Students, staff read Earth Charter

aff met to read the “Earth Charter” outside the main entrance of Doudna Hall March 20.

“(“Earth Charter”) is a document that offers ethical principles to build a just, sustainable, peaceful global society and future,” said Madelon Köhler-Busch, assistant professor of German and event organizer.  “It tries to provide a different and new frame work for perceiving, for thinking about, and for addressing the environmental depredation, human rights issues, equitable human development and peace.”

The reading was coordinated because of student interest and to raise awareness of the “Earth Charter.”

This reading was to mark the beginning of spring and the vernal equinox when the length of the night and the day are about equal.  Köhler-Busch said the day represents “The bringing of the light.”

German minor Holly Sutcliffe said she attended the reading for the experience and to read parts of the Earth Charter in German.

Sutcliffe said she supports the charter and believes that the first day of spring is important.

Dave Boyles said he joined the reading to support Köhler-Busch and to promote peace and justice.

“We all walk around on the planet like everyone else, and we are all in this together,” Boyles said.

According to the Earth Charter Initiative website, “After numerous drafts and after considering the input of people from all regions of the world, the Earth Charter Commission came to consensus on the Earth Charter in March, 2000… Over the following five years, a formal endorsement campaign attracted over 2,000 organizational endorsements, representing millions of people, including numerous national and international associations, and ultimately global institutions such as UNESCO and IUCN – The World Conservation Union.”

“This charter was written over a long period of time in a cooperative effort across nations and continents and political affiliations,” Köhler-Busch said.

The charter was read in Spanish, German, French, English and Dutch.

“(The various languages were) to welcome all nations and people because the issue is important to everyone regardless of their language,” Köhler-Busch said.

“(The charter) means that people all over the world care about the very important issues of respect, integrity, social and economic justice, and peace that are brought forth in the Earth Charter,” Boyles said.

For more information on the “Earth Charter” visit earthcharterinaction.org.