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Earth Charter

Damanhur endorses and supports the Earth Charter

In 2007, Damanhur was recognized as a model community from the Earth Charter Initiative. Its role is to promote a transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society based on shared ethics, including respect for and attention to community life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy and a culture of peace.

That same year, Damanhur officially announced its endorsement of the Charter, as it contains many of the same principles upon which our Federation is founded.

To acknowledge this official partnership, Ruud Lubbers, a founder of the Earth Charter and ex-Prime Minister of Holland, and Ashok Khosla, president of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), wrote the following in a joint document: Damanhur is harmony. It is serene. It is beautiful. We were moved and enchanted by this monument to the human spirit and the marvelous tribute it makes to the cosmos and to all the wonders of life. Our journey within the secrecy of the mountain also took us within ourselves, to our inner sense and to our place in creation. Artists gave idea and form to the spiritual values, showing us the diversity of people and civilizations throughout the centuries. Local craftspersons carved shape and substance into vibrant objects and brought life to them with light and sound. And here, with the Earth Charter, we become aware that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth Community with a common destiny. Let our generation be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve sustainability, the quickening of the struggle for justice and peace, and the joyful celebration of life.

The Earth Charter is a "declaration of fundamental principles for the construction of a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society in the 21st Century." It was written in 2000 after years of consultation with organizations of every level around the world. Presented at Unesco, the Charter has been disseminated internationally and has received the support of governments and heads of state, international and national organizations, universities and thousands of individuals.

Now, the promoters of the Earth Charter are asking the United Nations to recognize it with the "soft law" status, to serve as a reference document for international and national law, as is currently done with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Charter recognizes the interconnection of all life forms and presents an inter-generational prospective, valuing the rights of future generations and of the planet. Additionally, the Earth Charter defines spirituality as an indispensable element in activating ethical values that can bring about change. So, spirituality is not intended as religion. On the contrary, religions often follow principles that do not support peaceful and sustainable ways of living. Nor is spirituality intended as something only done in private; rather, spirituality is a value that serves to construct new and equitable societies.

One of the key points of the Charter is the dream of a more just world and the realization of a global governance. In recent decades, government power and management has been moving away from the state and toward businesses and civil society. These components of society now have the responsibility to work together and find solutions to new global challenges. In this regard, Damanhur is a rare example of a direct and responsible civic engagement.