An Earth Charter

Preamble


The earth community is wondrous. Its seas and soil and air abound with life. In it, we too, live and move and have our being. The earth community is our home, our living heritage, our sacred trust.


Now the earth community is dying. In our desire for progress, we are destroying millions of plant and animal species. In our desire for convenience, we are degrading the seas and the soil and the air. In our desire for development, we are devastating ancient cultures and depriving millions of people of their fundamental human rights. We are spoiling our home. We are squandering our inheritance. We are violating our sacred trust.


If the earth community is to be saved, we must renew our way of life. We must secure justice, peace and human dignity for all its peoples. We must live in harmony with its other species, we must cherish its customs, we must respect its rules. We must live so that all life may live.


Article 1 - Each person, and every human institution, has a duty to care for the life of the earth community.


Article 2 - Everyone has a duty to resist development that degrades the earth and the peoples living in harmony with it.


Article 3 - Everyone has a duty to safeguard the resources of the earth for the benefit of present and future generations of life.


Article 4 - Everyone has a right to an environment adequate for health, well-being and human dignity.


Article 5 - Everyone has a right to participate, individually and with others, in decisions affecting their life and environment.


Article 6 - States shall establish environmental standards, provide procedures for resolving conflicts, and inform their people about the quality of the environment.


Article 7 - States shall ensure that activities inside their jurisdictions do not harm the environment, either inside or outside their jurisdictions.


Article 8 - States shall assess environmental damage, hold those who cause it liable for the costs, and ensure compensation.


Article 9 - States shall share responsibility for a healthy environment, and those states where consumption, waste and pollution are greater shall bear the greater burden.


Article 10 - States shall educate their people to respect the life of the earth community.


REFERENCES


Article 1 - Duty to care for life.


Nairobi Declaration, adopted by the UNEP Governing Council at its session of a special character, Nairobi (18 May 1982, paragraph 9).


World Charter for Nature, adopted by the UN General Assembly (28 October 1982, articles 4 and 24).


Brundtland Legal Principles, Proposed Legal Principles for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, appended to the Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, endorsed by UN General Assembly resolution 42/186 (11 December 1987, principle 3).


Article 2 - Duty to resist harmful development.


African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, adopted by the Organization of African Unity at Nairobi (27 June 1981, article 24).


Convention No. 169 Concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries, adopted by the International Labour Organisation on 27 June 1989 (articles 2 and 4).


Tlatelolco Platform, Platform on Environment and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, adopted at Tlatelolco, Mexico, A/CONF.151/PC/L.30 (7 March 1991, paragraph 6).


Article 3 - Duty to present and future generations.


Stockholm Declaration, Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Environment (Stockholm, 16 June 1972), endorsed by UN General Assembly resolution 2994 (XXVII) (15 December 1972, principle 2).


United Nations General Assembly resolution 35/8 on the Historical Responsibility of States for the Preservation of Nature for Present and Future Generations (30 October 1980, paragraph 1).


Brundtland Legal Principles (1987, principle 2).



Bangkok Declaration, Ministerial Declaration on Environmentally Sound and Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific, adopted at Bangkok, A/CONF:151/PC/38, Annex 2 (16 October 1990, paragraph 15).


Article 4 - Right to healthy environment.


International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966, article 12).


Stockholm Declaration (1972, principle 1).


Declaration on the Right to Development, adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 41/128 (4 December 1986, article 1).


Brundtland Legal Principles (1987, principle 1).


Environmental Perspective to the Year 2000 and Beyond, adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 42/186 (11 

December 1987, paragraph 3/c).


Salvador Protocol, Additional Protocol on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (to the 1969 American Convention on Human Rights), adopted at San Salvador (14 November 1988, article 11).


Langkawi Declaration, Declaration on the Environment adopted by the Heads of Government of the commonwealth at Langkawi, Malaysia, A/44/673 (21 October 1989, paragraph 5).


United Nations General Assembly resolution 45/94 on the Need to Ensure a Healthy Environment for the Well-Being of Individuals (14 December 1990, paragraphs 1 and 2).


Tlatelolco Platform (1991, paragraph 18).


Article 5 - Right to participate in decisions.


World Charter for Nature (1982, article 23).


Environmental Perspective to the Year 2000 and Beyond (1987, paragraph 3/h).


Brundtland Legal Principles (1987, principle 6).

Bergen Declaration, Ministerial Declaration on Sustainable Development in the ECE Region, adopted at Bergen, Norway, A/CONF.151/PC/10, Annex I (16 May 1990, paragraph 16).


Bangkok Declaration (1990, paragraph 27).


Article 6 - Standards, procedures, information.


Charter of the United Nations, adopted at San Francisco (26 June 1945, article 33/1).


New International Economic Order, Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States, adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 3281 (XXIX) (12 December 1974, article 3).


Brundtland Legal Principles (1987, principle 4, 15-17, and 22).


Environmental Perspective to the Year 2000 and Beyond (1987, paragraph 3/n).


Bergen Declaration (1990, paragraph 16/e).


Article 7 - Protection against harm.


Stockholm Declaration (1972, principle 21).


New International Economic Order (1974, article 30).


Helsinki Final Act, Final Act of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe, adopted at Helsinki (1 August 1975, section 5).


Nairobi Declaration (1982, paragraph 9).


World Charter for Nature (1982, article 11).


Goals and Principles of Environmental Impact Assessment, adopted by decision 14/25 of the UNEP Governing Council on 17 June 1987, endorsed by UN General Assembly resolution 42/184 (11 December 1987, principle 1).


Brundtland Legal Principles (1987, principles 5, 7 and 14).


Environmental Perspective to the Year 2000 and Beyond (1987, paragraph 3/f).


Bergen Declaration (1990, paragraph 7 and 16/f).


Bangkok Declaration (1990, paragraph 19).


Article 8 - Compensation for damage.


Stockholm Declaration (1972, principle 22).


New International Economic Order (1974, article 30).


Recommendation on the Implementation of the Polluter-Pays Principle, adopted by the Council of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCED) on 14 November 1974.


Brundtland Legal Principles (1987, principles 10, 11, 13, 20, and 21).


Recommendation on the Application of the Polluter-Pays Principle to Accidental Pollution, adopted by the OECD Council on 7 July 1989.


Bergen Declaration (1990, paragraph 13/b).


Article 9 - Shared responsibility.


Stockholm Declaration (1972, principles 3 and 5).


Brundtland Legal Principles (1987, principle 9).


Langkawi Declaration (1989, paragraph 5).


Article 10 - Education for life.


Stockholm Declaration (1972, principle 19).


Helsinki Final Act (1975, section 5).


Environmental Perspective to the Year 2000 and Beyond (1987, paragraph 3/1).


Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 44/25 of 20 November 1989 (article 29/1/e).


Bangkok Declaration (1990, paragraph 29).


References taken from "Annotated Check-List of Principles on General Rights and Obligations" Preparatory Committee for the UNCED, 3rd session (Geneva, 12 August - 4 September 1991) Working Group III, Item 4 of the provisional agenda, A/CONF.151/PC/78 (26 July 1991).

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