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Earth Charter Initiative

  • Published on June 8, 2018
The Earth Charter is a universal expression of ethical principles to foster sustainable development. The Earth Charter Initiative is the global network that embraces, uses and integrates the Earth Charter principles. the 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.
The Earth Charter is an ethical framework for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society in the 21st century. It seeks to inspire in all people a new sense of global interdependence and shared responsibility for the well-being of the whole human family, the greater community of life, and future generations. It is a vision of hope and a call to action. The Earth Charter is centrally concerned with the transition to sustainable ways of living and sustainable human development. Ecological integrity is one major theme. However, the Earth Charter recognizes that the goals of ecological protection, the eradication of poverty, equitable economic development, respect for human rights, democracy, and peace are interdependent and indivisible. It provides, therefore, a new, inclusive, integrated ethical framework to guide the transition to a sustainable future.The Earth Charter is a product of a decade-long, worldwide, cross-cultural dialogue on common goals and shared values. The Earth Charter project began as a United Nations initiative, but it was carried forward and completed by a global civil society initiative. The Earth Charter was finalized and then launched as a people’s charter on 29 June, 2000 by the Earth Charter Commission, an independent international entity, in a ceremony at the Peace Palace, in The Hague. The drafting of the Earth Charter involved the most inclusive and participatory process ever associated with the creation of an international declaration. This process is the primary source of its legitimacy as a guiding ethical framework. The legitimacy of the document has been further enhanced by its endorsement by over 6,000 organizations, including many governments and international organizations. In light of this legitimacy, an increasing number of international lawyers recognize that the Earth Charter is acquiring the status of a soft law document. Soft law documents like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are considered to be morally, but not legally, binding on state governments that agree to endorse and adopt them, and they often form the basis for the development of hard law. At a time when major changes in how we think and live are urgently needed, the Earth Charter challenges us to examine our values and to choose a better way. The Earth Charter provides a very valuable educational instrument. It encourages us to search for common ground in the midst of our diversity and to embrace a global ethic that is share People and organizations from diverse fields have used the Earth Charter in creative ways. Earth Charter International registered 70 countries around the world with activities. On the website you can find activities and initiatives from these countries. The app Mapting (free download: is showing positive actions and activities around the world on the SDGs in combination with the 16 Earth Charter Principles. THE EARTH CHARTER CENTER FOR EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT The Earth Charter Education Center offers a variety of 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. — Online Certificate on Education for Sustainable Development — Diplomado en Educación para el Desarrollo Sostenible — Educação para o Desenvolvimento Sustentável (PIAP-EDS) — Education, Ethics and Values for Sustainability — Educación para la Sostenibilidad, Aprendizaje Transformador y la Carta de la Tierra — Sustainability, Leadership, and Decision Making: Learning from Failures and Successes — Innovaciones en Liderazgo: Sostenibilidad, Ética y Toma de Decisiones — Leadership in a changing world : Turning the vision for sustainability into a reality with a systemic view of life — International Law, Global Governance and the Earth Charter Principles The Earth Charter is available in over 50 languages and is used as an ethical framework in decision making and education for sustainable development all over the world. A special attention is given to Sustainable Urban Development by the publication of the Earth charter Cities Manifesto. The impact of the Earth Charter Initiative is published in our annual reports. Become a part of the global initiative to achieve peace, justice, and sustainability by endorsing the Earth Charter. 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.Endorsers are expected to: Actively promote the Earth Charter and follow the Action Guidelines. Contribute to the Earth Charter Initiative and to Earth Charter-inspired action projects. Implement the Earth Charter in your professional work and personal life. Endorsement of the Earth Charter indicates that you agree with the Endorsement Statement: “We, the undersigned, endorse the Earth Charter. We embrace the spirit and aims of the document. We pledge to join the global partnership for a just, sustainable, and peaceful world and to work for the realization of the values and principles of the Earth Charter.” Earth Charter International attempts to verify endorsements. By endorsing the Earth Charter, you agree that we may publicly identify you as an Earth Charter Endorser. We also welcome strategic partners that help scaling-up the Movement worldwide by promoting decentralized activity and the empowerment of individuals, communities and organizations, as well as assist in making the Earth Charter International financial sustainable.

Supporting document(s)

ec-center-on-esd.pdf Download
2_earth_charter_international_brochure.pdf Download
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