Excerpts from the Earth Forum

An on-line academic conference on Global Ethics, Sustainable Development and the Earth Charter was held from April 6 to 9, and extended to April 16, 1999 at www.earthforum.org.  

Its purpose was to draft a statement of ethical principles similar to the UN Declaration on Human Rights that will guide the conduct of people and nations towards each other and the Earth to ensure peace, equity and a sustainable future. Seventeen distinguished speakers and thousands of university students worldwide participated.  

The following are responses to John McConnell’s Earth Magna Charta and Earth Trustee concept. We hope they will compel you to join us in becoming Earth Trustees.

Earth Forum
Date: April 07, 1999 08:08 AM
Author: Steven Rockefeller (rockefel@middlebury.edu)

Over the past three decades since the first Earth Day celebration and the UN Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, over 150 declarations and people's treaties have been issued by various NGO and religious groups. Many of these documents involve inspiring visions and calls to action. One of the best NGO documents of this nature has been prepared by John McConnell and is called the Earth Magna Charta.

In his Earth Magna Charta, John McConnell invites all of us to become Earth Trustees. I fully support John McConnell's proposal, which is very much in the spirit of the Earth Charter. The Preamble of the Earth Charter states "The protection of Earth's vitality, diversity, and beauty is a sacred trust."

McConnell's Earth Magna Charta calls for "an Earth Campaign that will eliminate poverty and pollution and bring new freedom, order, and opportunity. This will happen as every individual and institution chooses to act as a responsible Trustee of Earth." This call to action is very much in line with the Earth Charter.

Steven C. Rockefeller,
Chair Earth Charter Drafting Committee

Date: April 10, 1999 07:29 AM
Author: Robert Muller (BGaughenmu@aol.com)
Subject: Earth Trustee

Dear John and readers,

As usual over so many years, starting with the first Earth Day in human history, you are a great visionary and proposer of timely action. Your Earth Trustee proposal is fabulous. I would recommend that all of us who have read your message consider ourselves from this day on Earth Trustees. We could even put it under our name when we write letters. Barbara joins me in it and reminded me of my exhortation Decide to which I repeat here for the readers:

Decide to Network,
Use every letter you write
Every conversation you have
Every meeting you attend
To express your fundamental beliefs and dreams
Affirm to others the vision of the world you want
Network through thought
Network through action
Network through love
Network through the spirit
You are the center of a network
You are the center of the world
You are a free, immensely powerful source of life and goodness
Affirm it
Spread it
Radiate it
Think day and night about it
And you will see a miracle happen: the Greatness of your own life
In a world of big powers, media and monopolies
But of six billion people
Networking is the new freedom
the new democracy
A new form of happiness  

Dr. Robert Muller 
University of Peace in Costa Rica

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