Earth Charter

Submitted by Arthur Dahl on 5. June 2011 - 18:30
e-learning centre on sustainable development


Heading: Ethics    Topic: Earth Charter

One of the original aims of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (the Earth Summit) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 was to adopt an Earth Charter that would enshrine the essential ethical principles and values concerning the environment and development. When it became clear that governments were not ready to agree on a comprehensive set of principles, a more limited set was agreed as the Rio Declaration. After Rio, non-governmental organizations decided to continue to draft an Earth Charter, and an extensive participatory process led by the Earth Charter Initiative finally produced a text that represented wide agreement among individuals and organizations of many types from all parts of the world. The Earth Charter has been acknowledged by a number of governments, and represents a useful global consensus on international ethical principles describing our individual and collective responsibility for sustainable development. The text of the Earth Charter in many languages is available at


Earth Charter Initiative

Article last updated 8 March 2006

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Last updated 30 August 2010