Earth Charter Community Network

Earth Charter-Values & Principles for a Sustainable Future

Earth Charter process offers a model for global consensus building

As others consider how to achieve consensus on international issues, the process used by the drafters of the Earth Charter offers an example of how to solicit and incorporate ideas from civil society groups and prominent individuals worldwide.

In SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica - Working out of an international secretariat the Earth Council is coordinated what may well be the most extensive document drafting project ever undertaken by civil society.Beginning in 1995, the Council, among others, spearheaded the effort to draft the Earth Charter as a statement of values and principles similar to the UN Declaration on Human Rights that the authors hoped would guide the conduct of people and nations towards each other and the earth in order to ensure peace, equity and a sustainable future.In April 1999 the Council unveiled the updated draft, known as the
Benchmark Draft II, and began soliciting comments on it. The plan was to prepare another draft, based on comments received by early the following year. That draft was also widely distributed for more feedback. The hope then was that by 2002 a final version could be presented to the UN General Assembly for possible endorsement as an international declaration.By creating a document that has been thoroughly reviewed and endorsed by as many groups and sectors of civil society as possible, organizers hoped that government policy makers will, in the end, find it impossible to ignore."The major difference between the Earth Charter process and other such international documents is that this has been a really broad participatory process," said Mirian Vilela, who was the coordinator of the Earth Charter Project for the Council. "We want to assure cultural diversity in the result, not only to have a rich document in the end, but to have people's involvement in terms of a
feeling of commitment and ownership."As other non-governmental organizations consider how to achieve consensus on a variety of international issues, the process used by the drafters of the Earth Charter offers an exceptional example of how to solicit and incorporate ideas and information from civil society groups and prominent individuals worldwide.Ms. Vilela said that hundreds if not thousands of organizations have considered and commented on the Charter, as have thousands of individuals.The drafting committee was a loose aggregation of some 40 individuals in 20 countries who reviewed the comments and determined whether and how to incorporate them into the final draft.  The advent of the internet allowed an intensification of the process of participatory decision making and the travels of the committee members all over the world going to conferences allowed outreach for inclusion possible.
The effort to include as many groups as possible paid off in helping to arrive at a draft that was acceptable to as many people as possible. For example - the drafters sought the input of indigenous groups. In consulting with groups representing the Inuit people of the far northern regions, they learned of their objections to a line in the draft Charter that spoke of the need to "treat all beings with compassion."The Inuit people, in the circumpolar north, are wholly dependent on animals for food - they don't have any agriculture and they objected to the term "compassion" with reference to animals, saying that they didn't think you could hunt animals with 'compassion. They also feared that animal rights groups would use the language to force them to abandon traditional hunting practices.After long consultation with the Inuit - and other indigenous groups - the drafting committee came up with new language.  They took out the word 'compassion' and put in the phrase 'treat all living beings with respect and consideration' - and the Inuit were willing to accept that.Part of the process of inclusion was a simple matter of taking the time to contact and listen to as many voices as possible. As a concept, the Earth Charter was first proposed in 1987 by the Brundtland Commission, and, for a time, it appeared as if governments might approve an Earth Charter at the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992. When governments could not achieve consensus on a Charter, NGOs decided to continue the drafting process under the coordination of the Earth Council.
The final text of the Earth Charter, which was approved at a meeting of the Earth Charter Commission at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris in March 2000, contains a preamble, 16 main principles, sixty-one supporting principles, and a conclusion entitled “The Way Forward.” The Preamble affirms that “we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny,” and the Earth Charter encourages all people to recognize their shared responsibility, each according to his or her situation and capacity, for the well-being of the whole human family, the greater community of life, and future generations.

Views: 21

Comment

You need to be a member of Earth Charter Community Network to add comments!

Join Earth Charter Community Network

The Earth Charter Local Endorsement Kit & Activities Guidebook

 

Earth Charter Community Resources published under Creative Commons License

 

DOWNLOAD EARTH CHARTER POSTER HERE

_______________________

 

 

GLOBAL ECOVILLAGE & SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY NETWORK

 

SUPPORT THE DEVELOPMENT OF ECOVILLAGES!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Earth Charter Actions & Perspectives of an Earth Child

Latest Activity

Gary Grimm and EC Admin are now friends
Jun 11, 2016
EC Admin left a comment for Gary Grimm
"Hi Gary Welcome to the Earth Charter Community - this network has been inactive for awhile due to lack of admin help on our team but we are currently in the process of updating all the networks we sponsor.  We will be linking this network with…"
Jun 11, 2016
Gary Grimm is now a member of Earth Charter Community Network
Jun 11, 2016
Wayne Falgout is now a member of Earth Charter Community Network
Oct 5, 2015
Green Fire EcoMinistry updated their profile
Jul 17, 2015
Douglas Fisher Williamson posted a blog post

Earth Charter Center for ESD course in June

Dear EC Community Network members,This is Douglas writing from Earth Charter International in Costa Rica. I wanted to let you all know that next month's executive program for educators still has s few spots open and is also offering significant scholarships. If you can get down to Costa Rica this course will really be worth your while. It's taught by community member Sam Crowell and ECI Executive Director Mirian Vilela.Find all the information here:…See More
May 8, 2015
Profile IconPaul Severance, Clinda Zeng, Lisa Roy and 4 more joined Earth Charter Community Network
Feb 5, 2015
Sam Crowell commented on EC Admin's group Earth Charter Educators
"I have recently published Emergent Teaching: A Path of Creativity, Significance, and Transformation through Rowman & Littlefield.  I discuss the Earth Charter in a chapter titled "Teaching What Really Matters." "
Mar 19, 2013
Sam Crowell commented on EC Admin's group Earth Charter Educators
"I'd like to announce a one-week course I am teaching this May at the Earth Charter Center in Costa Rica entitled Education and Values for Sustainable Development with the Earth Charter.  There is still room available.  Please share…"
Mar 19, 2013
John Example updated their profile
Feb 21, 2013
John Example posted a group
Feb 8, 2013
Erinn Arcelia Ramirez and John Example are now friends
Jan 30, 2013

Planet Earth Scouts

© 2017   Created by Green Fire EcoMinistry.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service