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Earth Charter Affiliate Report for Florida Gulf Coast - Florida Gulf

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  EARTH CHARTER AFFILIATE REPORT FOR FLORIDA GULF COAST UNIVERSITY

        CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL AND SUSTAINABILITY EDUCATION

                            February 20, 2009 – December 31, 2010


Introduction

In a move intended to deepen FGCU’s commitment to sustainability, University President
Wilson G. Bradshaw signed an Affiliation Agreement with Earth Charter International,
establishing a formal association between the two organizations to facilitate appropriate
dissemination and use of the Earth Charter. The Agreement states that it “builds on a shared
interest in the vision of the Earth Charter…. and (was) written in the spirit of promoting
decentralized activity and the empowerment of individuals, communities and organizations.”
The signing ceremony on the FGCU campus followed the Rachel Carson Distinguished Lecture
Panel on Friday, February 20, 2009, on the campus of FGCU, which featured a group of Earth
Charter scholars from around the world, including Earth Charter council member Steven C.
Rockefeller. A second Lecture Panel was held that same evening at Sanibel’s St. Michael and All
Angel’s Church, featuring talks by Rockefeller and Yale University religion and ecology scholar
Mary Evelyn Tucker.

The Earth Charter Affiliate Agreement is the latest move by Florida Gulf Coast University to
demonstrate a tangible commitment to environmental sustainability, one that President Bradshaw
indicated would be taken very seriously. We believe the agreement has a two-fold significance. It
elevates the sustainability mission of FGCU and the role of the Earth Charter in the work of the
University, while also expanding FGCU’s access to intellectual resources via connections with
other universities worldwide and their respective work with the Earth Charter.

Also in 2009, the Center laid plans to pursue a global role in Earth Charter scholarship. The
Center sought financial support from several sources to advance its leadership position in
promoting Earth Charter scholarship in the international Earth Charter movement. We received a
grant from the Rockefeller Philanthropic Collaborative to convene a small group of
internationally-recognized Earth Charter scholars for a residency at Florida Gulf Coast
University and on Sanibel Island for February 2009.

The Earth Charter Scholars Consultation took place on Sanibel Island, February 18-24, 2009.
This meeting focused on understanding and strengthening the Earth Charter’s contribution to
education for sustainable living in higher education.

The Earth Charter Scholars Consultation was the first since the Earth Charter was finalized in
2000. Many scholars participated in the development of the Earth Charter between 1987 and
2000 and many areas of scholarship have evolved in the current decade. This was the first
gathering, however, for the purposes of setting the scholarly agenda for Earth Charter education.
Visiting participants in the consultation included Steven C. Rockefeller, Mary Evelyn Tucker,
Mirian Vilela, Kiran Chhokar of India, Shafía Sucar of Mexico, Brandon Hollingshead, Brendan
                                                                                                   2


Mackey of Australia, and Michael Slaby of Germany. The consultation preceded the
establishment of the Earth Charter Scholarship Project at the Center, coordinated by Rick
Clugston. Since the Earth Charter has been such an inspiration for the Center for Environmental
and Sustainability Education at FGCU, we saw this gathering as a fitting way to mark our Fifth
Anniversary Celebration.

The report that follows documents initiatives inspired and guided by the Earth Charter at Florida
Gulf Coast University and the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education from the
date of Affiliate Agreement signing ceremony on February 20, 2009, to December 31, 2010. The
report is by no means exhaustive, but it attempts to offer a broad picture of our efforts as an
official Affiliate of the Earth Charter Initiative. Because the Center is the hub of most Earth
Charter activity at the University, we have chosen to structure the Affiliate report by the Center’s
Mission and four Goals.




      MISSION OF THE CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL AND SUSTAINABILITY
                               EDUCATION

               The Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education works
               toward realizing the dream of a sustainable and peaceful future for
               Earth through scholarship, education, and action. The Center
               advances understanding and achievement of the goals of
               environmental and sustainability education through innovative
               educational research methods, emergent eco-pedagogies, and
               educational philosophy and practice based on ethics of care and
               sustainability. The Center seeks to elevate the environmental
               mission of Florida Gulf Coast University and serve the university
               community, the local community of the Western Everglades and
               Barrier Islands, and the wider community of scholars.
                                                                                                   3


                                             GOAL I

               To advance innovative educational research methodologies and
               pedagogies in environmental and sustainability education. This
               work will include developing methods for the assessment of
               sustainability, philosophical research, and curriculum and program
               development, and will take place in a variety of educational
               settings and geographical locations, ranging from local to global.


Environmental and sustainability education books that emphasize the Earth Charter

Osano, Philip M. and Corcoran, Peter Blaze, Eds. Young People, Education, and Sustainable
       Development: Exploring Principles, Perspectives, and Praxis. Wageningen, The
       Netherlands: Wageningen Academic Publishers, 2009.

Editors Philip Molo Osano and Peter Blaze Corcoran completed the book Young People,
Education, and Sustainable Development: Exploring Principles, Perspectives, and Praxis with
the help of Center Editorial Assistants Joseph Weakland and Brandon Hollingshead. The book
features a Preface by Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai, a Foreword by James Gustave Speth,
and an Afterword by Ruud Lubbers. The book contains 38 chapters co-authored by 68
contributors representing 25 nations. This project represents a considerable aspect of the Center’s
research during the period of this report. It was published by Wageningen Academic Publishers
on Earth Day, April 22, 2009.

The book Young People, Education, and Sustainable Development: Exploring Principles,
Perspectives, and Praxis is expected to serve the following purposes:

       showcase theories, principles, and practices of youth, education, and sustainable
       development in order to create awareness amongst educators, policy makers,
       nongovernmental professionals, business leaders, politicians, and the general public;
       capture and document local and global education initiatives by and for young people that
       promote the transition to sustainability in different parts of the world;

       draw the attention of policy makers and educators to the need and importance of youth
       participation in sustainable development as a contribution to the United Nations Decade
       of Education for Sustainable Development, and thereby provide a case for increased
       attention and resources toward education programmes for young people worldwide.

The contributors are drawn from a wide range of expertise: scholars, practitioners, and
researchers in education, youth, and sustainable development; young leaders and students;
experts from governments, international institutions such as the United Nations; and practitioners
in civil society. In addition, a balance of representation in terms of generations, geographies, and
genders was achieved.

After the publication of the book, the Center facilitated three book launches. The global launch
of the book took place at the Twelfth General Conference of the African Association of
                                                                                                  4


Universities on Tuesday, May 5, 2009, in Abuja, Nigeria. The North American launch occurred
at the Fifth World Environmental Education Congress in Montreal, Canada, in on May 12, 2009.
A European launch is scheduled for June 29 at an Earth Charter +10 gathering in The
Netherlands.

A new scholarly volume on the Earth Charter, in development

The Center continued the conceptual development of a new scholarly volume on the Earth
Charter. This latest book on the Earth Charter explores the applications, theoretical connections,
and relevance of the Earth Charter to various academic and scholarly fields of endeavor in the
sustainability movement. The book is intended for use in undergraduate university classes that
speak to the challenges we face in environment, sustainable development, and globalization. This
book would fill a gap in current Earth Charter scholarship. Although the Earth Charter is not
widely used in the academy, it is widely used across cultures, geographies, and generations.

The volume is envisioned as a short book of 10-12 chapters or 180-200 pages. The introductory
chapter will provide a general overview of the Earth Charter. This will emphasize the Earth
Charter as an ethical framework for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful world.
Contributions to the volume will be selected from high quality essays on the Earth Charter that
have yet to be formally published, available essays that are to be edited and refined, and new
commissioned essays. During the period of this report, the editors refined the concept for the
book, and began the process of inviting contributors and forming an editorial advisory group.


A policy brief on the Earth Charter and higher education

As part of the Center Director’s visiting professorship at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), he
has committed to co-authoring a major white paper on the Earth Charter with Professor Hamid
Zakri at the Global Centre for Sustainability Studies (GCSS) at USM. GCSS plans to publish a
discussion series on education for sustainable development. It will explore major intellectual and
scholarly issues that affect sustainability and development in higher education. The Editorial
Team completed preliminary work on the paper during the period of this report, including
sending Zakri an email containing a literature review and outline for the policy paper in June
2010. Corcoran met with CGSS colleagues to discuss the project further in late August/early
September 2010.


Other Earth Charter-related publications

Weakland, Joseph P. and Peter Blaze Corcoran. “The Earth Charter in Higher Education for
      Sustainability.” Journal of Education for Sustainable Development 3.2 (2009): 151-158.

Editorial associate Joseph Weakland and Director Peter Blaze Corcoran authored an essay for the
Journal of Education for Sustainable Development on “The Earth Charter in Higher Education
for Sustainability.” In the paper, they argue that central challenge of sustainable development is
to provide material sufficiency for the human population while preserving the integrity of Earth’s
                                                                                                  5


biosphere. Current modes of economic production and consumption accomplish neither of these
ethical imperatives. Institutions of higher education must show leadership in the transition to
sustainable ways of life. As a people’s declaration of ethical principles for securing a just,
peaceful, humane and sustainable future, the Earth Charter can serve as a valuable resource for
tertiary educators.

Special section on the Earth Charter and Higher Education. Journal of Education for Sustainable
       Development 4.2 (2010).

Earth Charter Scholarship Project Richard Clugston work with colleagues at the Center for
Environment Education in India to edit a special issue of the Journal of Education for
Sustainable Development on the topic of “the Earth Charter and Education for Sustainable
Development.” The issue was published in 2010 and launched at the EC+10 conference in India.
A list of the articles, including authors and page numbers, is below:

       Kartikeya V. Sarabhai, “An Ethical Framework for a Sustainable World,” 155-156

       Rick Clugston, “Earth Charter Education for Sustainable Ways of Living,” 157-166

       Toh Swee-Hin and Virginia Floresca Cawagas, “Peace Education, ESD and the Earth
       Charter: Interconnections and Synergies,” 167-180

       Javier Reyes Ruiz, “Dangers Facing the Earth Charter,” 181-185

       Noel Preston, “The Why and What of ESD: A Rationale for Earth Charter Education (and
       Naming Some of Its Difficulties),”187-192

       Yunhua Liu and Alicia Constable, “Earth Charter, ESD and Chinese Philosophies,” 193-
       202

       Moacir Gadotti, “Reorienting Education Practices towards Sustainability,” 203-211

       Stephen Sterling, “Living in the Earth: Towards an Education for Our Time,” 213-218

       Edgar Miranda, “Going Global in Arlington, Virginia,” 219-226

       Alicia Jiménez-Elizondo, “CREADS, A Teacher Training Course on ESD in Costa Rica,”
       227-234

       Rose Marie Inojosa, “Promoting the Earth Charter in São Paulo’s Municipal Education
       System,”
       235-242

       Linda D. Hill, “Forging Inclusive Solutions: Experiential Earth Charter Education,” 243-
       251
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       Mike Sheehan and Jaana Laitinen, “The Earth Charter Goes Interactive and Live with e-
       GLO: Using New Media to Train Youth Leaders in Sustainability on Both Sides of the
       Digital Divide,”
       253-258

       Sofia Savelava, Dmitry Savelau, and Marina Bakhnova Cary, “Practicing ESD at School:
       Integration of Formal and Nonformal Education Methods Based on the Earth Charter
       (Belarusian Experience),” 259-269

       Waverli Maia Matarazzo-Neuberger and Vicente Manzione Filho, “The Methodist
       University Sustainable Program: Using the Earth Charter to Mainstream Sustainability,”
       271-278

       Reiner Mathar, “Practices of Integrating the Earth Charter into Education Activities in
       German Federal States of Hessen and Rheinland-Pfalz,” 279-282

       Hiro Sakurai, “Make a World of Difference: Hearing Each Other, Healing the Earth,”
       283-286

       Franklin Chamda Ngassa, “Using EC-Assess to Assess a Small Biofuels Project in
       Honduras,” 287-296

       Dimity Podger, Georgia Piggot, Martin Zahradnik, Svatava Janoušková, Ismael Velasco,
       Tomas Hak, Arthur Dahl, Alicia Jimenez, and Marie K. Harder, “The Earth Charter and
       the ESDinds Initiative: Developing Indicators and Assessment Tools for Civil Society
       Organisations to Examine the Values Dimensions of Sustainability Projects,” 297-305

       Rakhyun E. Kim, “The Principle of Sustainability: Transforming Law and Governance,”
       309-312

       “Earth Charter Educational Resources,” 313-316

Wohlpart, A. James. “Encountering Wildness.” Feature Essay. Earth Charter Global Oneness.
      Ed. Lisa Marika Jokivirta. 2010.


Earth Charter-related presentations at professional conferences

Hollingshead, Brandon. “Crafting Principles for Sustainable Development: The Earth Charter
       and the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development.” Second International
       Humanities and Sustainability Conference. Florida Gulf Coast University. Fort Myers,
       Florida. October 9, 2010.

Weakland, Joseph, Peter Blaze Corcoran, & Brandon Hollingshead. “Defining Sustainability
      with the Earth Charter.” Second International Humanities and Sustainability Conference.
      Florida Gulf Coast University. Fort Myers, Florida. October 9, 2010.
                                                                                                   7


Fay, Particia, and Win Everham. “Fostering Cultural and Ecological Sustainability through
       Interdisciplinarity.” Second International Humanities and Sustainability Conference.
       Florida Gulf Coast University. Fort Myers, Florida. October 9, 2010.

Walch, Mary Pelak, Miles Mancini, & Maria F. Loffredo Roca. “From Ideal to Analytical Tool:
       The Earth Charter as a Lens into Popular Culture and Cultural Narrative.” Second
       International Humanities and Sustainability Conference. Florida Gulf Coast University.
       Fort Myers, Florida. October 9, 2010.

Corcoran, Peter Blaze. “The Earth Charter in Southern Africa.” Southern African Development
       Corporation, Regional Centres of Excellence Conference. Rhodes University,
       Grahamstown, South Africa. May 15, 2010.

Weakland, Joseph. “Composition as Ecological Study: Writing and Sustainability at Florida Gulf
      Coast University.” 2010 Annual National Popular Culture Association/American Culture
      Association Conference. March 31, 2010. St. Louis, Missouri.

Corcoran, Peter Blaze. Invited talk introducing the play, “Our Blue Planet: Will it Survive till
       Tomorrow?” Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. November 5, 2009.

Corcoran, Peter Blaze. Invited talk with Wangari Maathai. Symposium on Climate Change
       Education and Sustainable Cities. United Nations Environment Programme. Nairobi,
       Kenya. August 31, 2009.

Weakland, Joseph & Maria Roca. “Student Participation in Campus Sustainability: Examples
      from Florida Gulf Coast University.” World Environmental Education Congress 5.
      Montreal, Canada. 13 May 2009.

Corcoran, Peter Blaze, Jessica Mendes, & Donna Roberts. “The Role of Academic Centers in
       University Transformation: Florida Gulf Coast University’s Example.” World
       Environmental Education Congress 5. Montreal, Canada. 13 May 2009.

Davis, Sarah. “Combating Nature Deficit Disorder.” World Environmental Education Congress
       5. Montreal, Canada. 12 May 2009.

Osano, Philip M., Peter Blaze Corcoran, & Joseph Weakland. “Young People and Earth Charter
       Ethics: A Generational Conversation.” World Environmental Education Congress 5.
       Montreal, Canada. 12 May 2009.

Wohlpart, A. James & Peter Blaze Corcoran. “A Voice for Earth: American Writers Respond to
      the Earth Charter—Readings and Reflections.” Inaugural Humanities and Sustainability
      Conference. Florida Gulf Coast University. Fort Myers, Florida. 9 May 2009.
                                                                                                   8


The Earth Charter Scholarship at FGCU

The Center is home to the Earth Charter Scholarship Project, directed by Dr. Richard M.
Clugston. The Earth Charter Scholarship Project seeks to enhance the Earth Charter’s
contribution to accelerating the transition to sustainable ways of living. Its goals are to develop
additional high quality, readily accessible Earth Charter-based educational resources that can
accelerate needed changes in lifestyles, in organizational and professional practices, and in social
policies to create a just, sustainable, and peaceful future.




                                             GOAL II

               To educate for an ecologically literate citizenry and to advance
               civic engagement in the critical environmental issues of the
               Western Everglades and Barrier Islands. Key areas of emphasis
               will include ethics, activism, and the literary arts.


Our Blue Planet: Will it Survive Till Tomorrow? An Environmental Musical, Washington, D.C.

Center Director Peter Blaze Corcoran traveled to Washington D.C. on November 5, 2009, to
participate in “Our Blue Planet, Will it Survive Till Tomorrow? An Environmental Musical.”
The musical is set in the year 2100 where the people of Earth struggle with the devastating
aftermath of climate change. Corcoran gave the opening remarks for the musical, introducing
the Earth Charter and setting the tone for the rest of the production. Corcoran reflected on the
world’s increasing social and ecological fragmentation. The production questions whether people
and governments can come together to help save our planet and ensure our future. The musical
was presented in five acts and combines Japanese music with the classics of Beethoven, Bach,
Mozart, and Gershwin along with traditional Western and Japanese dances. The musical was
directed by Professor Emeritus of Seikei University Ryokichi Hirono and features violinist
Kiyomitsu Obana, actor/choreographer Toshijiro Zenki, actor/singer Tekkan, and actor Hiroyuki
Wantanabe.


Symposium on Climate Change Education and Sustainable Cities, Nairobi, Kenya

The Center facilitated a visit by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai to the United
Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on August 31, 2009, in Nairobi, Kenya. Dr. Maathai
and the Center Director addressed an invited audience of one hundred diplomats, United Nations
officials, local dignitaries, and scholars from African universities gathered for a “Symposium on
Climate Change Education and Sustainable Cities.” The symposium was part of the annual
meeting of the Inter-Agency Committee (IAC), which manages the United Nations Decade of
Education for Sustainable Development (UNDESD).
                                                                                                  9


Maathai urged her audience to bridge the gap between ethical principles and practice, saying,
“We know what to do. Why aren’t we doing it?” The occasion represented a powerful
opportunity to elevate the role of the Earth Charter within the Decade and within UNEP. Maathai
challenged UNEP and the IAC to adopt the Earth Charter as an organizing principle for the
remainder of the Decade.

In his speech, Corcoran described the Earth Charter’s development and recognized Maathai’s
great contribution to a better future for Africa. “She touches our hearts and minds with her
courage, with her commitments to environmental education and self-determination for Africa,
and her stubborn hope that governments and intergovernmental agencies will bring about the
people’s desire for peace through environmental sustainability.”


Earth Day Celebration in Mexico

At the invitation of Mexican President Felipe Calderon, the Center Director traveled to
Guanajuato, Mexico, for an International Earth Day celebration on April 22, 2010. The primary
focus of the event was the tenth anniversary celebration of the Earth Charter, an international
declaration of shared ethical principles for creating a just, sustainable, and peaceful future.
Corcoran spoke at an Earth Charter conference at the University of Guanajuato. In his speech,
Corcoran emphasized that “universities must take a much stronger leadership role – indeed, they
have an ethical responsibility to do so.”

Steven C. Rockefeller delivered a talk on “Harmony between Human Rights and the Earth
Charter.” In his speech, Rockefeller explored the relationship between the United Nations
Declaration of Human Rights and the Earth Charter. His talk in Mexico echoed his 2009 Rachel
Carson Distinguished Lecture at Saint Michael and All Angels Church. The mayor of
Guanajuato presented Rockefeller with the keys to the city at a ceremony earlier in the day.
The Center’s participation in the Guanajuato Earth Day events came shortly after its Six Annual
Fundraising Celebration on Sanibel.


Earth Charter meetings at the Peace Palace, The Netherlands

FGCU participated in a conference celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Earth Charter at the
International Peace Palace in the city of The Hague, The Netherlands. With the theme of
“Dialogue, Collaboration and Action for a Sustainable Future,” the June 29, 2010, event was ten
years to the day since the launch of the Earth Charter in 2000. The purpose of the meeting was to
reflect on the international initiative’s first decade and charted a course for its future. It also
provided the Center with an opportunity to look at FGCU's work in the global context.

Over 200 invitees attended, including Earth Charter Commissioners, Affiliates, members of the
Earth Charter International Council, youth leaders, and other partners. Queen Beatrix of The
Netherlands and Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende actively participated. The event
was convened by former Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers. 850 interested people who were
not able to travel to The Hague followed the discussions on-line.
                                                                                                     10


The event also featured several new books focusing on the Earth Charter. The Center presented
on Young People, Education, and Sustainable Development: Exploring Principles, Perspectives,
and Praxis (2009) at an authors’ reception. Dutch officials from the national program, “Learning
for Sustainable Development,” helped fund the publication and attended its European debut.


Earth Charter Events in France and Jordan

The Center Director recently represented the Center in two international events related to
sustainability, the Earth Charter, and education. Corcoran spoke at a special celebration of Earth
Charter +10 in Amman, Jordan, and addressed members of diplomatic delegations at UNESCO
in Paris, France.

As a guest of Her Royal Highness, Princess Basma Bint-Talal of the Hashemite Kingdom of
Jordan, Dr. Corcoran attended a meeting of ten Arab nations in Amman to discuss the Earth
Charter. Corcoran was invited to give an opening address at the celebration and later gave a
keynote address on behalf of Earth Charter International. In his talk, Corcoran spoke on the Earth
Charter Initiative's ten years of success in the areas of education, private sector, youth and global
governance. On the last day of the celebration, the nations of Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon,
Jordan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, and United Arab Emirates signed the Dead Sea
Declaration and presented it to Princess Basma. The Declaration represents the commitment of
the nations to collaborate to form a regional Earth Charter network with the Jordanian Hashemite
Fund for Human Development (JOHUD).

In Paris, Corcoran met with the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD)
Reference Group, an advisory committee to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and
Cultural Organization (UNESCO), with which he has been active for several years. The Center
Director also addressed UNESCO staff and diplomats on “Interactions with Faith Values and
Earth Charter Values.”


Terry Tempest Williams Student Dialogues at FGCU

        2010: E-waste and Ethics: Where do BlackBerrys Decompose?

Entitled, “E-waste and Ethics: Where do BlackBerrys Decompose?,” this year’s Terry Tempest
Williams Student Dialogue will coincide with the Center's Earth Charter +10 week on campus.
The Dialogue is a signature event of the Center, and this year it will focus on the issue of
electronic waste, or “e-waste.” Due to our ever increasing reliance on consumer technologies, the
problem of e-waste continues to grow, and it has been doing so in relative obscurity. Electronic
waste is described as discarded, obsolete, or broken electronic devices such as computers,
monitors, laptops, televisions, cell phones, DVD players, and portable music players. While
many retail companies who manufacturer electronics offer take back programs or sponsor
recycling events, policies, procedures, and laws on e-waste are few.

As the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education reflects on this problem, we are reminded
of the Principle 7 of the Earth Charter:
                                                                                                  11



       “Adopt patterns of production, consumption, and reproduction that safe guard Earth’s
       regenerative capacities, human rights, and community well-being.”

Principle 7 asks us to look at how our increasing human population affects our increasing
material consumption and how we may be ignoring social justice and causing harm to the
environment. The Earth Charter also challenges us to “reduce, reuse and recycle the materials in
production and consumption systems, and ensure that residual waste can be assimilated by
ecological systems” (Supporting Principle 7.a).

This year’s event provided a space for us to reflect on our response to the little explored topic of
e-waste. Panelists included Jim Puckett of the Basal Action Network, Eric Otto, Assistant
Professor of Environmental Humanities, and Jessica Mendes, graduate student at FGCU. The
event will be co-moderated by Center student assistants Ariel Chomey and Jordan Yingling, and
a special invocation will be given by Miccosukee elder, Andy Buster.

The Dialogue took place on Thursday, November 4, 2010, in the Student Union Ballroom on the
FGCU campus.

       2009: Young People, Communication, and Sustainability

Ishmael Beah, author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, returned to FGCU for the
Terry Tempest Williams Student Dialogue on November 4, 2009.

In A Long Way Gone, a chronicle of his experience as a child soldier in Sierra Leone, Beah uses
words to create a powerful message of hope in extreme adversity. Incoming FGCU freshmen
read A Long Way Gone in 2008 as part of the First Year Experience Readership Project. Beah
(third panelist on the right) was also the special guest speaker for the 2008 Convocation.

This year, the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education invited him to join a
discussion on how young people can communicate and collaborate for a sustainable and peaceful
future. The event explored topics such as digital collaboration toward sustainability, critical
engagement with consumer media, and the theme of hope, despair, and the future in
environmental rhetoric.

Panelists included Arabella Daniels of the Student/Farmworker Alliance, Cruz Salucio of the
Coalition of Immokalee Workers (immediate right), and Center Advisor Jacob Scott (bottom
right). Jacob participated virtually from Bristol, England using telecommunication software.
FGCU President Wilson G. Bradshaw welcomed the panelists and offered opening remarks. The
Dialogue took place on Wednesday, November 4, 2009, at 7:00pm in the Student Union
Ballroom. Stakeholders, community members, students, and campus leaders congregated outside
the Ballroom for conversation and snacks before the event.
                                                                                                 12


Earth Charter +10 Week at FGCU

As part of the global celebration of ten years of the Earth Charter, the Center held its own Earth
Charter +10 week on campus to commemorate this significant occasion. The Center hosted a
number of different events throughout the week. This included a campus-wide conversation on
what it means for FGCU to be an Earth Charter Affiliate, a student-led dialogue entitled “E-
waste and Ethics: Where do BlackBerrys Decompose?”, and a ceremonial tree planting. The
week was meant to raise awareness about the Earth Charter and to display FGCU’s commitment
to Earth Charter principles.

The week began on Monday, November 1, 2010, with a conversation on what it means for
FGCU to affiliate with the Earth Charter Initiative. The event was open to all on campus and
was hosted by University President Wilson G. Bradshaw. Bradshaw and a group of Earth Charter
scholars from around the world signed the Affiliate Agreement between FGCU and the Earth
Charter Initiative in February 2009. During the conversation, college deans, faculty,
representatives from Student Government, students, and staff assessed our commitment to the
Earth Charter and shared ideas on how the Earth Charter can be better integrated into University
life.

On Thursday, November 4, 2010, the Center hosted its annual Terry Tempest Williams Student
Dialogue as part of the week's events. The Dialogue was meant to provide a space for students,
faculty, and community members to reflect on the little explored topic of electronic waste and
our response to this growing environmental, social justice, and policy issue. The panelists for the
evening took a look at e-waste at FGCU and in the local community, the global impacts of e-
waste, and the ethical principles behind consumption and waste. Members of the audience were
urged to become more aware of the effect their choices have on the environment. The Dialogue
was framed around Principle 7 of the Earth Charter which urges us to “Adopt patterns of
production, consumption, and reproduction that safeguard Earth's regenerative capacities, human
rights, and community well-being.” Panelists for the evening included Jim Puckett, Director of
the Basal Action Network; Dr. Eric Otto, Assistant Professor of Environmental Humanities at
FGCU; and Jessica Mendes, a graduate student at FGCU. The event was co-moderated by
Center student assistants Ariel Chomey and Jordan Yingling. Andy Buster, an elder of Florida’s
indigenous Miccosukee tribe, gave a special invocation.

On Friday, November 5, 2010, FGCU’s Earth Charter +10 week culminated with a ceremonial
tree planting of a “University Earth Charter Tree.” We report on this significant event in its own
section immediately below.


Planting of “University Earth Charter Tree” to Culminate FGCU Earth Charter +10 Week

In the culminating event of Earth Charter +10 week, the Center for Environmental and
Sustainability Education and FGCU celebrated the LEED Platinum certification of Academic
Building 7, the lives of three recently deceased Native American friends of the Center, and ten
years of the Earth Charter. The planting ceremony was originally intended to be an official “Tree
of Peace” planting conducted by Chief Jake Swamp, the Native American founder of the Tree of
                                                                                                13


Peace Society. However, due to his unexpected passing, Center staff reimagined the event to
reflect this tragic turn of events. Born from this loss was the “University Earth Charter Tree”
planting during which we sought to honor indigenous elders Chief Jake Swamp, Oannes Arthur
Pritzker, and Deanna Francis.

Center Director Peter Blaze Corcoran began the event by introducing members of the Meherrin
Nation and the Snipe (Sandpiper) Clan, who conducted a Native American Thanksgiving
Invocation in their native Tuscarora tongue. Students, Faculty Associates of the Center, and
Center staff read excerpts from the Earth Charter and reflected on how the University
community might align itself to its ethical principles. After addressing the crowd, each speaker
tied a ribbon to a branch of the University Earth Charter Tree. The first two ribbons were the
FGCU blue and green, symbolizing water, sky, and land. Black, red, yellow, and white
represented the diversity of humankind.

To end the ceremony, the young children from the Family Resource Center on FGCU’s campus
were invited to help pour water around the base of the tree. Equipped with their own watering
containers, the children led the way as the rest of the people in the crowd followed to make their
own contributions. The beautiful weather, enchanting music, and inspiring words helped to
create a great atmosphere for the event - making the University Earth Charter Tree planting a
memorable occasion in Florida Gulf Coast University’s history.




                                            GOAL III

               To provide professional development for educators in
               environmental education and education for sustainability. The
               priority audiences will include University administrators, faculty,
               and in-service and pre-service teachers.


Work with Faculty and Staff Associates of the Center at FGCU

The Center works with many faculty and staff at the University who formally identity with the
Center through an individual professional development plan. Faculty and staff undertake specific
projects related to environmental and sustainability education, including scholarship and
institutional sustainability initiatives. Increasingly, we are encouraging faculty and staff
associates to use the Earth Charter in their work. The following section describes what our
campus associates are doing with the Earth Charter at FGCU.

       Earth Charter Mini-grants

In the 2009-2010 academic year, the Center created a program for small grants ranging from
$250 to $1,000 to for Faculty Associates. The focus of the grants focused on encouraging
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scholarly projects tied to the Center’s goals and to the Earth Charter. These scholarly projects fall
under three broad categories:

1. Scholarly Projects—those that support teaching or research of environmental or sustainability
education

2. Seed Grant Projects—those that provide ground work for or explore the possibility of a grant
or that enable Associates to complete a grant and

3. Specialized Training or Certification Projects – those that provide faculty with specialized
training that results in certification or formally recognized credentials relevant to the mission of
the Center.

We invited proposals that included staff and students. Applicants submitted completed forms to
Senior Faculty Associate Dr. Sharon Bevins. Grant recipients must submit a report of activity
before funds are awarded. A list of mini-grant recipients and project titles for the 2009-2010
academic year is below:

       Patricia Fay and Win Everham: “St. Lucia Interdisciplinary Field Experience: The
       Human-Land Relationship”

       Nora Demers: “Provide Earth Charter Meals during the Summer University Colloquium”

       Lucero Carvajal: “Develop a new approach to transition workshops and transfer
       orientations that is ecologically friendly and student oriented”

       Marguerite Forest: “Develop a comprehensive database of environmental education in the
       Western Everglades and Barrier Islands”

       Morgan Payne: “Design and implement a course based service-learning project for
       students enrolled in the Summer Colloquium 2010”

       Anne Hartley: “Develop a multidisciplinary upper-level elective on sustainability”

       Eric Otto: “Teach students to discern between ‘forecasts of imminent doom’ and very
       real forecasts of environmental catastrophe”

       Donna Roberts: “ECOSanibel educational celebration to mark the 10th anniversary of the
       Earth Charter with children's activities, lectures, workshops, and visual arts components”

       Claude Villiers: “Provide guidelines for effective use of Recycled Concrete Aggregate in
       roadways, buildings and other facilities”

       Mary Walsh, Miles Mancini, and Maria Roca: “Research project that will examine
       environmental messages in popular television programs (and their commercials) through
       the lens of media ecology”
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       Kristine De Welde: “An Earth Charter meal (lunch) organized and carried out by a team
       of students from the class and curriculum development to more effectively incorporate
       the Earth Charter”

The Center will initiate a new round of grants in 2011.

       Earth Charter meetings with Faculty and Staff Associates

The Center held a workshop for summer and fall grants on April 30, 2010. The purpose of the
meeting was to identify particular environmental and sustainability education projects that the
Center would support through minigrants of up to $1,000 this summer and fall. Special attention
was given to the Earth Charter as part of its tenth anniversary this year. The meeting was
attended by approximately 20 faculty and staff associates of the Center.

The Center arranged a mindful Earth Charter brunch based on Earth Charter principles followed
by a workshop on February 5, 2010. The meeting was well attended by approximately 20 faculty
and staff who shared their ideas and experiences using the Earth Charter. Faculty were invited to
bring syllabi, and reflected on how they might incorporated the Earth Charter into their teaching.
The Earth Charter Teaching “Breakfast Series” has been traditionally organized for CAS faculty.
However, faculty from other colleges were welcome. No prior experience with the Earth Charter
was necessary. Faculty discussed plans for this term, including a week of critical analysis of, and
reflection upon, the Earth Charter at FGCU. The group also discussed the Sixth Annual
Fundraising Celebration on Sanibel Island on Thursday, March 18, 2010.

Early in Spring 2010, the Center convened a small meeting of Center advisors and friends to help
plan for Earth Charter +10 at FGCU. The meeting took place January 15, 2010. The meeting was
particularly well-attended by approximately 15 campus academic leaders. Rick Clugston, who
joined the staff of FGCU as Earth Charter Scholarship Project Coordinator, gave a presentation
to establish the context for our work in the year to come. The purpose of the meeting was to
review the challenges of the Earth Charter in higher education, to review briefly FGCU’s work
with the Earth Charter thus far, including the accomplishments of the Earth Charter Scholarship
Project, and to look to the promise of the Earth Charter at FGCU. This was particularly timely, as
2010 is the tenth anniversary of the launch of the Earth Charter. The meeting also sought to
coordinate a series of inter-related events planned for April 5-9, 2010. The events will include an
FGCU Earth Day, a visit by Chief Jake Swamp, the official opening of Academic Building 7, as
well as Earth Charter +10 events.

       White papers on the Earth Charter

Center Advisor and Earth Charter Scholarship Project Coordinator Rick Clugston has authored
two policy papers. “The Earth Charter Scholarship Project: A Progress Report” focuses on how
FGCU has utilized the Earth Charter to realize its mission of environmental sustainability, and
explores what next steps are possible and desirable. The report also outlines several scholarly
projects for 2010. In a white paper entitled “The Challenge and the Promise of the Earth Charter
For Higher Education for A Sustainable Future,” Clugston examines how the Earth Charter has
been woven into the critical dimensions of university life and uncovers opportunities for
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deepening understanding and action for sustainability as defined by the Earth Charter
framework.


Humane and sustainable food system initiative at FGCU

Our first major research program is in sustainable food systems at FGCU. The Earth Charter has
been particularly significant to our work with food systems. Since eating is an ethical act, the
Earth Charter’s ethical vision is helpful in examining the often overlooked consequences of our
food choices. For example, we might ask, when preparing for a meal, do we participate in food
systems that work in synergy with the life processes of Earth or in those that are exploitative of
human labor and the environment?

The Center’s “Food Working Group” is using Earth Charter Principles as an ethical framework
for a humane and sustainable food system at Florida Gulf Coast University. Center staff have
undertaken a study of the centralized process of agribusiness distribution that brings food to
campus dining halls. Inspired by the Earth Charter’s call for “quality of life and material
sufficiency in a finite world (Earth Charter Subprinciple 7.f), the Food Working Group has also
examined ways in which the University can provide students with food that is locally sourced,
organically grown, fairly traded, and produced with care for animals and the environment.

In addition, we are working to prepare a guide to eating humanely and sustainably with the Earth
Charter. This guide will be based on research and experience at Florida Gulf Coast University
and is intended to be broadly useful among many other institutions of higher education. The
Food Working Group also received a grant from the University's Quality Enhancement Plan
(QEP) to research and publish a campus food guide based on Earth Charter ethics.

       Earth Charter Meal

The Center has used the Earth Charter Meal as a beginning exercise in linking Earth Charter
ethics to sustainable living in our everyday food choices. The Earth Charter Meal demonstrates
how we can eat in ways that support farmers and food system workers, protect the environment
and public health, treat animals humanely, and provide food security for all.

We have used the Earth Charter Meal at Florida Gulf Coast University as an educational
methodology to bring together student leaders from a diverse range of campus groups and
organizations – and to unite them around the common goal of working toward a humane and
sustainable campus food system. A draft text of the Guide to Conducting and Earth Charter Meal
is available for download on the Center’s website, www.fgcu.edu/cese.
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                                           GOAL IV

              To provide opportunities for faculty, administrators, staff, and
              students from across the campus to engage in scholarly activity,
              teaching, and service related to environmental and sustainability
              education. The Center will cooperate with other FGCU Centers
              and Institutes to advance common interests and to achieve the
              University’s environmental mission.


Earth Charter collaboration with Universiti Sains Malaysia

The Center Director has been invited to advise the new Centre for Global Sustainability Studies
(CGSS) At Universiti Sains Malaysia. Part of this work includes the development of publications
in a “Policy Discussion Series on Sustainability and Development.” The first paper in the series
is entitled “Universities and the Millennium Development Goals.” USM is globally renowned as
a university committed to global sustainability and poverty alleviation. It employs a multi-
disciplinary approach to research problems in Malaysian society and in the global community. In
2010, Corcoran was appointed as a Visiting Professor attached to the CGSS.


E-waste and the Earth Charter at FGCU

Graduate assistant Jessica Mendes and other student assistants are exploring electronic waste at
FGCU in order to promote education, awareness, sustainability, waste reduction, policy and
procedure insight, and increased knowledge about the purchase of environmentally friendly
products and materials on campus. The students are conducting a research project to identify
electronic waste policy and procedures at FGCU, identify the local, state and federal laws and
regulations regarding e-waste, as well as to follow the downstream trail of e-waste from FGCU.
The research consists of an original survey given to all FGCU faculty, staff and students and
focuses on attitudes about electronic waste and various disposal methods. Their findings were
incorporated into the 2010 Terry Tempest Williams Student Dialogue and are the basis of further
action to improve FGCU’s e-waste practices.


The “Green Building”

The Center has provided advice and expertise to the University on a green building at FGCU that
would house the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education. In the summer of 2009,
Richard Clugston authored a paper entitled, “An Earth Charter Based Assessment of the
Green Building Demonstration and Learning Center at Florida Gulf Coast University.” The
paper provides background information for an analysis of the Green Building Demonstration and
Learning Center at FGCU (referred to in this paper as the Green Building) through the lens of the
Earth Charter. This paper: 1) Gives a brief overview of the Earth Charter; 2) Describes EC-
Assess, the assessment instrument based on the Earth Charter; 3) Demonstrates how the Earth
Charter “worldview” and EC-Assess can be brought to bear on the project and gives preliminary
                                                                                                18


findings on how existing building design and proposed programs express commitment to Earth
Charter Principles and Supporting Principles; 4) Offers some reflections and suggested directions
for the way forward with the green building design; and 5) Describes the process of conducting
an EC-Assess of the Green Building in a Fall 2009 charrette process and raises some issues to be
resolved this summer

During the 2009-2010 academic year, we made a decision to let go of the building as it had been
designed, and to begin conversations about how a new building could be envisioned. This choice
comes in light of Academic Building 7 being LEED Platinum certified, as well as our desire to
create a building that better fits the Center’s philosophy.

During our 2010 Board of Advisors meeting, the Board agreed that the newly-imagined green
building be part of a long-range strategic planning process for the Center. The Board voted to
reconstitute the Center’s Strategic Planning Committee, formed of select members of the
Center’s Board. The Board also agreed that the new design of the green building should be
informed by a process of strategic planning for the Center. In other words, if the green building
is to be the Center’s home, the architectural features of the building should complement the
Center’s mission and goals.


Student Associates for a Greener Environment (SAGE)

The Student Associates for a Greener Environment (SAGE) is a student led branch of the
Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education. Some of its members are already
student leaders in their respective campus organizations. These organizations include:
Progressive Student Alliance, Environmental Association, South Florida Wildlife Association,
Power of One, and the Neumann Club. The SAGE Faculty Adviser is Dr. Maria Roca. The
ethical vision of the Earth Charter is central to SAGE’s work on campus.

SAGE meets once a month to discuss current activities on campus, to cross-pollinate ideas to aid
the Center in making our campus more sustainable, and to brainstorm how students can organize
their respective groups more efficiently. Increasingly, SAGE has recognized the need to seek out
avenues of communication to the student body in order to disseminate information about the
Center and its Faculty Associates and their various projects. SAGE has also worked to raise
awareness about organizations that promote and encourage sustainable practices. SAGE
currently uses Facebook to communicate, but is exploring a collaboration with the FGCU Eagle
News, the campus student newspaper.
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                     THE EARTH CHARTER SCHOLARSHIP PROJECT


The Center is proud to host this globally significant project. Rick Clugston continued to serve as
Coordinator of the Earth Charter Scholarship Project at FGCU. His work focused on the
following four areas:

   1. Continuing development of high quality Earth Charter based resources for higher
      education.

The Earth Charter Bibliography that was shaped by consultation discussions was uploaded to the
ECI website and is continually updated. (A May 2010 version was published in Bosselman and
Engel’s book.) We have almost completed the selected, annotated Earth Charter bibliography. In
addition, a special issue of the Journal of Education for Sustainable Development (edited by the
Center for Environment Education in India and published by Sage Press) on “the Earth Charter
and Education for Sustainable Development” was published in September 2010 and launched at
the EC+10 conference in India.

   2. Continuing work with FGCU faculty, staff, students and the wider community.

In January, March, and October, 2010, Clugston was on campus meeting with various
individuals about deepening the meaning of the Affiliate agreement, using the EC in climate
change education, food services, green building design, and expanding its presence in the
curriculum.

   3. Securing funding for activities engaging FGCU/CESE faculty and students in the
      development of resources, including:

“The Earth Charter Book”: This book will explore the theoretical connections, applications, and
transformative value of the Earth Charter to various academic and scholarly fields of endeavor in
the sustainability movement.

“Living the Earth Charter”: Based on a course taught by Dr. Maria Roca, this set of resources
will provide exercises based on contemplative practices to examine how we can live the
principles of the Earth Charter, both personally and communally.

“An Earth Charter Handprint Calculator” will introduce readers to the Earth Charter and help
them answer: to what extent am I/my community/ my organization living by EC principles?
Footprint means the amount of resources one is consuming or amount of GHGs emitted.
Handprint means positive action for sustainability (CEE India)

“Guide to Eating Humanely and Sustainably with the Earth Charter” and “Guide to Conducting
an Earth Charter Meal”: Drafts of these guides have been developed by CESE’s “Food Working
Group” showing how the Earth Charter can be applied to the operational dimensions of
university life (here food services, but the model can be applied to energy consumption, social
relationships, etc.).
                                                                                                20


   4. Contributing to international and US EC+10 efforts.

This 10th anniversary of the completion of the Earth Charter involved many celebrations as well
as critical reflections on the value added of the Earth Charter to accelerating our much needed
transition to a sustainable future. Clugston was involved in planning and/or participating in the
major ECI events in Mexico, the Netherlands, and India. In India and in Mexico, he gave plenary
presentations on “the Earth Charter and Higher Education” representing FGCU.

Clugston is currently charting a way forward for the Earth Charter Scholarship Project in 2011,
including the challenge of funding this important work.


Conclusion

The period of this report, from the signing of the Affiliation agreement on February 20, 2009, to
December 31, 2010, has been a productive one. As we look forward to 2011, we have similarly
ambitious aims. These will include active preparations for bringing the Earth Charter to the Rio
+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, a possible new book on the Earth
Charter in academic disciplines, and a book on education and climate change which will include
Earth Charter topics. Please watch the Center website for these and other Earth Charter activities
at Florida Gulf Coast University: www.fgcu.edu/cese.

								
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