There is no justice for humanity if the earth is excluded from action for justice. The Earth Charter provides a very clear path and guide for thinking about right relationships with the earth and with the community of all beings. Children who die of water-borne diseases or malnutrition are often the primary victims of environmental aggression and neglect. So our thinking and acting justly must include care for the earth and God’s creation.
Earth Charter Principles
I. RESPECT AND CARE FOR THE COMMUNITY OF LIFE
- Respect earth and life in all its diversity.
- Care for the community of life with understanding, compassion, and love.
- Build democratic societies that are just, participatory, sustainable, and peaceful.
- Secure Earth’s bounty and beauty for present and future generations.
II. ECOLOGICAL INTEGRITY
- Protect and restore the integrity of Earth’s ecological systems, with special concern for biological diversity and the natural processes that sustain life.
- Prevent harm as the best method of environmental protection and, when knowledge is limited, apply a precautionary approach.
- Adopt patterns of production, consumption, and reproduction that safeguard Earth’s regenerative capacities, human rights and community well-being.
- Advance the study of ecological sustainability and promote the open exchange and wide application of the knowledge acquired.
III. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE
- Eradicate poverty as an ethical, social and environmental imperative.
- Ensure that economic activities and institutions at all levels promote human development in an equitable and sustainable manner.
- Affirm gender equality and equity as prerequisites to sustainable development and ensure universal access to education, health care and economic opportunity.
- Uphold the right of all, without discrimination, to a natural and social environment supportive of human dignity, bodily health, and spiritual well-being, with a special attention to the rights of indigenous peoples and minorities.
IV. DEMOCRACY, NONVIOLENCE, AND PEACE
- Strengthen democratic institutions at all levels, and provide transparency and accountability in governance, inclusive participation in decision making, and access to justice.
- Integrate into formal education and life-long learning the knowledge, values, and skills needed for a sustainable way of life.
- Treat all living beings with respect and consideration.
- Promote a culture of tolerance, nonviolence, and peace.
Go to the Earth Charter website to find out more