Earth Charter International is comprised of the ECI Secretariat, its Education Center and the ECI Council. The ECI Secretariat, which is based at the UN-mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica, endeavors to promote the mission, vision, strategies, and policies adopted by the ECI Council. The Secretariat guides and liaises with efforts to bring the Earth Charter to the fields of education, youth, business, and religion, manages communications with the larger Earth Charter network.

Earth Charter International

Implemented in

  • Costa Rica

Sectors of activity
Education, Scientific Research, Development and Innovation

Type of initiative
Capacity Building & Implementation, Education & Awareness Raising, Policy Frameworks & Tools

Start date
29/06/2000

Objectives

The mission of Earth Charter International is to actively participate, in a systemic and integrated way, in the present transition to sustainable ways of living on the planet, founded on a shared ethical framework that includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, social and economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace.
Goals:
* To raise awareness worldwide of the Earth Charter and to promote understanding of its inclusive ethical vision.
* To seek recognition and endorsement of the Earth Charter by individuals, organizations, and the United Nations.
* To promote the use of the Earth Charter as an ethical guide and the implementation of its principles by civil society, business, and government.
* To encourage and support the educational use of the Earth Charter in schools, universities, religious communities, local communities, and many other settings.
* To promote recognition and use of the Earth Charter as a soft law document.

Strategic Objectives:
* To promote development of a global network of Earth Charter supporters and activists with the collaboration of advisors, affiliates, volunteers and partner organizations.
* To create and disseminate high quality communications and educational materials to different target groups that will reach millions of people.
* To translate key Earth Charter materials in all major languages of the world.
* To set up Earth Charter websites in as many languages as possible in partnership with well-positioned and committed individuals and organizations.
* To have the Earth Charter contribute to important international initiatives and processes so that its essence can be used as a guide in efforts to address urgent challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, the Post-2015 Development Agenda and conflict resolution.
* To undertake training programmes to facilitate the uptake and application of the Earth

The ECI Secretariat and Education Center are focused on the Earth Charter Vision, using the Earth Charter as a benchmark for the pursuit of the “Common Good”, and for ethical decisions in every realm of human activity. Along these lines, the ECI Secretariat works in the following main areas:
* Network Facilitation
* Education and Capacity Building
* Dialogue: building synergies

Activities

Network facilitation:
One of Earth Charter International’s core functions is to support the EC Initiative network. To do so, ECI:
* Offers multiple platforms to share information among organizations and individuals that are making use of the Earth Charter around the world.
* Helps to connect people and organizations within the Initiative to foster collaboration, partnerships, and goodwill towards achieving the Earth Charter mission.
* Develops resource materials and tools to be shared and advance the mission of the Initiative.

Education & Capacity Building:
The EC Education Center offers a variety of education programmes that highlight the importance of incorporating sustainability values and principles into the processes of learning and decision-making. It provides an opportunity for participants to expand their understanding of sustainability, and see the possibilities for putting it into practice. The Center forges new paths in education for sustainable development, global citizenship education, and emerging leadership paradigm. It is a unique place that helps professionals build the capacity to integrate the knowledge, values and skills needed for a sustainable way of life into education, life-long learning and planning.
The Center’s work is implemented under the framework of the UNESCO Chair on Education for Sustainable Development with the Earth Charter, which works to generate educational programmes and research activities specifically on the intersection of sustainability, ethics and education.

Dialogue: building synergies:
ECI consistently engages in and organizes dialogue to expand understanding and awareness of current and challenging issues. In addition, there are many initiatives around the world that continue to emerge that share core elements with the EC Initiative’s mission and vision, for which a constructive dialogue can prove to be very positive. In this regard, the ECI Secretariat:
a) Facilitates dialogue, stimulates and exchanges views on initiatives and principles of sustainability.
b) Supports key international discussions, efforts, and initiatives.
c) Engages the Earth Charter network on global governance initiatives.

The ECI Secretariat has developed and continues to develop resource materials and webinars to strengthen and stimulate new and ongoing dialogues.

Impact and Results

Earth Charter International facilitates the Earth charter Initiative in a decentralized way.
The Earth Charter Initiative is a diverse, global movement comprised of organizations and individuals that have embraced the sustainability vision that the Earth Charter articulates and that use it in various ways to guide the transition towards a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world. Currently close to 7000 organizations have endorsed the Earth Charter. Over 50.000 individuals endorsed through the website. ECI works with almost 40 strategic partners from around the world.
The EC Education Center offers (online) courses, focused mainly on educators in the formal and non-formal field based on Education, Ethics, &Values for sustainability through transformative teaching and learning with the Earth charter. ECI also offers a course for young professionals on Leadership, Sustainability, & Ethics.
Through the application Mapting ECI connects the Earth Charter Principles with the Sustainable Development Goals.
ECI produces articles on the relevance of the Earth Charter in connections with the challenges of current time. ECI also produces materials as background information and tools for applying the principles as an ethical framework. Al the publications can be found in the virtual library: https://earthcharter.org/virtual-library/
ECI produces an annual report that is published here: https://earthcharter.org/about-eci/annual-reports-2/

Next steps and how to get involved

Become a part of a global movement to achieve peace, justice, and sustainability!
Endorsement is open to anyone and any institution. Individuals or organizations that endorse the Earth Charter signify their commitment to the spirit and aims of the document and that they intend to use it. When you endorse the Earth Charter you intend to work for and support the Earth Charter’s implementation, values and principles, and that you are ready and willing to work with others towards the same goal. https://earthcharter.org/endorse/

ECI always welcomes new strategic partners. Strategic Partners are organizations whose activities are directly and programmatically supportive to the Earth Charter and the Earth Charter International, and whose activities are in harmony with Earth Charter principles. These are organizations that work beyond the boundaries of a country in a specific area of work. Partner Organizations enter into a formal agreement (a Memorandum of Understanding, Letter of Agreement, or some other formal acknowledgement) with Earth Charter International on specific projects that describe how the Partner will work to support and promote the Earth Charter and how Earth Charter International will support them.

The Earth Charter Center for ESD offers new paths in the field of education on sustainable development, global citizenship education and emerging ethical leadership paradigms. The Center offers professional development opportunities that place a special emphasis on the importance of the values and principles of sustainability and global citizenship through the processes of learning and decision-making. The Center holds the UNESCO Chair on Education for Sustainable Development with the Earth Charter, which implements educational programmes and research activities surrounding education, sustainability, and ethics using the Earth Charter as a framework. The Center seeks to build the educators’ capacity to incorporate the “knowledge, values, and skills needed for a sustainable way of life” in schools, colleges, and higher education, as well as in non-formal education settings. For more information: https://earthcharter.org/center-education-sustainable-development/