June 22-26, 2001

 
 
ADOPTED RESOLUTIONS: ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT

ENDORSEMENT OF EARTH CHARTER

WHEREAS, the Earth Charter is a declaration of the fundamental principles for a sustainable future and an urgent call to build a global partnership for sustainable development; and

WHEREAS, for over a decade hundreds of groups and thousands of individuals throughout the world have been involved in the process of drafting an Earth Charters; and

WHEREAS, the principles of the Earth Charter present a conception of sustainable development and set forth fundamental guidelines for achieving it; and

WHEREAS, the Earth Charter is guided by a commitment to the principle of meeting our needs today, while at the same time enhancing future generations' ability to meet their needs; and

WHEREAS, the Earth Charter sets forth an integrated approach to community development which addresses respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, social and economic justice, and democracy, non-violence and peace; and

WHEREAS, the Earth Charter offers principles which will be helpful to cities in addressing pressing issues and challenges:

I. RESPECT AND CARE FOR THE COMMUNITY OF LIFE

  • Respect Earth and life in all its diversity.
  • Care for the community of life with understanding, compassion, and love.
  • Build democratic societies that are just, participatory, sustainable, and peaceful.

  • Secure Earth's bounty and beauty for present and future generations.

In order to fulfill these four broad commitments, it is necessary to:

II. ECOLOGICAL INTEGRITY

  • Protect and restore the integrity of Earth's ecological systems, with special concern for biological diversity and the natural processes that sustain life.
  • Prevent harm as the best method of environmental protection and, when knowledge is limited, apply a precautionary approach.
  • Adopt patterns of production, consumption, and reproduction that safeguard Earth's regenerative capacities, human rights, and community well-being.
  • Advance the study of ecological sustain ability and promote the open exchange and wide application of the knowledge acquired.

III. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE

  • Eradicate poverty as an ethical, social, and environmental imperative.
  • Ensure that economic activities and institutions at all levels promote human development in an equitable and sustainable manner.
  • Affirm gender equality and equity as prerequisites to sustainable development and ensure universal access to education, health care, and economic opportunity.
  • Uphold the right of all, without discrimation, to a natural and social environment supportive of human dignity, bodily health, and spiritual well-being, with special attention to the rights of indigenous peoples and minorities.

IV. DEMOCRACY, NONVIOLENCE, AND PEACE

  • Strengthen democratic institutions at all levels, and provide transparency and accountability in governance, inclusive participation in decision making, and access to justice.
  • Integrate into formal education and life-long learning the knowledge, values, and skills needed for a sustainable way of life.
  • Treat all living beings with respect and consideration.
  • Promote a culture of tolerance, nonviolence, and peace, and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors endorses the Earth Charter and commits the organization to the realization of its aims; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that mayors and their cities are urged to formally review and debate the Earth Charter and its relationship to their work.