Earth Charter, Sustainable Development and Youth Leadership
Saturday, September 14th, 3pm GMT
Transcript of the presentations
(Welcoming, introductions, technical issues, group photo)
Jaana, Earth Charter International Youth Facilitator:
Let's get started with today's program. We will start with Facilitator introductions (Jaana and Mike). I
would also like you to meet the staff of the Earth Charter Secretariat: Alicia, Betty from the Earth
Charter Secretariat, plus interns: Demi, Lin and Wiktor.
The Earth Charter Secretariat is located at the UN mandated University for Peace, Costa Rica.
I come from Finland, and work as the international youth facilitator. I came to Earth Charter as an
intern, and then replaced one of the previous staff members - Dominic. It's great to meet all of you,
from around the world and discuss actions leading to a more sustainable future.
My background is in social sciences (Bachelor’s in social and public policy). Here is the link to my
Master’s Program in Development and International Cooperation. Since education in Finland is free,
feel free to apply!
Before Earth Charter International, I worked as a Project Assistant for Plan Finland, and as a Project
Coordinator for Indian Eco-Village Development Project within the Women’s Action for
Development. In addition, I have worked for the Private Educational Development Network in
Kampala, Uganda, and the Bal Rashmi Society, Rajasthan, India. I also have a small enterprise, an
online shop selling crafts from East Africa, India and Costa Rica. Please take a look of my online store.
I am married to a Finn.
Mike Sheehan, e-GLO Program Manager:
I have been working in a virtual environment with Jaana for a couple of years. We finally met each
other at the EC Conference in The Hague. e-GLO is great as it enables to be able to meet people that
are making impact around the world!
I live in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. (Mike shows the others around his house) I live in this
house, with 10 roommates! Now you can see the view of September in Canada! I moved to Columbia
10 years ago. I have been involved in youth activities since the times of school!
In some of my trips, I was the only native English speaker and started being interest in different
cultures! I always want to know people from around the world and share this common interest. I
started working with youth with diverse cultural background. As master facilitator, I work with huge
groups to create programs that are fun and meaningful to all!
I work as a facilitator with a local school and aborigines with BeatBoard – my company! I call myself a
Youth Engagement Specialist! I am focusing on generating new ways to connect each other and
Jaana: And now a word from Dominic.
Dominic Stucker, Living Planet Network, Network Coordinator. Former EC Youth Coordinator:
Thank you very much. It's great to be here and see so many new faces joining it. It's been an inspiring
time, working in Costa Rica. You are all experts in your own fields, country, and it's great that you can
share your knowledge, using this platform.
It’s very important to learn with the speakers but also learn from each other because you all are
experts in your field and will enrich our program! Be active! Women raise your voices!
Thanks and best of luck for all our participants.
Jaana: Thank you Dominic for the program and all the help. Now, we will move on. Mike will present
our next speaker.
Mike: And our next presenter! Let’s invite Rick Clugston, one of ECI Council Member. Rick had played a
main role in supporting youth in the EC. He has shown an interest to talk to the youth in EC Initiative,
to listen, to talk and to support us! Thank you for your continuous support in the Youth engagement!
Rick Clugston, ECI Council Member:
It's good to be here, thanks a lot Mike. It's very important that youth takes on, working on promoting
sustainability and working on the global challenges of our time
I have started working at the Earth Charter almost 20 years ago. Back then international
communication was much slower. After the Brundtland Commission the efforts were intensified.
However, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights also played a key role. In 1992 Rio Summit the
work on the Earth Charter – a globally discussed call for sustainability – begun.
Rick discusses the importance and sense of sustainability.
Sustainability can be seen as a sense of responsibility for all living things, and future generations.
Rick (discussing the importance of EC in all spheres of life):
We address the triple bottom line (social, economic and environmental sphere) but we also need to
support the spiritual dimension. Only like this we will get a sustainable future!
We need to apply Sustainable Development in business, governments, religious group, universities
and all sectors.
Platforms like e-GLO are essential in promoting sustainable change and influencing governments to
adopt the Earth Charter.
Mike: Can you tell us about the outcomes from the events around the world- EC activities celebrating
the 10 year anniversary?
Rick: Yes, this is the year of the celebration. There have been a series of world events. The main
conference will take place in India, on November 4. We will be discussing the global ethical
framework for sustainability, bringing people from all spheres and sectors, to share what they have
accomplished and to chart a new path for the next ten years.
(Rick discusses about RIO +20)
As Earth Charter also focuses strongly in education, and is working with UNESCO. This is also an
important topic during the event in India. Working with UNESCO helps to understand what Education
for Sustainable Development is and what opportunities it holds.
In addition, there are many other events around the world: Brisbane, Australia, and Jordan. All of the
municipalities in Jordan have already adopted the Earth Charter as guideline.
Mike: It has been 20 years that you have been involved now. It might be interesting for the young
people hear more about the development of the Earth Charter. Can you share a bit about the history
of the Earth Charter?
Rick: Forming the Earth Charter has been a long process. A drafting committee worked on drafting
benchmarks, which were then discussed. Difficult topics included animal protection, reproductive
right, secular versus spiritual dimension. The idea was to create a consensus.
Ultimately, all of the commissioners would have to agree on the drafted document.
In the case of the animal protection the big debate was: could you hunt animals. A group
representing arctic indigenous people considered hunting as a sacred act. For this reason 'respect' for
animals was included into the Earth Charter, rather than ‘compassion’.
The first four principles were introduced, and the other principles were discussed later on, aiming at
compromise between hunters, meat eaters, and those with different perspective.
Mike (addressing the issue of global governance vs. government): “Are you part of a group of people
that want to create rules for a world government?'' How can we deal with this statement?
Rick: yes, the Earth Charter has been criticized for this. However, the goal is not 'global government' but
'global governance' - how to manage global problems, which no local government can tackle alone.
We need much stronger international structures.
We already have international agreements, but we still need more guidance towards sustainability.
However, this does not mean forming a global government.
Jaana: Thank you Rick for taking part in today's meeting and sharing with us the story of Earth Charter.
Rick: Thanks for having me here! One hope I have is that the understandings, network and technological
capacities you are developing can help the Rio+20 Campaign!
Jaana: We are looking for someone who would write an article about today's meeting.
Sujan: I could do that.
Diego (e-GLO team): Sujan! Yes.
Diego: We are saving your questions. Keep posting them here. We can also share and create groups to
discuss questions there. If you feel like writing or putting some idea into action about the e-GLO 3,
you are free to do it at anytime on FB group!
Mike: Thanks for all the questions. Dumi, our next presenter has internet connections problems in
Zimbabwe! So we will move to the EC Video.
Jaana: Please watch the youtube /vimeo video, depending on your internet restrictions. Click the link,
take 5 minutes to watch the video and think, then come back!
Jaana: Hello back. Please check the ECI YouTube channel for the video available in different languages.
(Discussion on the video in the chat box)
Jaana: And now introductions from some of the participants, including our interns, who will be with us
for the next six months.
Harsha (India): Hello everyone. I have been taking courses in community development programs for
years. I am Involved in many Corporate Social Responsibility activities with my company, trying to
implement ideas for sustainable development.
Daisy (Vietnam): Hello everybody! I’m speaking from Hojimin City. My background is in environment.
I’m now studying urban development planning. I’m interested in sustainable development, hoping to
become a teacher in education for sustainability.
Besmira (Albania) (no transcription)
Godfred (Ghana): I’m Godfred Nana Asiedu Opoku from Ghana, a travel consultant by profession. I
came in touch with EC at the time i wanted to help the less privilege in the society. I first filled a form
on the EC website and Jaana got back to me some few days later. Since then i have having projects to
promote the principles and values of the EC in Ghana. I recently ended a three month project in
Accra on 14th August.
Demi (Greece), Intern at Earth Charter Secretarial: Hello. My background is Master in Corporate
Responsible Business. I have also done the Youth Leadership Course through the Earth Charter
International. The course was organized in collaboration with the Youth Action for Change,
Wiktor (Poland), Intern at Earth Charter Secretariat: Hello. I studied together with Demi in Finland. My
focus is on business activities and sustainability.
Jaana: Now, I wanted to share with you some e-GLO alumni testimonials, as an inspiration for
participation and commitment. Janna from Egypt will read the slides now.
Jaana: Now I will give you an overview of the course. (Both of the PowerPoints are available here)
Diego: When participating in the course, participate active!! Pay attention, show your interest! It’s very
important to complete ALL homework! It’s mandatory to finish the course!
Jaana: And now Mike will discuss social media.
Mike: Our job is to find out which tools are the most important. We are living in a time of great change,
however communication still remains problem. For example: Facebook is not allowed in China, but
they have GZone instead.
Jaana: Thank you very much, Mike, for your presentation. A note to everyone: if you lose the audio, try
to log out and come back in. I was able to get the voice back in that way.
(Group photo, contacts exchange, farewells, end of meeting)