Earth Charter, Education and the Sustainable Development Goal 4.7: Research, Experiences and Reflections

A new book is out Earth Charter, Education and the Sustainable Development Goal 4.7: Research, Experiences and Reflections edited by Mirian Vilela and Alice Jimenez,

The Earth Charter (EC) is a document with sixteen principles powering a global movement. When you apply it to your business, school or community, you begin turning conscience into action to make all life on Earth thrive.

In 1987, the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development issued a call for creation of a new charter that would set forth fundamental principles for sustainable development. The drafting of an Earth Charter was part of the unfinished business of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. In 1994, Maurice Strong, the secretary general of the Earth Summit and chairman of the Earth Council, and Mikhail Gorbachev, president of Green Cross International, launched a new Earth Charter Initiative with support from the Dutch government. An Earth Charter Commission was formed in 1997 to oversee the project. 

Early in 1997, the Earth Charter Commission formed an international drafting committee. The drafting committee helped to conduct the international consultation process, and the evolution and development of the document reflects the progress of the worldwide dialogue on the Earth Charter. Beginning with the Benchmark Draft issued by the Commission following the Rio+5 Forum in Rio de Janeiro, drafts of the Earth Charter were circulated internationally as part of the consultation process. Meeting at the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Headquarters in Paris in March 2000, the Commission approved a final version of the Earth Charter.

The EC is an ethical foundation for actions to build a more just, sustainable, and peaceful global society in the 21st century. It articulates a mindset of global interdependence and shared responsibility. It offers a vision of hope and a call to action.

The Earth Charter document starts with the Preamble, followed by the four pillars: Respect and Care for the Community of LifeEcological IntegritySocial and Economic Justice, and Democracy, Nonviolence, and Peace. It concludes with The Way Forward.

The present book seeks to contribute with current global efforts, most of them framed as part of the United Nations 2030 Agenda, for a revolution in the education practice (or for a new paradigm of education to emerge) to address the unsustainability challenges humanity is facing. 

The book compiles 25 chapters from 29 authors, representing 11 countries, in which the authors reflect on how education policies, processes and practices would primarily seek to cultivate a new level of ecological responsibility, as well as sustainability and global citizenship consciousness. 

The chapters provide insights of the type of education practice that seeks to address the disconnect between acquiring knowledge and the commitment to contribute with the common good and the well-being of all. 

The content presented in this book correspond to some of the presentations offered at the Earth Charter International Education Conference: Leading the Way to Sustainability 2030. The conference was organized by the Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development at the University for Peace and took place on 29 - 31 January 2019


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