Earth Charter Timeline

The idea of the need for a “new charter” to guide the transition to sustainable development started in 1987 when the World Commission on Environment and Development (known as “the Brundtland Commission”) launched “Our Common Future Report”. In the following timeline, you can learn more about important milestones in the Earth Charter Consultation and Drafting processes, its launch in 2000 and the development of the growing global movement.

1987-10-01 00:00:00

Our Common Future Report

The World Commission on Environment and Development (known as “the Brundtland Commission”) launched Our Common Future Report with a call for a “new charter” to set “new norms” to guide the transition to sustainable development.

1992-06-03 17:04:49

Earth Summit - Rio de Janeiro

The discussion about an Earth Charter took place in the process leading to the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, but the time for such a declaration was not right. The Rio Declaration became the statement of the achievable consensus at that time.

1994-06-01 11:02:49

Earth Charter Consultation initiates

In 1994, Maurice Strong (Secretary-General of the Rio Summit) and Mikhail Gorbachev, working through organizations they each founded (Earth Council and Green Cross International respectively), launched an initiative (with the support from the Dutch Government) to develop an Earth Charter as a civil society initiative. The initial drafting and consultation process drew on hundreds of international documents.

1997-01-24 11:02:49

Earth Charter Commission

An independent Earth Charter Commission was formed in 1997 to oversee the development of the text, analyze the outcomes of a world-wide consultation process and to come to agreement on a global consensus document.

1997-03-18 11:02:49

First Draft of the Earth Charter released

In March 1997 at the Rio+5 Forum, a first Benchmark Draft of the Earth Charter is released as a “document in progress”. Ongoing international consultations were encouraged and organized.

1999-04-01 11:02:49

Benchmark Draft II of the Earth Charter released

On April 5, 1999, a Benchmark Draft II of the Earth Charter is released and international consultations continue particularly through Earth Charter National Committees and international dialogues.

2000-03-13 11:02:49

Earth Charter Commission Last Meeting

After numerous drafts and after considering the input of people from all regions of the world, the Earth Charter Commission came to an agreement on the Earth Charter in March, 2000, at a meeting held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

2000-06-29 06:32:24

Earth Charter Launch

The Earth Charter was launched in The Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands was the first dignitary to officially receive the Earth Charter.

2001-08-26 01:55:35

Bringing the Earth Charter to Education

An Earth Charter Education Advisory Committee was formed and a first online Forum of the Earth Charter in Education took place to identify how to bring this vision to education. The Synthesis Report document was developed to offer the initial guidelines of the EC education efforts.

2001-10-04 23:44:20

Ark of Hope travels in the US

The Ark of Hope is a wooden chest created in 2001 by designer and painter Sally Linder to house the Earth Charter document. On it’s five panels are a series of paintings, depicting artistic representations of Air Water, Fire, Spirit and Earth.

Earth Charter Timeline

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