The Earth Charter initiative is a particularly notable juncture both in environmental ethics and in the attempts to formulate a global ethic. It represents a significant step not only in the content of the final document, but also in its drafting process and the ongoing activity it has sparked. The development of the charter entailed nearly a decade and involved international consultation with tens of thousands of participants. The intent was the creation of a “people's treaty” that expressed a consensus of values and principles among diverse cultural, economic, religious, and scientific interests. Its content is comprehensive; it connects ecological integrity and sustainability to social and economic justice and the establishment of enduring peaceful relations. The charter and its supporters are not without their critics, ...

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