On January 11, 2012, the yearly Earth Charter meeting in the Netherlands took place. Active members of the Earth Charter network gathered in Amsterdam, facilitated by ECI Affiliate NCDO. Alide Roerink, coordinator of the NCDO Earth Charter programme and ECI Council member interviewed Commissioners Ruud Lubbers and Awraham Soetendorp, who were the key inspirational speakers. The relevance of the Earth Charter for Rio+20 was the topical issue. 

Rabbi Soetendorp quoted the interreligious statement "Towards Rio + 20 and beyond - A turning point in Earth History". He then facilitated a moment of silent prayer and reflection and shared his dream that the Rio + 20 summit itself would start with such a moment of silence, in which the assembled heads of state would meditate about their essential role of shaping a sustainable future for many generations to come. 

Please watch a video about the event here:

Members of the network shared their thoughts related to Rio+20 and highlighted the Earth Charter's essential role. It was stressed that  the moment for action is now. The Earth Charter Game, developed in Brazil by Harmonia na Terra, was presented, and participants had the opportunity to experience playing it. The responses were very positive. 

In addition, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands referred to the Earth Charter in her Christmas speech and this created new impetus among citizens. A new initiative was launched by Ruud Lubbers to start a community of Friends of the Earth Charter in The Netherlands. Ideas were gathered to make this happen and several individuals are working on it.

The Soetendorp Institute


Jacob Soetendorp Institute for Human Values
Van Wijngaerdenstraat 21
2596 TW The Hague
The Netherlands