An ethical framework that guides us in reinventing our lifestyles, institutions and policies to create a viable human presence on Earth.

Emerging Earth Community

The Earth Charter is a declaration of interdependence that arose from a decade long drafting process that was highly participatory, involving in put from civil society, religious communities, educators, government officials, and business leaders.

The Earth Charter is centrally concerned with the transition to sustainable ways of living and sustainable human development. Ecological integrity is one major theme. However, the Earth Charter recognizes that the goals of ecological protection, the eradication of poverty, equitable economic development, respect for human rights, democracy, and peace are interdependent and indivisible. It provides, therefore, a new, inclusive, integrated ethical framework to guide the transition to a sustainable future.

The Earth Charter is a product of a decade-long, worldwide, cross cultural dialogue on common goals and shared values. The Earth Charter project began as a United Nations initiative, but it was carried forward and completed by a global civil society initiative. The Earth Charter was finalized and then launched as a people’s charter in 2000 by the Earth Charter Commission, an independent international entity.

The drafting of the Earth Charter involved the most inclusive and participatory process ever associated with the creation of an international declaration. This process is the primary source of its legitimacy as a guiding ethical framework. The legitimacy of the document has been further enhanced by its endorsement by over 4,500 organizations, including many governments and international organizations.

Mary Evelyn Tucker was involved in the three year drafting process of the Charter from 1997-2000. She has been a member of the Earth Charter International Council since 2000.

For more information:


Download a pdf about the Earth Charter

Read about the Earth Charter in Action

Read “What Hope Requires of Us,” an address by Steven C. Rockefeller at the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League Conference on May 8-9, 2013