THE EARTH CHARTER: One human family — one earth community
We are living at a very important time in Earth’s history. The choices we make today will determine the future of life on Earth.
Earth, Our Home
Planet Earth is part of an amazing, vast universe. On this planet are many different kinds of plants, animals, and people — all linked to one another in a complex web of life. All forms of life depend on one another and on Earth’s soil, air, and water. Earth provides everything we need. Every man-made thing started from something in nature.
But all is not well…
People have been wasting much of what they take from nature — plants, animals, water, metals, minerals, oil. Some of these precious resources nature can replace, but it often takes a long time. Others are irreplaceable. Many industries release pollutants into air, water, and soil. While some people have much more than they need, many many others do not have enough food or clean water to stay healthy. Violence, such as war, destroys homes, health, and life.
The principles of the Earth Charter show us what to do.
A. RESPECT AND CARE FOR THE COMMUNITY OF LIFE
1. Respect Earth and all life.
2. Understand, love, and care for the community of life.
3. Find ways for people to live together peacefully and work together for the good of all.
4. Make Earth healthy and beautiful for children of the future.
B. ALL FORMS OF LIFE ARE INTERCONNECTED
5. Protect and restore the web of life.
6. Don’t take chances if there is a possibility that Earth’s environment may be harmed.
7. Live and do business in ways that are healthy for Earth and for people.
8. Share with others what you know about how to protect and restore Earth’s health.
C. EVERYONE DESERVES EQUAL OPPORTUNITY.
9. Guarantee that everyone has enough to meet their basic needs.
10. Be sure that everyone gets a fair share of Earth’s resources.
11. Secure equality for women and girls.
12. Protect the rights of all people to live in dignity, health, and happiness.
D. PROTECT FREEDOMS AND CREATE PEACE
13. The purpose of government is to serve and protect the people.
14. Study and learn ways to protect and restore the web of life.
15. Treat all living beings with respect and consideration.
16. Encourage people to use their words to resolve conflicts.
The Way Forward
People of Earth must join hands to make a new start – to care for Earth and for one another. We have the scientific knowledge and means to clean up our air, water, and soil and to take care of everyone’s basic need but not greed. Every person, every family, every group, every community and every nation can play a part. Let us be remembered as a time of a new beginning in the joyful celebration of life.