The Earth Charter is a declaration of fundamental principles for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society for the 21st century.
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.
The Earth Charter was created by the independent Earth Charter Commission, which was convened as a follow-up to the 1992 Earth Summit, in order to produce a global consensus statement of values and principles for a sustainable future. The document was developed over nearly a decade through an extensive process of international consultation, to which over five thousand people contributed. The Charter has been formally endorsed by thousands of organizations, including UNESCO and the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature). For more information, please visit www.EarthCharter.org.
1. Respect Earth and life in all its diversity.
2. Care for the community of life with understanding, compassion, and love.
3. Build democratic societies that are just, participatory, sustainable, and peaceful.
4. Secure Earth's bounty and beauty for present and future generations.
5. Protect and restore the integrity of Earth's ecological systems, with special concern for
6. Prevent harm as the best method of environmental protection and, when knowledge is limited,
7. Adopt patterns of production, consumption, and reproduction that safeguard Earth's
8. Advance the study of ecological sustainability and promote the open exchange and wide
9. Eradicate poverty as an ethical, social, and environmental imperative.
10. Ensure that economic activities and institutions at all levels promote human development in
11. Affirm gender equality and equity as prerequisites to sustainable development and ensure
12. Uphold the right of all, without discrimination, to a natural and social environment
13. Strengthen democratic institutions at all levels, and provide transparency and accountability
14. Integrate into formal education and life-long learning the knowledge, values, and skills
15. Treat all living beings with respect and consideration.
16. Promote a culture of tolerance, nonviolence, and peace.