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Earth Charter – Care of all creation

As the desire of Jesus that all be one
becomes more fully our own,
our striving for unity embraces all humanity
and the whole of creation.
– SSND Constitution

What is The Earth Charter?
The Earth Charter is a statement or declaration of fundamental principles for building a just, sustainable and peaceful global society in the 21st century.

It seeks to inspire in all peoples a new sense of global interdependence and shared responsibility for the well being of the human family and the larger living world. It is an expression of hope and a call to help create a global partnership at a critical juncture in history.

Is The Earth Charter primarily concerned about the environment?
In The Earth Charter there is a special emphasis on the world’s environmental challenges. However, the document’s inclusive ethical vision recognizes that environmental protection, human rights, equitable human development, and peace are interdependent and indivisible. It provides a new framework for thinking about and addressing these issues. The result is a fresh, broad conception of what constitutes a sustainable community and sustainable development.

Why is The Earth Charter important?
It calls on us to search for common ground in the midst of our diversity and to embrace a new ethical vision that is shared by growing numbers of people in many nations and cultures throughout the world.

Who wrote The Earth Charter?
The Earth Charter is the product of a decade-long, worldwide, cross cultural conversation about common goals and shared values. Thousands of individuals and hundreds of organizations from all regions of the world, different cultures and diverse sectors of society have participated. Both experts and representatives of grassroots communities have created the Charter. The most important influences shaping the ideas and values in The Earth Charter are contemporary science, international law, the teachings of indigenous peoples, the wisdom of the world’s great religions and philosophical traditions as well as the declarations and reports of the seven United Nations conferences held during the 1990s.

The Earth Charter

The preamble presents: The Charterís values and principles for a Sustainable Future are presented in four sections:
  1. Respect and Care for the Community of Life
  2. Ecological Integrity
  3. Social and Economic Justice
  4. Democracy, Nonviolence, and Peace
Please refer to a copy of the Earth Charter at The Earth Charter Initiative website.
Let us pray with our sisters and brothers from many faith traditions, the Prayer from the UN Environmental Sabbath Program:
We join with the earth and with each other

To bring new life to the land
To restore the waters
To refresh the air

We join with the earth and with each other

To renew the forests
To care for the plants
To protect the creatures

We join with the earth and with each other

To celebrate the seas
To rejoice in the sunlight
To sing the song of the stars

We join with the earth and with each other

To recreate the human community
To promote justice and peace
To remember our children

We join with the earth and with each other

We join together as many and diverse expressions of one loving mystery:
for the healing of the earth and renewal of all life.

Links for Additional Information

If you would like additional information about the Earth Charter or wish to†organize a workshop or invite a speaker to address this topic, please contact Sister Ethel Howley at 410-377-2071 or ehowley@ssndba.org.

Last updated: Monday, 23 May, 2005 8:52 PM

School Sisters of Notre Dame, Baltimore Province
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