THE EARTH CHARTER
The Earth Charter was “created by the independent Earth Charter Commission, which was convened as a follow-up to the 1992 Earth Summit in order to produce a global consensus statement of values and principles for a sustainable future. The document was developed over nearly a decade through an extensive process of international consultation, to which over five thousand people contributed. The Charter has been formally endorsed by thousands of organizations, including UNESCO and the IUCN (World Conservation Union) (EarthCharter).”
Read The Earth Charter for yourself and start thinking about how some of these principles can become part of one’s teaching practice.
“We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations (Earth Charter Preamble).”
The Earth Charter in Action provides examples of how individuals, communities and organizations are doing work in service to the principles listed in the charter. This publication is a great resource for exploring approaches to peace. Click on the “more chapters” link and then choose at least one of the essays to read.
“Thematic and descriptive essays from around the world tell of action informed by the Earth Charter and demonstrate its utility in diverse cultural contexts. They show its promise in working across the divide between the northern and southern hemi- spheres, across the faith traditions, the nations, and the generations.
“It is my desire that this book celebrates the ways in which the Earth Charter has been used. I also trust that it shows the efficacy of the Earth Charter in international law, religion, diplomacy, education, business, public policy, and many other fields – and that it points the way toward increasing usefulness (Corcoran, Introduction).”
Reflection Question: Which essay from the Earth Charter in Action did you read? Share one quote from the essay that you found particularly inspiring, interesting, or thought provoking and explain why.