Values and Principles to Foster a Sustainable Future

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Local Communities and Governments

Local communities vary in size, composition, structure, and organization. A local community includes the local governmental authority, as well as the local businesses, schools, and cultural activities.

Local governments and communities are invited to adopt and use the Earth Charter as a guide or framework for action planning and community development and/or as an assessment tool to evaluate progress toward sustainability.

Local communities and governments have been using the Earth Charter as a guide for policy making and as an assessment tool in several different ways. Some local governments and communities have chosen to compare existing policies with the principles of the Earth Charter, to use the Earth Charter as the inspiration for new policies and activities, and to engage in debates and discussions stimulated by the Earth Charter.

Over 400 towns and cities have endorsed the Earth Charter, which in turn has led to thousands of local citizens becoming aware of it and to furthering its dissemination through civil society. These municipalities are located across the globe. Cities and towns such as Sao Paulo, North Vancouver, Canada; San Jose, Costa Rica; Urbino, Italy; Oslo, Norway; and Berkeley, California have all stated their support for the Earth Charter. In Spain alone, over 220 municipalities have endorsed the Earth Charter. Earth Charter endorsement has also come from all 99 city governments in Jordan.

In addition to individual municipalities, leagues and organizations of local community authorities have also endorsed the Earth Charter. ICLEI – The Local Governments for Sustainability endorsed the Earth Charter in the year 2000. The Florida League of Cities, which is a voluntary municipal league comprised of 404 of Florida’s 408 municipalities and six charter counties, endorsed the Earth Charter in 2001. In the same year, the Earth Charter was also endorsed by the US Conference of Mayors, the official nonpartisan organization of the nation’s 1,183 cities with populations over 30,000. In addition, the Catalonia Network of over 100 municipalities and the Association of 150 Towns of Soria, Spain have endorsed the Earth Charter.

Local authorities such as the government of the City of Joondalup and the Toronto Regional Conservation Authority have found that using the Earth Charter as a reference check list for their policies has been effective in helping them to become more sustainable.

Sample cases of local communities using the Earth Charter.

The following are some examples of how Local governments, community associations and grassroots groups have been using the Earth Charter:

•    Bournemouth Borough Council, United Kingdom
•    Republic of Tatarstan, Kalmykia and Kabardino Balkaria - Russian Federation
•    City of Joondalup, Australia
•    City of Melbourne, Australia
•    City of San Jose, Costa Rica
•    City of Sao Paulo, Brazil
•    City of Toronto, Canada
•    US Local Community Summits
•    Municipality of Alajuela, Costa Rica
•    Development and Nature Foundation (DEYNA), Spain
•    City of Montpelier, Vermont State, USA

Watch an inspirational video from the Open University of Sao Paulo, Brazil on their local development initiatives using the Earth Charter.


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      ‘Community response to climate change’ underlines another successful Earth Charter Community Summit at UW-Oshkosh
      This is your opportunity to share with the world your efforts to achieve a more sustainable society!
      The Mayor of Aguascalientes (2011-2013) explains how they've been using the Earth Charter.
      Join the upcoming Executive Programme "Internalization of Sustainability Values and Principles", November 2013.

      El Rodeo, UPEACE and Earth Charter International unite to watch the national soccer match, Costa Rica vs. Honduras.

      Earth Charter International held several youth workshops in June 2013.
      Gambian youth-led research and development is featured this month.
      In celebration of Earth Day, Earth Charter International was invited to participate in the municipality of Heredia's "Earth Week" activities.
      The Altaura Farm educates about the Earth Charter and organic seeds in Italy.
      The Earth Charter Youth Group of April 2013: AAGAAS (ALAKNANDA GHAATI SHIPLI) Federation, based in India.
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