August 7, 2018

The Earth Charter: Guide To A Better World

We are at a time in human history where we are having to make choices that will be crucial to our continued survival. The Earth Charter, first proposed in 1987 in the UN report "Our Common Future", is currently the best framework for global change that we have at present.

I am sharing some quotes from the preamble of this hopeful road map to a just, peaceful, and sustainable future, and highly recommend checking out the Charter in its entirety by clicking here

For some interesting background information click here. For example:

"The Commission proceeded to draft the Earth Charter as a people’s treaty, because there was little interest among governments in negotiating new and stronger commitments regarding the environment and sustainable development." 

In the background article, the author says about the Charter:

"It is designed to inspire in all peoples a new sense of global interdependence and shared responsibility for the well-being of the human family, the greater community of life, and future generations.   
It is at once an urgent call for major social and economic change and an expression of hope.   
The principles in the Earth Charter were developed in and through a decade long, world-wide, cross-cultural, interfaith dialogue on common goals and shared values."

The photographs in this post are from a wilderness biking/hiking adventure I took last week through an old growth Acadian forest near my home. 

"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."

"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. 
Our environmental, economic, political, social, and spiritual challenges are interconnected, and together we can forge inclusive solutions."

"The dominant patterns of production and consumption are causing environmental devastation, the depletion of resources, and a massive extinction of species. 

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." 

"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.”  

"Everyone shares responsibility for the present and future well-being of the human family and the larger living world."

"In order to build a sustainable global community, the nations of the world must renew their commitment to the United Nations, fulfill their obligations under existing international agreements, and support the implementation of Earth Charter principles with an international legally binding instrument on environment and development."

Can you find the frog?

"Let ours be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve sustainability, the quickening of the struggle for justice and peace, and the joyful celebration of life."

The Earth Charter is something I can get behind. These are words to live by, and ones that just may save our butts if successfully implemented.

I wonder what choice we will make.


  1. This is so beautiful: "When basic needs have been met, human development is primarily about being more, not having more."
    Thank you, Gregg and Linda, for sharing this document - I was not aware of it. And from 1987?! Looks like not enough people have been paying attention to its wisdom. I especially like that spirituality is such a big part of it. -Erin

    1. Erin,

      While the charter's seeds were planted in 1987, it was not formally launched until 2000. It is an amazing document which is essentially a guidebook to a sustainable future. It was created in a very inclusive process.

      I am happy to promote the charter, and hope it is universally adopted soon. Of course, it can be immediately adopted by individuals right now.

    2. You might also enjoy "Declaration Towards A Global Ethic" by the Parliament of Religions. It can be found at the following link -

      This should also be better known among the global population. More wisdom that would benefit us all.


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