Thursday, April 23, 2009

YES! Earth Charter Curricular Module

As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile,
the future at once holds great peril and great promise.
~ Preamble to The Earth Charter


The Earth Charter calls for shared responsibility for all humanity and all living things in a declaration of principles for a just, sustainable, and peaceful world. Created in a 10-year grassroots process with thousands of people in countries from Argentina to Zambia it was approved by the Earth Charter Commission at the UNESCO Headquarters in 2000.

To learn about the Charter’s vision and help you bring it alive in class, this module offers inspiring YES! stories of people and communities that are thriving by choosing to live with compassion and respect for all people and the planet.

YES! Curricular Online Module ~ Structure
The Earth Charter's sixteen principles are organized into four major principle categories:
(1) Respect and Care for the Community of Life
(2) Ecological Integrity
(3) Social and Economic Justice
(4) Democracy, Nonviolence, and Peace

YES! stories are paired with the four major principles of the Earth Charter, and include supplemental curricular materials. To view the YES! story online, click the title. To download for free the formatted YES! story with photos, discussion questions, and a glossary, click the "Download PDF" text link. Below you will also find resources to help students get informed, inspired, and take action!

YES! Curricular Module ~ The Earth Charter

EARTH CHARTER Major Principle 1 - Respect and Care for the Community of Life

YES!: Wild, Abundant America
An Indian immigrant extoles the beauty of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Download article with photos, questions, glossary (PDF 15.84MB)

YES!: When Youth Lead
Teens in a small town discover dangers that others denied and ignored. Download article with photos, questions, glossary (PDF 560KB)

YES!: Tree People
Youth volunteers tear up a parking lot outside of L.A. and plant 8,000 trees. (*For an up-date on this story scroll to the bottom) Download article with photos, questions, glossary (PDF 2.58MB)

Find more stories like these in our YES! issues, Art and Community, Reclaiming the Commons, and What Is the Good Life?

Major Principle 2 - Ecological Integrity

YES!: Taking Stock
How are you contributing to global warming? Take the test and become Kyoto cool. Download article, with photos, questions, glossary (PDF 727KB)

YES!: Bringing Biodiesel from Colorado to Colombia
University students and a community in Colombia develop a new source of energy and local jobs.
Download article with photos, questions, glossary (PDF 905KB)

YES!: Curitiba: The Story of A City
Citizen planners transform Curitiba, Brazil into one of the most sustainable and livable cities in the world. Download article with photos, questions, glossary (PDF 1.4MB)

YES!: The Lake and the ‘Hood
A desert lake captured the hearts of East L.A. youth who worked with business folks and environmentalists to save it. Download article with photos, questions, glossary (PDF 1.47MB)

Find more stories like these in our YES! issues Our Planet, Ourselves, and Whose Water?

Major Principle 3 - Social & Economic Justice

YES!: The Apollo Project
Labor and environmental activists advocate an energy plan that protects both jobs and the environment. Download article with photos, questions, glossary (PDF 247KB)

YES!: Tomato Days
Residents of rural Missouri protect their farming lifestyle and build the local economy by canning tomatoes in a church basement. Download article with photos, questions, glossary (PDF 2.56MB)

YES!: Seeds of Justice, Seeds of Hope
"The Seed Lady of Watts" gets youth cultivating fresh, organic foods and new lives in neighborhoods better known for drug abuse, violence, and poverty. Download article with photos, questions, glossary (PDF 956KB) Articulo en Espanol: Las semillas de esperanza (PDF 883KB)

YES!: Going Forward Full Circle
The Suquamish Tribe nearly lost the ancient art of canoe carving, but native youth are bringing back the craft. Download article with photos, questions, glossary (PDF 4.76MB)

Find more stories like these in our YES! issues, Living Economies and Economics as if Life Matters.

Major Principle 4 - Democracy, Nonviolence, & Peace

YES!: Story of the Earth Charter
Thousands of citizens worldwide were part of a democratic process to create the Earth Charter--a unique declaration of global responsibility and interdependency. Download article with photos, questions, glossary (PDF 1.18MB)

YES!: Redefining Peace
African Nobel Peace Prize winner, Wangari Maathai, brings the planting of trees, the empowerment of women, and the need for democracy to the center of local and global discussions of peace. Download article with photos, questions, glossary (PDF 4.6MB)

Find more stories like these in our YES! issues, What Would Democracy Look Like and The Peace Makers.

Learn more, do more ~ ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Earth Charter:
Download the full text: Earth Charter PDF (33KB)

The Earth Charter USA Communities Initiatives is the facilitator for grassroots
efforts to implement the vision and principles of the Earth Charter in local communities.

The Earth Charter Initiative seeks to promote the implementation of the Earth Charter by civil society, business, and government and to get United Nations ratification.

Earth Charter USA provides support for using the Earth Charter as an educational tool, as a guide to sustainable community development, and as a framework for policies and practices and the U.S.

YES! Earth Charter Education Partner:

Facing the Future develops young people’s capacity and commitment to create thriving, sustainable, and peaceful local and global communities, and offer workshops and inserve education, standards-based curricula, teachers guides, lesson plans, and access to a service learning project database.

Youth Organizations:

Earth Scouts, a national program developed by Earth Charter Communities USA, inspires boys and girls from 3 to 15 years to appreciate differences, care for nature, value independence and cooperation, seek peaceful solutions, and welcome new knowledge and experiences.

Earthforce is a nationwide organization that helps educate young people about how to preserve the environment and better their communities. They also motivate young people to think critically and develop long-term sustainable solutions to environmental problems. Earthforce offers teacher trainings, curriculum guides and other resources.

Youth for Environmental Sanity connects and empowers young changemakers to join forces for a thriving, just, and sustainable way of life, holds week-long events for young leaders from around the world, and offers books, action guides, and videos. Alumni have started more than 400 non-profit groups working for positive change.

More Great YES! Materials:

YES! Earth Charter Resource Guide
Learn about organizations that can help you and your students shape a more sustainable future.

YES! Earth Charter Page That Counts (72 KB)

YES! Earth Charter Table of Stories & Principles PDF (76KB) Lists the YES! articles in this module with the corresponding Earth Charter principles.

YES! magazine Board Chair, David Korten, says the Earth Charter's principles offer a new model for human civilization, read The Great Turning: "From Empire to Earth Community."

YES! interview: Earth Democracy—a compelling and informative YES! interview with renowned physicist, farmer, and environmental activist, Vandana Shiva.

YES! story: Resurrecting Democracy is possible through global governance and civil society—a fascinating YES! interview with Ernst Ulrich von Weizsaecker.

YES! story: Beyond Ecophobia
David Sobel advocates engaging youth in the beauty and thrill of nature, not just sharing tales of eco-destruction.

Environmental & Ecological Organizations:

The Center for Ecoliteracy is dedicated to education for sustainable living.

The Bioneers annual conference is a prime gathering of leading scientific and social innovators -- young and old -- who have demonstrated visionary and practical models for restoring the Earth and communities.

Action For Nature encourages young people to take personal action to better their environment, and to foster love and respect for nature, and sponsors the Action For Nature International Young Eco-Heroes Awards Program.

The Edible Schoolyard has been recognized around the world for its organic garden, landscape, and kitchen, which are grounded in ecological principles and wholly integrated into the school's curriculum.