Victoria’s Faith in Action Committee (www.victoriafaithinaction.ca )has asked the City of Victoria to endorse the Earth Charter. We invite you to help us with this endeavour. It is also our hope that other municipalities would all endorse the Earth Charter. Many cities and organizations throughout the world have endorsed the Earth Charter. In early January we will have a petition for you to sign that will be presented to the appropriate municipalities.
What is the Earth Charter?
The Earth Charter is a declaration of fundamental ethical principles for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society. It seeks to inspire in all peoples a new sense of global interdependence and shared responsibility for the well-being of the human family and the larger living world. The Earth Charter is a product of a decade long, worldwide, cross-cultural conversation about common goals and shared values.
Through its preamble, 16 principles and 61 supporting principles divided in 4 parts, and conclusion,
the whole text of the Earth Charter is understood as a path to peace.
(More about the Earth Charter’s Origin and Structure in the Appendix)
The Earth Charter, a guideline to “action oriented” ideas:
So many ideas and ways to act. One way to organize these examples and initiatives is to use the Earth Charter (!), sorting out the ideas with the 4 main parts of the Charter, indicating the principles they relate to:
Respect and Care for the Community of Life
- Learn from elder’s wisdom and kid’s creativity, respect the nature around you and become aware of its diversity.
- Make sure your organization promote a good participatory process. (principles 1a, 3, and 4b)
- “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle”: have your car checked, bike or use public transportation, use renewable energy in your home and office, watch your paper consumption, …
- Watch the origin of the products you buy: avoid primary forest wood, where and how has your food been grown.
- Think about quality of life versus quantity of belongings: buy something if you need it. (principles 5, 7b, 7f, 8b)
Social and Economic Justice
- Give some of your resources, time, money or knowledge, to underprivileged people or countries.
- Again watch the origin of the product you buy: does the company and country of origin respect human rights and progressive labour standards? (inquire about it) (Principles 9b,c, 10a,c)
Democracy, Non-violence, and Peace
- Be informed about your community or country reality and reflect on the relation between that and the Earth Charter.
- Promote multi-cultural and inter-generation exchanges in your life, within your group and in its activities.
- Join a local association in your field of interest. (Principles 13a, 13b, 16a)
Read the Earth Charter: www.earthcharter.org
Gertie Jocksch is a Sister of Charity of Halifax. She holds a Masters of Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry from Regis College and the University of Toronto. A passion that has continued to evolve Gertie’s work has been her concern and care for Mother Earth.