consultation process, initial conclusions and
    strategy development

Earth Charter in Action A Book Documenting the
First Five Years of Earth Charter Impacts and
Action Programs
  • Authors include Mikhail Gorbachev, Wangari
    Maathai, Jane Goodall, Maurice Strong, Princess
    Basma Bint Talal ... over 70 co-authors
  • Education resource on what sustainability ethics
    and principles mean in practice
  • Examples and case studies from all over the world
    ... from biodiversity to rehabilitating child
  • Moving essays on the need for the Earth Charter
    in these times
  • Entire book is free to download

Peter Blaze Corcoran, Mirian Vilela, and Alide
Roerink, Eds. Published by KIT
Publishers, Netherlands, Released Nov. 2005.
The Earth Charter and Education
  • Framing, Guiding, and Supporting
  • Education for Sustainable Development

The Earth Charter and Education
  • The Earth Charter has been endorsed by UNESCO and
    used as a key reference document for the Decade
    on Education for Sustainable Development (DESD).
  • ECI has been recognized as a strategic partner to
    UNESCO for promoting the DESD.
  • ECI recently began a campaign to convince
    Ministries of Education and other important
    institutions to formally adopt both the DESD and
    the Earth Charter. So far this campaign is
    meeting with success Portugal, Romania, Mexico,
    Costa Rica, and the Australian State of
    Queensland have already responded positively.
  • ECI is organizing and hosting the DESD launch
    event for all of Latin America.
  • ECI education materials are being used to help
    teachers integrate sustainability issues into
    curricula this includes a general guidebook, and
    some specific curricula.
  • Thousands of teachers and schools have used the
    Earth Charter in various ways, ranging from early
    childhood education to whole Masters degree
    courses based on the Charters guiding framework
    (two in Mexico).

Earth Charter Teachers Guide
  • Basic guidance on introducing and teaching
  • Basic guidance on introducing and using the Earth
  • Free to download at

The Earth Charter and Education
  • Questions for Discussion
  • What is the status of Education for Sustainable
    Development in your country / community / field
    of work?
  • What are the most important obstacles or missing
    pieces in ESD, in your context?
  • Could the Earth Charter be helpful?
  • If yes, how?
  • If no, why not?

The Earth Charter and Education
  • BRINK Expedition (Australia) http//
  • The Brink Innovative Education project
  • provides the opportunity for students to learn
    from other cultures, promoting an understanding
    of, and a fascination for the complex world
    around them
  • encourages an awareness of, and a respect for the
    natural environment, while emphasizing the
    students' role as active global citizens.
  • With the aid of modern technology the adventures
    of the Brink Expedition is shared with Australian
    schools through LIVE satellite link ups and
    regular on-line journals, complementing a
    professionally developed web-based curriculum
    that has been tailored specially for this global
  • Module 1 The Brink Expedition and The Earth
  • Module 2 Indigenous Peoples of the Americas
  • Module 3 Ocean Care
  • Module 4 Global Warming
  • Module 5 Understanding Cultures
  • Module 6 Fairer Trade
  • Module 7 Endangered Species
  • Module 8 Disappearing Forests
  • Module 9 Indigenous Australians

The Earth Charter and Education
  • The Classic Live for the United Nations (Japan)
  • http//
  • History of the Project Since 2004, they have
    performed environmental musicals around Japan
    based on the philosophy and principles of the
    Earth Charter.
  • Aim To appeal to people of all ages to rethink
    their lifestyle in favor of a sustainable world
  • Musashino, Tokyo 2000 Our Forest is Alive Part
  • Urayasu, Tokyo 2001 Our Forest is Alive Part 1
  • Kawaguchi, Saitama 2002 Our Forest is Alive
    Part 1
  • Naha, Okinawa 2004 Our Forest is Alive Part 2
    Our Earth Charter
  • Kanazawa, Ishikawa 2005 Our Forest is Alive
    Part 3 Our Earth Charter
  • New York 2005 Our Forest is Alive Part 3 Our
    Earth Charter
  • Tochigi 2006 Our Forest is Alive Part 3 Our
    Earth Charter
  • Ibaraki 2006 Our Forest is Alive Part 3 Our
    Earth Charter
  • Kawasaki 2006 Our Forest is Alive Part 3 Our
    Earth Charter
  • Yokosuka Marine Base 2006 Our Forest is Alive
    Part 3 Our Earth Charter

The Earth Charter and the Business Sector
Earth Charter Business Initiative History in Brief
  • Business was only minorly involved in the
    drafting of the Earth Charter. During that
    period -- from 1992-2000 -- there was less
    communication between Civil Society and
    Business sectors in sustainable development
    work. The concept of stakeholder engagement was
    still in its infancy.
  • The inclusion of the precautionary principle in
    the Earth Charter caused the withdrawal of at
    least one major business group from the
    consultation process in 1997.
  • However, a number of leaders in the Earth Charter
    Initiative were also business leaders, e.g.
    Maurice Strong (former CEO, Quebec Hydro) and
    Ruud Lubbers (family-owned company in the
  • The Earth Charter received hundreds of
    endorsements from small and medium-sized
    businesses, and from some business associations,
    most of them socially responsible businesses
  • To this day, however, no major multi-national
    corporations have endorsed the Earth Charter.
    Nor has ECI sought such endorsement.

Earth Charter Business Initiative History in
Brief (2)
  • In March 2006, ECI began a serious of seminars
    and consultation processes. (London Imperial
    College, GRI Congress, etc)
  • ECI plans to launch its Business Initiative in
    early 2007 based on the results of these
  • ECI expects to focus on
  • Encouraging global participation in the UN Global
    Compact and GRI
  • Developing collaboration with the GRI for those
    wishing to use the Earth Charter in their
    reporting processes
  • Creating tools and processes for inspiration and
    training, especially for young leaders in
    business and management
  • Outreach to those parts of the world, and those
    business sectors, that have not yet embraced SD
    and CSR

The Earth Charter, GRI, and The Global
Compact They share similarities in origin and
purpose. All are …
  • Sustainability-oriented All seek to give
    guidance on and to balance economic, social,
    environmental considerations
  • Derived from international norms and principles
    developed and agreed by governments (e.g. the
    Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
  • Globally relevant All intended for use by all
    organisations, in both developed and developing
    countries, whether large or small
  • Partnership-based All seek to engage all sectors
    business, civil society, and public sector
    from all corners of the globe
  • Voluntary To enable greatest flexibility of use
    and experimentation, the instruments developed by
    each are intended for voluntary use

A Proposition Regarding How to Use The Earth
Charter, GRI, and Global Compact
  • Use the Earth Charter …
  • to provide a motivating vision, a comprehensive
    ethical foundation, and a comprehensive view of
    global challenges
  • Support the Global Compact …
  • and make the companys or organizations
    commitment to global citizenship and to the
    international communitys common goals, such as
    the Millennium Development Goals clear and
  • Do GRI-Based Reporting …
  • to ensure accountability both to stakeholders
    and the world generally, and harmonize your
    report to include UN-based and Earth Charter
    (civil society) commitments

4 Specific Ways the Earth Charter Can Be Used in
  • As a simplifying and unifying platform for the
    complex array of activities now expected of
    companies, under banners ranging from CSR to EMS
  • As a convening reference point for dialogue with
    multi-stakeholder groups about critical global
  • As a tool for inspiration and education that
    explains the ethical foundations and motivates
    change efforts within companies, or supports the
    convening of external stakeholders
  • As a stimulus for innovation for the
    design/redesign of products, services, and
    business models - What would this look like if
    it met all the conditions for a just, peaceful,
    and sustainable world?

The Earth Charter and Communities
  • Ethics-Based Inspiration, Planning, and
    Assessment for Long-Term Sustainable Development

The Earth Charter and Communities
  • Over 400 cities and towns have endorsed the Earth
    Charter and more are added constantly.
  • The Earth Charter is both endorsed by ICLEI, and
    referenced as part of ICLEIs Constitution.
  • The Earth Charter was endorsed by the US
    Conference of Mayors.
  • However, endorsement is only now becoming
    something more concrete and action-oriented.

The Earth Charter as an Educational Tool for
  • Defines sustainability
  • Covers all aspects
  • Builds legitimacy
  • Inspires and informs
  • Links local to global
  • Reaches from classroom to council
  • Provides a common platform for action
  • Sets the bar for performance very high

EarthCAT Earth Charter Community Action Tool -
Comprehensive Planning Support Tool, Available
Free On-Line
  • Integrated goal-setting and planning process
  • Tied to the principles of the Earth Charter
  • Supports systems analysis, indicator development,
    implementation strategy
  • Workbook and website

Developed as a partnership between Earth Charter
Initiative, World Resources Institute, and Global
Community Initiatives (Lead Partner on
EarthCAT is being used in two North American
Cities Calgary, Canada (Imagine Calgary
100-Year Planning Process) and Newburgh, USA
(Master Plan).
Newburgh, New York
Poster from Calgary planning process
It is also the basis for a training program for
South African local government officials
Training photo, SA Local Government Assn, by ECI
partner Global Community Initiatives
The EarthCAT Website
  • Online workbook and planning process, keyed to
    the 16 core principles of the Earth Charter
  • Online database can be used by any community,
    free of charge, to record citizen input on
    visions, goals, and indicators of progress

The Earth Charter and Communities
  • Questions for Discussion
  • What is the current status of sustainable
    development engagement in your community?
  • Is the Earth Charter being used in that context?
    If yes, how? If not, could it be?
  • Should ECI focus additional effort on developing
    tools for the community sector? Why or why not?

In Closing, What ECI Asks All Endorsers to Do
  • Endorsement signing a statement of support for
    the Earth Charter is open to all without
    restriction at our website. However, ECI now
    encourages the practice of Engagement
    Endorsement, which invites endorsers to
  • Strive to implement the principles of the Charter
    in everyday operations and activities, and
    regularly review progress
  • Promote the Earth Charter, through contacts with
    third parties
  • Contribute to the mission of the Earth Charter
    Initiative -- somewhere, somehow -- whether with
    their time, money or in-kind donations

Thank you …