08 Июнь 2012

Principles

We stand at a critical moment in Earth's history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life and to future  generations.

Earth, Our Home

Humanity is part of a vast evolving universe. Earth, our home, is alive with a unique community of life. The forces of nature make existence a demanding and uncertain adventure, but Earth has provided the conditions essential to life's evolution. The resilience of the community of life and the well-being of humanity depend upon preserving a healthy bio-sphere with all its ecological systems, a rich variety of plants and animals, fertile soils, pure waters, and clean air. 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.

The Global Situation

The dominant patterns of production and consumption are causing environmental devastation, the depletion of resources, and a massive extinction of species. Communities are being undermined. The benefits of development are not shared equitably and the gap between the rich and the poor is widening. Injustice, poverty, ignorance, and violent conflict are widespread and the cause of great suffering. An unprecedented rise in human population has overburdened ecological and social systems. The foundations of global security are threatened. These trends are perilous – but not inevitable.

The Challenges Ahead

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. We must realize that 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. The emergence of a global civil society is creating new opportunities to build a democratic and humane world. Our environmental, economic, political, social, and spiritual challenges are interconnected, and together we can forge inclusive solutions.

Universal Responsibility

To realize these aspirations, we must decide to live with a sense of universal responsibility, identifying ourselves with the whole Earth community as well as our local communities. We are at once citizens of different nations and of one world in which the local and global are linked. Everyone shares responsibility for the present and future well-being of the human family and the larger living world. 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. We urgently need a shared vision of basic values to provide an ethical foundation for the emerging world community. Therefore, together in hope we affirm the following interdependent principles for a sustainable way of life as a common standard by which the conduct of all individuals, organizations, businesses, governments, and transnational institutions is to be guided and assessed.

 

PRINCIPLES

 

I. Respect and care for the community of life

 

1. Respect Earth and life in all Its diversity.

Recognize that all beings are interdependent and every form of life has value regardless of its worth to human beings.

Affirm faith in the inherent dignity of all human beings and in the intellectual, artistic, ethical, and spiritual potential of humanity.

2. Care for the community of life with understanding, compassion, and love.

Accept that with the right to own, manage, and use natural resources comes the duty to prevent environmental harm and to protect the rights of people.

Affirm that with increased freedom, knowledge, and power comes increased responsibility to promote the common good.

3. Build democratic societies that are just, participatory, sustainable and peaceful.

Ensure that communities at all levels guarantee human rights and fundamental freedoms and provide everyone an opportunity to realize his or her full potential.

Promote social and economic justice, enabling all to achieve a secure and meaningful livelihood that is ecologically responsible.

4. Secure Earth's bounty and beauty for present and future generations.

Recognize that the freedom of action of each generation is qualified by the needs of future generations.

Transmit to future generations values, traditions, and institutions that support the long-term nourishing of Earth's human and ecological communities.

 

In order to fulfill these four broad commitments, it is necessary to:

 

II. Ecological integrity

 

5. Protect and restore the integrity of Earth's ecological systems, with special concern for biological diversity and the natural processes that sustain life.

Adopt at all levels sustainable development plans and regulations that make environmental conservation and rehabilitation integral to all development initiatives.

Establish and safeguard viable nature and biosphere reserves, including wild lands and marine areas, to protect Earth's life support systems, maintain biodiversity, and preserve our natural heritage.

Promote the recovery of endangered species and ecosystems.

Control and eradicate non-native or genetically modified organisms harmful to native species and the environment, and prevent introduction of such harmful organisms.

Manage the use of renewable resources such as water, soil, forest products, and marine life in ways that do not exceed rates of regeneration and that protect the health of ecosystems.

Manage the extraction and use of non-renewable resources such as minerals and fossil fuels in ways that minimize depletion and cause no serious environmental damage.

6. Prevent harm as the best method of environmental protection and, when knowledge is limited, apply a precautionary approach.

Take action to avoid the possibility of serious or irreversible environmental harm even when scientific knowledge is incomplete or inconclusive.

Place the burden of proof on those who argue that a proposed activity will not cause significant harm, and make the responsible parties liable for environmental harm.

Ensure that decision making addresses the cumulative, long-term, indirect, long distance, and global consequences of human activities.

Prevent pollution of any part of the environment and allow no build-up of radioactive, toxic, or other hazardous substances.

Avoid military activities damaging to the environment.

7. Adopt patterns of production, consumption, and reproduction that safeguard Earth's regenerative capacities, human rights, and community well-being.

Reduce, reuse, and recycle the materials used in production and consumption systems, and ensure that residual waste can be assimilated by ecological systems.

Act with restraint and efficiency when using energy, and rely increasingly on renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.

Promote the development, adoption, and equitable transfer of environmentally sound technologies.

Internalize the full environmental and social costs of goods and services in the selling price, and enable consumers to identify products that meet the highest social and environmental standards.

Ensure universal access to health care that fosters reproductive health and responsible reproduction.

Adopt lifestyles that emphasize the quality of life and material sufficiency in a finite world.

8. Advance the study of ecological sustainability and promote the open exchange and wide application of the knowledge acquired.

Support international scientific and technical cooperation on sustainability, with special attention to the needs of developing nations.

Recognize and preserve the traditional knowledge and spiritual wisdom in all cultures that contribute to environmental protection and human well-being.

Ensure that information of vital importance to human health and environmental protection, including genetic information, remains available in the public domain.

 

III. Social and economic justice

 

9. Eradicate poverty as an ethical, social, and environmental imperative.

Guarantee the right to potable water, clean air, food security, uncontaminated soil, shelter, and safe sanitation, allocating the national and international resources required.

Empower every human being with the education and resources to secure a sustainable livelihood, and provide social security and safety nets for those who are unable to support themselves.

Recognize the ignored, protect the vulnerable, serve those who suffer, and enable them to develop their capacities and to pursue their aspirations.

10. Ensure that economic activities and institutions at all levels promote human development in an equitable and sustainable manner.

Promote the equitable distribution of wealth within nations and among nations.

Enhance the intellectual, financial, technical, and social resources of developing nations, and relieve them of onerous international debt.

Ensure that all trade supports sustainable resource use, environmental protection, and progressive labor standards.

Require multinational corporations and international financial organizations to act transparently in the public good, and hold them accountable for the consequences of their activities.

11. Affirm gender equality and equity as prerequisites to sustainable development and ensure universal access to education, health care, and economic opportunity.

Secure the human rights of women and girls and end all violence against them.

Promote the active participation of women in all aspects of economic, political, civil, social, and cultural life as full and equal partners, decision makers, leaders, and beneficiaries.

Strengthen families and ensure the safety and loving nurture of all family members.

12. Uphold the right of all, without discrimination, to a natural and social environment supportive of human dignity, bodily health, and spiritual well-being, with special attention to the rights of indigenous peoples and minorities.

Eliminate discrimination in all its forms, such as that based on race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, language, and national, ethnic or social origin.

Affirm the right of indigenous peoples to their spirituality, knowledge, lands and resources and to their related practice of sustainable livelihoods.

Honor and support the young people of our communities, enabling them to fulfill their essential role in creating sustainable societies.

Protect and restore outstanding places of cultural and spiritual significance.

 

IV. Democracy, non-violence, and peace

 

13. Strengthen democratic institutions at all levels, and provide transparency and accountability In governance, inclusive participation in decision making, and access to justice.

Uphold the right of everyone to receive clear and timely information on environmental matters and all development plans and activities which are likely to affect them or in which they have an interest.

Support focal, regional and global civil society, and promote the meaningful participation of all interested individuals and organizations in decision making.

Protect the rights to freedom of opinion, expression, peaceful assembly, association, and dissent.

Institute effective and efficient access to administrative and independent judicial procedures, including remedies and redress for environmental harm and the threat of such harm.

Eliminate corruption in all public and private institutions.

Strengthen local communities, enabling them to care for their environments, and assign environmental responsibilities to the levels of government where they can be carried out most effectively.

14. Integrate into formal education and life-long learning the knowledge, values, and skills needed for a sustainable way of life.

Provide all, especially children and youth, with educational opportunities that empower them to contribute actively to sustainable development.

Promote the contribution of the arts and humanities as well as the sciences in sustainability education.

Enhance the role of the mass media in raising awareness of ecological and social challenges.

Recognize the importance of moral and spiritual education for sustainable living.

15. Treat all living beings with respect and consideration.

Prevent cruelty to animals kept in human societies and protect them from suffering.

Protect wild animals from methods of hunting, trapping, and fishing that cause extreme, prolonged, or avoidable suffering.

Avoid or eliminate to the full extent possible the taking or destruction of non-targeted species.

16. Promote a culture of tolerance, nonviolence, and peace.

Encourage and support mutual understanding, solidarity, and cooperation among all peoples and within and among nations.

Implement comprehensive strategies to prevent violent conflict and use collaborative problem solving to manage and resolve environmental conflicts and other disputes.

Demilitarize national security systems to the level of a non-provocative defense posture, and convert military resources to peaceful purposes, including ecological restoration.

Eliminate nuclear, biological, and toxic weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.

Ensure that the use of orbital and outer space supports environmental protection and peace.

Recognize that peace is the wholeness created by right relationships with oneself, other persons, other cultures, other life, earth, and the larger whole of which all are a part.

 

Forward

As never before in history, common destiny beckons us to seek a new beginning. Such renewal is the promise of these Earth Charter principles. To fulfill this promise, we must commit ourselves to adopt and promote the values and objectives of the Charter.

This requires a change of mind and heart. It requires a new sense of global interdependence and universal responsibility. We must imaginatively develop and apply the vision of a sustainable way of life locally, nationally, regionally, and globally. Our cultural diversity is a precious heritage and different cultures will find their own distinctive ways to realize the vision. We must deepen and expand the global dialogue that generated the Earth Charter, for we have much to learn from the ongoing collaborative search for truth and wisdom.

Life often involves tensions between important values. This can mean difficult choices. However, we must find ways to harmonize diversity with unity, the exercise of freedom with the common good, short-term objectives with long-term goals. Every individual, family, organization, and community has a vital role to play. The arts, sciences, religions, educational institutions, media, businesses, non-governmental organizations, and governments are all called to offer creative leadership. The partnership of government, civil society, and business is essential for effective governance.

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.

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.

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History of creation

The Earth Charter is the document intended for the Earth. To enable man to preserve himself and open a road to many and many generations, he must preserve the Earth.

Mikhail Gorbachev

 

Every year the world is becoming more and more fragile. For this reason the emergence at the turn of the century and millennium of a large number of global documents pretending to be "the guide for action" in the new century is quite natural. "Global Civil Ethics" (1995), "Global Ethics" (1997), "Universal Declaration of Human Responsibility" (1997), "Alliance for a Responsible and United World" (1998), "Declaration of the World Culture" (1999), etc. are but an incomplete list of such documents. Each of them indeed meets, in its own way, "the global challenges" of our time, attempting first of all to fill in the "moral and ethical vacuum" of the modern civilisation.

The Earth Charter holds a special place among them. UNESCO Director General Federico Mayor called the Earth Charter "the crown that tops all global documents".

Earth Charter is a document containing the fundamental principles of creation in the 21st century of a just, stable and peaceful global community. It is aimed at developing in every person a new feeling of interdependence and mutual responsibility for prosperity of mankind and the entire living community. It is the expression of hope and a call for help in the creation of a global civil society in the transition period of our history.

In 1987 the UN World Commission for Environment and Development called for the development of a new document (Charter, Declaration), which would articulate the fundamental principles of stable development. The process of developing the Earth Charter is a part of the incomplete work of the Earth Summit that was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. In 1994, Maurice Strong, Secretary General of the Summit, and Mikhail Gorbachev, President of the International Green Cross, announced the launch of a new initiative on the Earth Charter, which was supported by the Government of the Netherlands.

In 1997, the Commission for the Earth Charter was established to supervise the work, and the Secretariat of the Earth Charter was created on the basis of the Earth Council in Costa-Rica.

The preparation of the wording of the Earth Charter was finished at UNESCO in March 2000 in Paris following 10 years of development. It was a global dialogue of different cultures about common goals and values, the history's most open – for joint participation – advisory process of elaborating an international document. Its participants included thousands of people and hundreds of organisations from all over the world, representatives of different cultures and layers of the society. At first, the International Committee for Project Initiation was established with Stephen Rockefeller, professor of theology at Middleburg College, USA, as its head. The Committee for Project Initiation consisted of 12 people comprising the main team and was supported by a large advisory board uniting the world's 50 leading theorists and practical experts. The task of the Committee for Project Initiation was to develop projects of the Earth Charter to be distributed around the globe for comments and feedback. The Earth Charter was being created with the help of experts and the general public. It has become a treaty of peoples that determines the hopes and desire of the forming global civil society to have a better vision of a stable way of living to manage the accelerating globalisation process.

The new phase of work on the Earth Charter began with the official ceremony of the project launch at the Palace of Peace at the Hague on 29 June 2000. The main goal of the initiative is to provide a solid ethical ground for the establishing global society and help create a stable world based on respect for nature, common human rights, economic justice and culture of peace. Also at the Palace of Peace, a letter by President Mintimer Shaimiev was read, in which it was stated that Tatarstan is ready to become a testing ground for application of the Earth Charter principles at the republic's level.

Following the approval of the wording of the Earth Charter by International Commission, the International Public Fund "For Survival and Development of Humanity" has focused its efforts on spreading the Earth Charter in regions of the Russian Federation and, as much as possible, on promotion of this document at the federal level.

Over the past several years the Republic of Tatarstan has been observing, with great interest, studying and participating in the discussion of the international project on the development of the Earth Charter, and then in the practical implementation of its principles in its territory.

On 27 April 2001 the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan adopted the Resolution (No. 722) on the Earth Charter project, according to which Tatarstan has become the world's first region for its practical application. This event took place with participation of the International Commission on the Earth Charter, the delegation of the International Green Cross, the Earth Council, representatives of national Committees on the Earth Charter (of the CIS, USA, Australia, Europe, India), international experts in the field of ecology and law, political and religious leaders, representatives of cultural and business elite.

From that moment on, the work has been started on the development of a large-scale project titled "Tatarstan, the Territory of Stable Development and Culture of Peace" that enjoyed support of the Government, Parliament, ministries and departments, as well as of non-governmental organisations of the republic. It is very symbolic that Tatarstan has undertaken the responsibility and initiative to become the first state in the history to apply in practice the principles of the Declaration of the Earth and Culture of Peace.

Today the Republic of Tatarstan is one of the leading regions of the Russian Federation in positive resolution of complex ethnic and confessional problems, in serious achievements in the environmental sphere and in ensuring the stable development.

The first result of this work is extremely interesting. More understandable become the opportunities and limits of application of the Earth Charter as the moral and ethic code and soft legislation in the field of social consciousness; more visible becomes the role of the Earth Charter as a practical instrument used to formulate the state policy in education, its environmental strategy, in the development of new technologies, etc.; a new vision or new angles of the Earth Charter are emerging and, hence, the need arises for a clearer interpretation of certain principles.

Everybody in the Republic of Tatarstan understands that today, when the capacities and the increasing volumes of production exceed significantly the ecological capacity of the region, the emerging economic growth and intensification of flows transformed by resource production move us closer to possible destruction of the regenerative abilities of the republic's natural historic potential. In such situation, the principles of the Earth Charter related to environmental safety and stable development are crucial. With this in mind and proceeding from priority of the public health, preservation of genetic resources and rational use of natural resources, attention is being focused on the Earth Charter and preservation of quality of the environment in order to be able to meet the material requirements and ensure a balanced cycle of extraction and recovery of natural resources. The Republic of Tatarstan is considered as a unique region for practical application of the Charter principles.

The Republic of Tatarstan created all necessary conditions for application of the Earth Charter principles. The Parliament (State Council) of the Republic of Tatarstan adopted 28 laws covering different aspects of environmental protection and rational use of natural resources, including the fundamental Law of the Republic of Tatarstan "On Environmental Protection in the Republic of Tatarstan". Also adopted were over 100 by-laws, which define concretely the mechanism for implementation of all legislative acts.

In recent years the Republic of Tatarstan has been successfully implementing large scale programmes on environmental education and development of an economic mechanism of environmental management. The Republic of Tatarstan has established the State Register of specially protected natural territories; constructed and published, for the first time in Russia, a map of the environmental situation in the Republic of Tatarstan; issued the Red and Green Books of the Republic of Tatarstan; developed and is currently implementing, under the auspices of the Tatarstan President, the "Pure Water" state programme.

Earth Charter not simply seeks the resolution of environmental issues, but also asserts the most important social values: culture of peace, concord and social justice. Everybody in the Republic of Tatarstan understands the importance of preservation of these values and observation of the Earth Charter principles, many of which have already been fixed in the Constitution and legislative acts of the republic. The National Committee for Earth Charter was established in the republic. The Committee is headed by Rafael Khakimov, State Advisor to President of Tatarstan for Political Issues. The efforts joined with the International Public Fund "For Survival and Development of Humanity" helped develop a programme titled "Earth Under Cover" (International Programme for Verification of the Earth Declaration in the Republic of Tatarstan), which specifies the Republic of Tatarstan as a testing ground for practical verification of the Earth Declaration principles.

We have entered the new millennium. We face a new opportunity to change our life, our approach to the world that surrounds us and further develop ourselves, ponder over our role and ask ourselves: what do we exist for? The Earth Declaration is a unique document which can help us choose our future.

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A word by First President of the Republic of Tatarstan

Earth is sacred for life. It requires special attention and protection. Very important is that the Earth Charter not simply seeks the resolution of environmental issues, but also asserts the most important social values: culture of peace, concord and social justice.

Over the past few years the Republic of Tatarstan has been successfully implementing the large scale programmes on environmental education and the development of an economic mechanism of environmental management. The Republic of Tatarstan created the State Register of specially protected natural territories; constructed and published, for the first time in Russia, a map of environmental situation in the Republic of Tatarstan; issued the Red and the Green Books of the Republic of Tatarstan; developed and is currently implementing the "Pure Water" state programme.

The positive experience of Tatarstan was highly appreciated by international organisations. The republic began the experiment on the application of principles of the Earth (Planet) Charter – a document prepared under the UN aegis by experts from many countries of the world and whose aim is to develop a new approach to universal values with due account for environmental protection requirements.

I hope that the Earth Charter will play a consolidating role for all peoples of the world in our common effort to preserve the biosphere and ensure the harmonious development of our planet.

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Слово Первого Президента Республики Татарстан

Первый Президент Республики Татарстан

Земля – это святое для жизнедеятельности. Она требует к себе особого внимания и защиты. Очень важно, что Хартия Земли ориентируется не толькона решение экологических проблем, но и закрепляет важнейшие социальные ценности – культуру мира, согласие и социальную справедливость.

В течение последних лет в Республике Татарстан успешно реализуются масштабные программы по экологическому образованию и формированию экономического механизма природопользования.

В Республике Татарстан создан Государственный реестр особо охраняемых природных территорий, впервые в России составлена и издана Карта экологической ситуации, опубликованы Красная и Зелёная книги Республики Татарстан, разработана и реализуется государственная программа "Чистая вода".

Положительный опыт Татарстана по достоинству оценён международными организациями. Татарстан начал эксперимент по реализации принципов Хартии Земли (планеты) – документа, выработанного специалистами многих стран мира под эгидой ООН и призванного сформировать новый подход к общечеловеческим ценностям с учётом требований охраны окружающей среды.

Надеюсь, Хартия Земли будет играть консолидирующую роль для всех народов мира в деле сохранения биосферы и гармоничного развития нашей планеты.

 

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