NEW PUBLICATION: The Earth Charter, Ecological Integrity and Social Movements




17 April 2014. University for Peace Campus - The Earth Charter is a declaration of fundamental ethical principles for building a just, sustainable and peaceful global society, with ecological integrity as a major theme. This book provides a series of analyses of ecological integrity as it relates to the Earth Charter, social movements and international law for human rights. It is shown how the Earth Charter project began as a United Nations initiative, but it was carried forward and completed by a global civil society initiative.

The drafting of the Earth Charter involved the most inclusive and participatory process of its time ever associated with the creation of an international declaration. This process is the primary source of its legitimacy as a guiding ethical framework. The Earth Charter was finalized and then launched in 2000 and its legitimacy has been further enhanced by its endorsement by over 6,500 organizations, including many governments and international organizations. In the light of this legitimacy, an increasing number of international lawyers recognize that the Earth Charter is acquiring the status of a soft law document.

The book also shows the strong connection between ecological integrity and social justice, particularly in the defence of indigenous people, and includes contributions from both the North and the global South, specifically from Central and South America.


HB: 978-1-13-800070-4




For more information on The Earth Charter, Ecological Integrity and Social Movements, please visit:

Laura Westra

is Professor Emerita (Philosophy) , University of Windsor, Canada, and Sessional Instructor at both the Faculty of Law, University of Milano (Bicocca), Italy, and the Graduate Faculty of Environmental Studies, Royal RoadsUniversity, Canada.

Mirian Vilela

is the Executive Director of the Earth Charter International Secretariat and the Earth Charter Center on Education for Sustainable Development at the University for Peace, in San Jose, Costa Rica.


For more information on The Earth Charter, Ecological Integrity and Social Movements, please visit: