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Earth Charter

[T]hese directions challenge us to build a culture of sustainability based in right relationship, economic and social justice, inclusivity and nonviolence.”
- Chapter 2005/2006 Directions

Earth Charter

[T]hese directions challenge us to build a culture of sustainability based in right relationship, economic and social justice, inclusivity and nonviolence.”

– Chapter 2005/2006 Directions

The Earth Charter is the most negotiated document in human history. More than 1,000 groups on every continent were consulted as it was being drafted. It calls for integrated solutions to the interrelated social, economic and environmental problems facing the globe today. At its core it is a spiritual and ethical manifestation of people’s identity, relationships, work and political advocacy for the public interest.

On Earth Day 2004, the IHM congregation endorsed the Earth Charter, joining thousands of organizations and individuals around the world, including schools and churches, ecological and religious organizations, diocesan social justice commissions, socially responsible investment groups, universities and townships.

Prior to the endorsement, the IHM community spent several weeks in study and prayer, which included comparing the 16 principles of the Earth Charter with positions the community has taken throughout its history. The symmetry between the two was exciting and compelling.

The IHM congregation continues to discern ways to enact the corporate stance.

Online Resources

Download a copy of the Earth Charter.

Comparison of IHM Values and Earth Charter Principles

The Earth Charter Initiative 

The Earth Charter is an authoritative synthesis of values, principles and aspirations that are widely shared by growing numbers of people in all regions of the world. Its principles reflect extensive international consultations conducted over a period of many years and are also upon contemporary science, international law and the insights of philosophy and religion. Successive drafts of the Earth Charter were circulated around the world for comments and debate by nongovernmental organizations, community groups, professional societies and international experts in many fields.

The Earth Charter US 

The major role of Earth Charter US’s Washington, D.C., office is to develop and make available those resources to mobilize broad-based support for using the Earth Charter as an educational tool, as a guide to sustainable community development and as a framework for policies and practices.

“The Earth Charter Initiative Handbook”
The Earth Charter Commission, The Earth Charter Initiative

Designed as a source of information for all those who are interested in learning more about the Earth Charter, the information here is about those key individuals and organizations that have supported and continue to support the Earth Charter, the program of activities that comprise the Earth Charter Initiative and the organizational structure that has been established.

“Teaching Sustainability with the Earth Charter”
Richard Blugston, Wynn Calder and Peter Blaze Corcoran, University Leaders for a Sustainable Future, 2002

This chapter appeared originally in Teaching Sustainability at Universities: Towards Curriculum Greening, Walter Leal Filho ed., published by Peter Lang, 2002. The document discusses the Earth Charter as a tool for teaching about sustainable development in university classrooms with a selected list of Earth Charter teaching resources.

The Ecozoic Reader: Critical Reflection, Story and Shared Dream Experience of an Ecological Age (a publication of the Center for Ecozoic Studies)

Orion magazine, e-updates

The Environment Network (e-publication of Environment news Network)


The Earth Charter: A Study Book of Reflection for Action
Elizabeth Fererro and Joe Holland

This book explains the historical context that gave rise to the Earth Charter and sketches the role of the United Nations in calling for the Earth Charter. It reviews the creation of the Earth Charter document itself, as well as the movement behind it and offers a detailed commentary on the entire document, a copy of the Earth Charter text, a grassroots study guide and an annotated bibliography.

The Great Work: Our Way into the Future
Thomas Berry

Berry reveals why we need to love our blessed planet while also examining why we are culturally driven toward exploiting nature. Because Berry has a science background as well as a spiritual orientation, he brings a balanced and fresh voice to social ecology.

The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community
David Korten

This timely book uncovers the roots of “Empire” in ancient Athens and charts the long transition from the institutions of monarchy to those of the global economy as the favored instruments of imperialism. Korten makes the case for “Earth Community,” a people-centered, community-based future that is both possible and necessary.