The Greener Way Charter

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The Greener Way Charter

Preamble

As the world becomes smaller and increasingly interdependent, only grass root efforts can guide it to great promise or let it slip into peril.  To create a World community that thrives we must recognize that in the midst of magnificent diversity of cultures we are one human family with a common destiny. Only by joining together can we bring forth a sustainable global society founded on human rights, economic justice, cultural tolerance and a respect for nature.  We the citizens of Earth must declare our personal responsibility to one another, working diligently to build a unified world community for the sake of ourselves and future generations.

Earth, Our Home

Humanity is a part of the vast and changing universe. The planet we are all living on is teaming with unique communities of widely diverse life forms. Nature makes existence a demanding and uncertain adventure, but Earth has all the essential elements needed for the survival and evolution of life. The resilience of biosphere and the well-being of humanity depend upon preserving a healthy ecological systems, a rich variety of plants and animals, fertile soils, pure waters, and clean air. Because our world has finite resources the protection of Earth's vitality, diversity, and beauty is a sacred trust.

The Global Situation

The current ways of production and consumption are devastating the environment, depleting its resources, and causing many species of plants and animals to become extinct.   The benefits of world development are not shared equitably which is creating an ever widening gap between rich and poor. Injustice, ignorance, poverty, and violent are increasing world wide.  The burden of human population on the worlds ecological and social systems is stretching the world�s limited resources. The very foundations of global security are being threatened. While the global situation is perilous, it does not have to be its destiny.

The Challenges Ahead

We must all work together, to care for Earth and one another, or face the real possibility of human extinction.  Fundamental changes are needed in human values, institutions, and ways of living. We must come to understand that civilization should be about being more to each other, not having more for ourselves. Today we have the knowledge and technology to provide the needs of every human on Earth and to reduce our impacts on the environment. Environmental, economic, political, social, and spiritual challenges are all interconnected, and we must all begin to work together in an inclusive manor to find solutions.


Universal Responsibility

To reach these higher human values, we must choose to live with a sense of world citizenship and responsibility.  It is no longer practical to identifying ourselves only to local communities. Each and everyone of us must share responsibility for the well-being of all humanity and the living world we all depend on. When we live with reverence for the mystery of existence, and humility regarding stewardship toward nature, a human kinsmanship and spirit with all nature is obtained.

Principles
I. Care and Respect for the Earth Community

1. Respect the diversity of life on Earth.

            a. Recognize that all forms of life have value.

            b. Belief in universal human dignity and the spiritual potential of humanity.


2. Use love, compassion and understanding in your stewardship of community.

            a. Accept that with the right to own, manage, and use natural resources comes
                            the duty to prevent environmental harm and to protect the rights of people.
                        b. Affirm that with increased freedom, knowledge, and power comes increased
                           responsibility to promote the common good.


3. Nurture democratic societies that are sustainable, just, participatory, and peaceful.

a. Support communities at all levels which guarantee human rights and
                fundamental freedoms where everyone can realize their full potential.

b. Promote social and economic justice, enabling all to live a secure and
                meaningful livelihood that is ecologically responsible.


4. Secure for future generations the beauty and bounty of Earth.

a. Recognize that the freedom of action of each generation is qualified by the
                needs of future generations.

b. Preserve for future generations the values, traditions, and institutions that
                support the long-term flourishing of Earth's human and ecological communities.


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

II.ECOLOGICAL INTEGRITY

5. Protect and restore the sustainability of Earth's ECO systems, with special attention
                to biological diversity and natural processes.

a. Regulations and development initiatives should be developed at all levels
                for environmental conservation and rehabilitation.

b. Create and safeguard nature and biosphere reserves, including wild lands and marine
    areas, to preserve Earth's life support systems and maintain biodiversity.

c. Support the recovery of endangered species and ecosystems.

d. Identify non-native or genetically modified organisms harmful to native species and the
    environment for removal, and prevent the introduction of such organisms.

e. Manage the use of renewable resources in ways that do not exceed rates of
    regeneration and that protect a health sustainable ecosystem.

f. Manage the use of non-renewable resources in ways that minimize depletion and cause
   no serious environmental damage.


6. Prevent harm as the best method of environmental protection and, when knowledge is limited, 
    apply a precautionary approach.

a. Take action to avoid the possibility of serious or irreversible environmental harm even 
    when scientific knowledge is incomplete or inconclusive.

b. Place the burden of proof on those who argue that a proposed activity will not cause 
    significant harm, and make the responsible parties liable for environmental harm.

c. Ensure that decision making addresses the cumulative, long-term, indirect, long 
    distance, and global consequences of human activities.

d. Prevent pollution of any part of the environment and allow no build-up of radioactive,  
    toxic, or other hazardous substances.

e. Use diplomacy to avoid military or civil disruptions damaging to the environment.


7. Use methods of consumption, production, and reproduction which will restore Earth�s  patterns 
    of production, consumption, and reproduction that safeguard Earth's regenerative character, 
    community well-being and human rights.

a. Reduce, reuse, and recycle materials used and ensure that waste does no harm to
    Earth�s ecological system.

b. Conserve energy use and develop renewable sources.

c. Regulate the full social and environmental costs of goods and services in the selling
    price, and enable consumers to know which products meet the highest social and
    environmental standards.

d. Teach conservation and a health life style so that Earth�s finite resources can be
    sustained for future generations.


8. Study and exchange advanced ecological sustainability technologies.

a. Support international scientific and technical cooperation on sustainability, with special
    attention to the needs of developing nations.

b. Catalog and preserve the traditional knowledge and spiritual wisdom in all cultures that
    contribute to environmental protection and human well-being.

c. Ensure that information of vital importance to human health and environmental
    protection, including genetic information, remains available in the public domain.


III. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE

9. Eradicate poverty as an ethical, social, and environmental imperative.

a. Guarantee the right to potable water, clean air, food security, uncontaminated soil,
    shelter, and safe sanitation, allocating the national and international resources required.

b. Empower every human being with the education and resources to secure a sustainable
    livelihood.

c. Recognize the ignored, protect the vulnerable, serve those who suffer, and enable them
    to develop their capacities and to pursue their aspirations.


10. Regulate economic activities and institutions which promote human development in a
      sustainable and equitable manner.

a. Enhance the intellectual, financial, technical, and social resources of developing nations.

b. Ensure that all trade supports sustainable resource use, environmental protection, and
    progressive labor standards.

c. Require multinational corporations and international financial organizations to act
    transparently in the public good, and hold them accountable for the consequences of
    their activities.


11. Affirm gender equality and equity as prerequisites to sustainable development and ensure
      universal access to education, health care, and economic opportunity.

a. Secure the human rights of women and girls and end all violence against them.

b. Promote the active participation of women in all aspects of economic, political, civil,
    social, and cultural life as full and equal partners, decision makers, leaders, and
    beneficiaries.

c. Strengthen families and ensure the safety and loving nurture of all family members.


12. Uphold the rights of all, without discrimination, 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.

a. Eliminate discrimination in all its forms, such as that based on race, color, sex, sexual
    orientation, religion, language, and national, ethnic or social origin.

b. Affirm the right of indigenous peoples to their spirituality, knowledge, lands and resources
    and to their related practice of sustainable livelihoods.

c. Honor and support the young people of our communities, enabling them to fulfill their
    essential role in creating sustainable societies.

d. Protect and restore outstanding places of cultural and spiritual significance.



IV. DEMOCRACY, NONVIOLENCE, AND PEACE

13. Strengthen democratic institutions at all levels, and provide transparency and accountability in
      governance, inclusive participation in decision making, and access to justice.

a. Uphold the right of everyone to receive clear and timely information on environmental
    matters and all development plans and activities which are likely to affect them or in
    which they have an interest.

b. Support local, regional and global civil society, and promote the meaningful participation
    of all interested individuals and organizations in decision making.

c. Protect the rights to freedom of opinion, expression, peaceful assembly, association,
    and dissent.

d. Institute effective and efficient access to administrative and independent judicial
    procedures, including remedies and redress for environmental harm and the threat of
    such harm.

e. Strengthen local communities, enabling them to care for their environments, and assign
    environmental responsibilities to the levels of government where they can be carried out
    most effectively.


14. Integrate into formal education and life-long learning the knowledge, values, and skills needed
      for a sustainable way of life.

a. Provide all, especially children and youth, with educational opportunities that empower
    them to contribute actively to sustainable development.

b. Promote the contribution of the arts and humanities as well as the sciences in
    sustainability education.

d. Focus on the importance of moral and spiritual education for sustainable living.


15. Treat all living beings with respect and consideration.

a. Stop cruelty to animals and protect them from suffering.

b. Avoid or eliminate to the full extent possible the taking or destruction of non-targeted
    species to protect the diversity of Earth.


16. Promote a culture of tolerance, nonviolence, and peace.

a. Encourage and support mutual understanding, solidarity, and cooperation among all
    peoples and within and among nations.

b. Implement comprehensive strategies to prevent violent conflict and use collaborative
    problem solving to manage and resolve environmental conflicts and other disputes.

c. Demilitarize national security systems to the level of a non-provocative defense posture,
    and convert military resources to peaceful purposes, including ecological restoration.

d. Eliminate nuclear, biological, and toxic weapons and other weapons of mass
    destruction.

e. Ensure that the use of orbital and outer space supports environmental protection and

    peace.

f. Recognize that peace is the wholeness created by right relationships with oneself, other

   persons, other cultures, other life, Earth, and the larger whole of which all are a part.


The Way Forward

At this time in history, Earth�s destiny beckons every nation and every human to find new ways to uphold the promise of these principles.

This requires a change of mind and heart. It requires a new sense of global interdependence and universal responsibility. We must imaginatively develop and apply the vision of a sustainable way of life locally, nationally, regionally, and globally. Our cultural diversity is a precious heritage and different cultures will find their own distinctive ways to realize the vision. We must deepen and expand the global dialogue that generated the these principles, for we have much to learn from the ongoing collaborative search for truth and wisdom.

Life often involves tensions between important values. This can mean difficult choices. However, we must find ways to harmonize diversity with unity, the exercise of freedom with the common good, short-term objectives with long-term goals. Every individual, family, organization, and community has a vital role to play. The arts, sciences, religions, educational institutions, media, businesses, nongovernmental organizations, and governments are all called to offer creative leadership. The partnership of government, civil society, and business is essential for effective governance.

Let ours be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve sustainability, the quickening of the struggle for justice and peace, and the joyful celebration of life.

The inspiration for The Greener Way Charter was taken from The Earth Charter.  It was modified so as not to be political or subordinate to the United Nations or any other special interest groups.  Greener Way Associates, Inc. is a non profit, non political, non religious organization.  We are located in Culver City, California and we are loyal patriotic American Citizens whom obey and follow the laws of local, state and federal governments.

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Last Updated June 18, 2012
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