is the Earth Charter?
The Earth Charter is an agreement created by tens of thousands of people
through an extraordinary grassroots drafting process over 12 years in
communities worldwide. People from 78 countries created the Earth Charter.
It contains a preamble, 16 main principles, and 61 supporting principles
which are intended to help guide humanity toward a “sustainable
global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights,
economic justice, and a culture of peace.” The Charter represents
an inclusive ethical vision that recognizes the interdependence of environmental
protection, human rights, equitable human development, peace and justice.
EARTH CHARTER PREAMBLE
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, Our Home
Humanity is part of a vast evolving universe. Earth, our home, is alive
with a unique community of life. The forces of nature make existence
a demanding and uncertain adventure, but Earth has provided the conditions
essential to life's evolution. The resilience of the community of life
and the well-being of humanity depend upon preserving a healthy biosphere
with all its ecological systems, a rich variety of plants and animals,
fertile soils, pure waters, and clean air. The global environment with
its finite resources is a common concern of all peoples. The protection
of Earth's vitality, diversity, and beauty is a sacred trust.
The Global Situation
The dominant patterns of production and consumption are causing environmental
devastation, the depletion of resources, and a massive extinction of
species. Communities are being undermined. The benefits of development
are not shared equitably and the gap between rich and poor is widening.
Injustice, poverty, ignorance, and violent conflict are widespread and
the cause of great suffering. An unprecedented rise in human population
has overburdened ecological and social systems. The foundations of global
security are threatened. These trends are perilous—but not inevitable.
The Challenges Ahead
The choice is ours: form a global partnership to care for Earth and
one another or risk the destruction of ourselves and the diversity of
life. Fundamental changes are needed in our values, institutions, and
ways of living. We must realize that when basic needs have been met,
human development is primarily about being more, not having more. We
have the knowledge and technology to provide for all and to reduce our
impacts on the environment. The emergence of a global civil society
is creating new opportunities to build a democratic and humane world.
Our environmental, economic, political, social, and spiritual challenges
are interconnected, and together we can forge inclusive solutions.
To realize these aspirations, we must decide to live with a sense of
universal responsibility, identifying ourselves with the whole Earth
community as well as our local communities. We are at once citizens
of different nations and of one world in which the local and global
are linked. Everyone shares responsibility for the present and future
well-being of the human family and the larger living world. The spirit
of human solidarity and kinship with all life is strengthened when we
live with reverence for the mystery of being, gratitude for the gift
of life, and humility regarding the human place in nature.
To read the full text of the Earth Charter:
For further information about the Earth Charter:
For further information about the Earth Charter Summits: