Introducing the Earth Charter to Malaysia

Posted on October 7, 2011. Filed under: Environment and Livelihoods, Pollution |

By Aliran, on 7 October 2011

Kuantan-based civil society groups are spear-heading an initiative to introduce the Earth Charter to Malaysia with the aim of encouraging a more sustainable and safe development path for the country.

Leading to the Himpunan Hijau 109 on 9 October, Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas (SMSL) is collaborating with the Himpunan Hjau 109 Organising Committee to release a series of articles relevant to the Earth Charter everyday.

The series will link the many issues of concern relevant to Malaysia to instil a greater understanding of some of the fundamental principles of the Charter whilst highlighting how a more sustainable and safer path could and should be pursued for Malaysia.

Himpunan Hijau 109 Organising Committee will lead the civil society organisations and concerned community members to introduce the Earth Charter to Malaysia to promote and encourage a more sustainable and safe development path for the country.

The Earth Charter is a declaration of fundamental ethical principles for building a just, sustainable and peaceful global society in the 21st century. It seeks to inspire in all people a new sense of global interdependence and shared responsibility for the well-being of the whole human family, the greater community of life, and future generations. It is a product of a decade-long, worldwide, cross cultural dialogue on common goals and shared values to protect our very essence of life and our natural habitat, planet earth.

A working group has been set up to prepare for a gathering of civil society groups, business communities, politicians, mums and dads and people of all walks of life and age groups on 9 October 2011 in Kuantan to jointly endorse the Earth Charter. The main influential human rights groups in Malaysia like Bersih 2.0, Suaram and NGOs are attending to show support as well. Local and international media/press are welcome to this event.

This will be a unifying ground-breaking historic ceremony to mark a new dawn of hopes for Malaysia. We will be united in our stance to defend our future and our shared living space on earth.

This ceremony will put Malaysia in the international stage, joining hundreds of millions of other individuals, groups, businesses and governments who have already signed on to the Earth Charter to demand a cleaner and safer development pathway now and in the future to protect our life source, planet earth, and to ensure social harmony and justice.

Malaysia is a beautiful country that abounds with nature’s wonder and richness known the world over. Our natural assets have sustained human life since time immemorial. It has also provided immense opportunities for a wide range of development activities and much more potential yet to be tried. With Malaysia’s immense natural assets and human resources, there are boundless possibilities for a clean, green and safe development pathway.

However, this potential has so far not been realised because our development path has been a mere extension of our colonial past. It has been centred around resource exploitation and not on sustainability or the well being of the people. The situation has worsened in recent years when highly polluting projects detrimental to our natural environment and our health are approved for construction, posing serious threats to our future and our health.

All over the world, communities are hurting from destructive development projects that only bring about short-term gains for a minority few. With increasing awareness, people are now seeking a more sustainable and holistic path that also take care of the well being of the majority and the natural environment.

The Earth Charter is one such global instrument developed to steer our future to a more ecologically sustainable and socially just democratic path.

The articles will also be uploaded at SMSL official website.

Facts about the Earth Charter

The Earth Charter is an instrument recognised and endorsed by the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) to promote the
transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared
ethical framework that includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace.

The Earth Charter is a declaration of fundamental ethical principles for building
a just, sustainable and peaceful global society in the 21st century. It seeks to inspire
in all people a new sense of global interdependence and shared responsibility for
the well-being of the whole human family, the greater community of life, and future
generations. It is a product of a decade-long, worldwide, cross cultural dialogue on
common goals and shared values.

The mission of the Earth Charter Initiative is to promote the transition to sustainable
ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework that
includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal
human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of
peace.

The mission of the Earth Charter Initiative is to promote the transition to sustainable
ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework that
includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal
human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of
peace.

We envision individuals, organisations, businesses, governments, and multilateral
institutions throughout the world, including the United Nations General Assembly and UN agencies, acknowledging the Earth Charter, embracing its values and principles, and working collaboratively to build just, sustainable, and peaceful societies.

  1. To raise awareness worldwide of the Earth Charter and to promote
    understanding of its inclusive ethical vision.
  2. To seek recognition and endorsement of the Earth Charter by individuals,
    organisations, and the United Nations.
  3. To promote the use of the Earth Charter as an ethical guide and the
    implementation of its principles by civil society, business, and government.
  4. To encourage and support the educational use of the Earth Charter in schools, universities, religious communities, local communities, and many other
    settings.
  5. To promote recognition and use of the Earth Charter as a soft law document.
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