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The Treaties - 3 - The Earth Charter


Prepared By Non-Governmental Organizations Gathered Together In Rio De Janeiro
June 3-14, 1992

Preamble

1. We are Earth, the people, plants and animals, rains and oceans, breath of the forest and flow of the sea.

2. We honor Earth as the home of all living things.

3. We cherish Earth's beauty and diversity of life.

4. We welcome Earth's ability to renew as being the basis of all life.

5. We recognize the special place of Earth's Indigenous Peoples, their territories, their custom and their unique relationship to Earth.

6. We are appalled at the human suffering, poverty and damage to Earth caused by inequality of power.

7. We accept a shared responsibility to protect and restore Earth and to allow wise and equitable use of resources so as to achieve an ecological balance and a new social, economic and spiritual values.

8. In all our diversity we are one.

9. Our common home is increasingly threatened.

10. We thus commit ourselves to the following principles, noting at all times the particular needs of women, indigenous peoples, the South, the disabled and all those who are disadvantaged:

Principles

11. We agree to respect, encourage, protect and restore Earth's ecosystems to ensure biological and cultural diversity.

12. We recognize our diversity and our common partnership. We respect all cultures and affirm the rights of all people to basic environmental needs.

13. Poverty affects us all. We agree to alter unsustainable patterns of production and consumption to ensure the eradication of poverty and to end the abuse of Earth. This must include a recognition of the role of debt and financial flows from the South to the North and opulence and corruption as primary causes. We shall emphasize and improve the endogenous capacity for technology creation and development. Attempts to eradicate poverty should not be a mandate to abuse the environment and attempts to protect or restore the environment should not ignore basic human needs.

14. We recognize that national barriers do not generally conform to Earth's ecological realities. National sovereignty does not mean sanctuary from our collective responsibility to protect and restore Earth's ecosystems. Trade practices and transnational corporations must not cause environmental degradation and should be controlled in order to achieve social justice, equitable trade and solidarity with ecological principles.

15. We reject the build up and use of military force and the use of economic pressure as means of resolving conflict. We commit ourselves to pursue genuine peace, which is not merely the absence of war but includes the eradication of poverty, the promotion of social justice and economic, spiritual, cultural and ecological well-being.

16. We agree to ensure that decision-making processes and their criteria are clearly defined, transparent, explicit, accessible and equitable. Those whose decisions or activities may affect the environment must first prove the absence of harm. Those likely to be affected, particularly populations in the South and those in subjugation within existing States, should have free access to information and effectively participate in the decision-making processes.

17. State, institutions, corporations and peoples are unequal in their contribution to environmental harm, experience of ecological degradation and ability to respond to environmental destruction. While all are responsible for improving environmental quality, those who have expropriated or consumed the majority of Earth's resources or who continue to do so must cease such expropriation or reduce such consumption and must bear the costs of ecological restoration and protection by providing the majority of financial and technological resources.

18. Women constitute over half of Earth's human population. They are a powerful source for change. They contribute more than half the effort to human welfare. Men and women agree that women's status in decision-making and social processes must equitably reflect their contribution. We must shift from a society dominated by men to one which more accurately reflects the valued contributions of men and women to human and ecological welfare.

19. We have come to realize that the threats to the biosphere which sustains all life on Earth have increased in rate, magnitude and scale to such extent that inaction would be negligent.

Earth Charter Action Plan

20. We shall adopt the spirit and principles of the Earth Charter at the individual level and through concrete actions within our Non-Governmental Organizations.

21. We will use existing mechanisms and/or create an international network of the signatories hereto to disseminate the Earth Charter as principles for action at the local, national and global level.

22. The Earth Charter shall be translated into all the languages of Earth.

23. We shall commit ourselves to the preparation of "Objective 1995" by which the United Nations will celebrate its 50th anniversary at which time we want them to adopt this Earth Charter.

24. Non-Governmental Organizations worldwide shall initiate a combined campaign "We Are Earth" through to 1995 and the adoption of this Earth Charter by the United Nations.

25. Every individual, organization, corporation and state shall dedicate a percentage of their operating budget and their profit as an "Earth Percentage" dedicated to the restoration, protection and management of Earth's ecosystems and the promotion of equitable development.

26. We call for a second Global Forum to be held in 1999 to evaluate and reaffirm our commitment to the relationships made, the accomplishment achieved and the goals sought at this 1992 Global Forum.

27. We agree to abide by this Earth Charter throughout our lives.

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