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Make Every Day Earth Day!
We, at The Interfaith Peace Project, thought it might be a good idea to reconsider and ponder the Earth Charter over the next several months in honor of Earth Day, April 22, 2019. We are deeply concerned by the withdrawal of the United States from serious involvement with other Nations in the pursuit of ecological justice. We are aware that this situation is temporary. Perhaps, sooner rather than later, a more sensitive and enlightened administration will govern the United States in ways keeping with our intelligence, scientific expertise, and instinctive compassion. While government plays a significant and important role in matters ecological, it belongs to the citizens of the World to rally to the care of the Earth if life, as we know it, is to survive and flourish.
We find ourselves at a critical juncture where some knowledgeable and concerned citizens and scientists wonder if it is not already too late to redress the problem of ecological irresponsibility. The culture that believes profits are more important than the health of living creatures contributes to an atmosphere of death. Humans, in particular, must realize that Nature is not outside us but the very condition and situation in which we live. It is dangerous and irresponsible to reduce this issue to political expediency and monetary opportunism.
We realize that responsible citizens of Nation and Earth can and do have diverse opinions as to how we as global citizens ought to respond. This diversity of opinions fosters dialogue and common concern. Political, governmental, spiritual, and health care leaders must provide the information and incentives to foster meaningful and responsible dialogue.
Climate change, sea level rises, and global flooding and droughts indicate we are now in an emergency. We must act responsibly if we desire to survive and provide for our children the possibility of thriving on Earth.
Documents are not the total solution to the issues under consideration. But serious reflection, honest research, and personal accountability can challenge us to respond to the growing ecological crisis in ways moral, just, and ethical.
We look forward to your responses as we survey the Earth Charter and the Paris Agreement discerning how we might contribute to a healthy environment for the sake of all creation.
Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
and the Board of Directors
The Interfaith Peace Project
History of The Earth Charter
The History of The Earth Charter dates back to 1987 when The World Commission on Environment and Development called for a charter to guide the transition to sustainable development.
In 1994, Maurice Strong, the Secretary-General of the Rio Summit, and Mikhail Gorbachev, the leader of the Soviet Union, launched an initiative with the support of the Dutch Government to develop an Earth Charter.
An independent Earth Charter Commission was formed in 1997 to “oversee the development of the text, analyze the outcomes of a world-wide consultation process and to come to agreement on a global consensus document.”
A first Benchmark Draft of The Earth Charter was released in March 1997 at the Rio+5 Form. Two years later in 1999, a Benchmark Draft II of The Earth Charter was released and international consultations continued.
The Earth Charter Commission came to consensus on The Earth Charter in March 2000, at a meeting held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris and the Charter was formally launched in ceremonies at The Peace Palace in The Hague.
For more information:
Next Month (Part 2): The Preamble of
The Earth Charter
The Earth Charter
For the whole Earth Charter go to: