The Earth Charter is the next BIG thing that is coming ...

The world is waking up to the urgent need to become sustainable
- and we all sense that radical change is needed.

But how do we solve the sustainability puzzle for our business, education institute, cultural organisation, philanthropy or even understand it on a personal level?

Many of us have rushed to embrace and employ the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) BUT we have overlooked we need an integrated vision and values framework to advance environmental and social challenges in a systematic, ethical way.

In 2019, UNESCO endorsed the Earth Charter as the learning framework
so citizens everywhere can simply understand and communicate
integrated universal environmental AND social values for everything we do

A self-paced ONLINE pilot course for ADULT learners. Each week participants will have access to video lessons and resources that can be engaged independently.

There will be weekly group meetings via Zoom for valuable peer learning and networking with other learners across the world. We meet weekly on WEDNESDAYS 7pm Irish / UK time

Building on the popular 'Values module' of the Haumea Ecoliteracy course, learn with Cathy Fitzgerald about why the holistic ecosocial values of the Earth Charter, advanced by peoples' from diverse cultures from across Earth over two decades–have crucial relevance to us all.



In this new Haumea Ecoversity course, accredited Education for Sustainable Development(ESD) educator Dr Cathy Fitzgerald, shares how the Earth Charter can help you gain an expansive ecological mindset, vision, values and new language to communicate how your work contributes to a sustainable, equitable world

Crucially, the Earth Charter advances deep behavioural change because it guides ethical engagement in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 in a clear, systemic way. In other words, it advocates that we always advance environmental AND social aims TOGETHER

the four pillars and 16 principles of the Earth Charter


For your business, education or cultural organisation, faith community, local government or creative practice, The Earth Charter's four pillars and 16 principles can help you more easily communicate universal shared values for sustainable, just living:– ecological integrity, social justice, equality and intergenerational sustainability for an enduring culture of peace for all. 

The Earth Charter is an inspiring, visionary grassroots' peoples planetary citizens' framework for TRANSFORMATIVE LEARNING for high-level change. 

The Earth Charter is remarkable as it has been strengthened by over two decades of global citizens' contributions - it is the pre-eminent Peoples' Treaty for personal, collective and planetary wellbeing, recognised by UNESCO since 2019.



Lessons, with exercises and resources, including articles, videos and podcasts on key topics and figures from the Earth Charter will provide an overview of the history, ambition and potential, for the Peoples' Earth Charter to help 'TURN CONSCIENCE INTO ACTION.

  • THE ORIENTATION WEEK. You will be emailed how to login to the course platform, how to access the Welcome Module and will be given an introduction to the Earth Charter. You will also receive instructions on how to join the LIVE GROUP MEETINGS (on Zoom). The first group ZOOM meeting is a 'GETTING TO KNOW YOU' (instructions to join from other timezones will be in the Welcome Module).


  • ZOOM MEETING DATES: We offer weekly Online Group Meetings (via ZOOM) as follows: OCT 27 (WELCOME MEETING), 3 NOV (WE DISCUSS MODULE 1); 10 NOV (MODULE 2); 17 NOV (MODULE 3); 24 NOV (MODULE 4); 1 DEC (MODULE 5), 8 DEC(MODULE 6)

  • WEEK 1: PILLAR 1 OF THE EARTH CHARTER - Communicating values of 'Respect and Care for the Community of Life'

  • WEEK 2. PILLAR 2 OF THE EARTH CHARTER - Ecological Integrity - learn all about why respecting flourishing living ecosystems is a cornerstone of a better world

  • WEEK 3. PILLAR 3 OF THE EARTH CHARTER - we consider intersectionality through values for 'Social & Economic Justice'

  • WEEK 4. PILLAR 4 OF THE EARTH CHARTER - we consider 'Democracy, Non-Violence and Peace'


  • WEEK 6: CONCLUSION AND FAREWELL applying EARTH CHARTER PRINCIPLES to your work or situation

Wangari Maathai was an Earth Charter Commissioner, she was deeply involved with the drafting of the Earth Charter since 1997.

"The first time I saw Wangari was in January 1997 during the first Earth Charter drafting committee meeting. Her joy and humility attracted my attention. It was funny to see how, in the midst of a complicated or academic discussion she would be able to clarify issues using simple language and directness. 

One day, she told us in a meeting that she would describe the Earth Charter as like when someone is at a bus stop and needs to identify a bus that will take them to a given place. Well, she said, the Earth Charter is the bus that will take us to the right place....

When she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, it was an interesting moment for the world to see that the environment, justice, sustainability and peace issues are actually part of the same agenda.'

 Mirian Vilela, remembering the last Wangari Maathai

Watch Intro Video

Why Jane Goodall DBE advocates the Earth Charter

In 1977, Goodall established the Jane Goodall Institute, which establishes innovative, community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa, and the Roots & Shoots youth education program that has 6,000 groups in more than 87 countries. In 2001 Jane Goodall participated in the celebration of the Earth Charter, which was being taken to the United Nations. Since then she has been an advocate. Roots & Shoots groups, many of whom incorporate the Earth Charter into their activities and classroom curricula, therefore understand the power of the Earth Charter’s call to “care for the community of life with understanding, compassion, and love.”

What people are saying about the Haumea ESD- Earth Charter course

“It is testament in itself that I take every opportunity to work with Cathy, Nikos and Haumea. Whilst I am not a 'perpetual course attendee', I have found a deep need to be present with what Haumea offer for learning.

Having just completed the 'Earth Charter Values' course the richness and kind learning has served to offer me new forms of practice, new ways of considering and new connections to others with similar concerns.

The course has had a marked, immediate impact on what and how I engage with others through my practice. Learning the guiding principles of The Earth Charter, acquiring the language to share them through discussion, dialogue, examples and research has had a profound change on how I view my practice and place within this living world.

The philosophies of care and compassion that underpin the Earth Charter are beacons of hope and positivity in very challenging times. Cathy, Nikos and Martin have an ability to build positive, deeply rich courses that speak to the best within us. They recognise the capacity and creativity within participants as well as their voice as essential to shared learning and the creation of a peer learning environment. The (Peoples) Earth Charter is a rich andenlightening document drawn together by wise peoples from many traditions. It offers a pathway for co-existing in the living world. The Haumea Course navigates the course whilst embodying its principles. I am immensely grateful for having attended this course, learning a little of what was offered and sharing that journey with other travellers. Thank you.”

Tom Duffy: socially-engaged artist, art facilitator, visual and percussive artist, Ireland

“I was first introduced to the Earth Charter during one of Cathy's courses about Ecoliteracy, and immediately I wanted to learn more.

Taking part in the Haumea Earth Charter course has helped me to understand the scope of the work of caring for our planet, and to begin to find a personal role I can take in the work.

I met a wide range of people from all over the globe which helps me to understand the deep nature of the work, as well as sense the connections all around our globe.”

Judith Lardener: Non Violent Communication and Restorative Justice facilitator, Ireland

“I had not heard of the Earth Charter before. World religions and sustainability form the bones of the Earth Charter. Together with the UN Sustainability Development Goals –SDGs a more holistic worldview is created which gives me more confidence that their principles are sustainable and a higher chance they will be achieved, which will benefit all humanity and wildlife.

I found this course incredibly informative and inspiring and have recommended them to several ecology friends.”

Mary Hoy, visual artist, gardener, Dublin

“I would like to thank Cathy for all her work on the Ecoliteracy and Earth Charter courses, for her generosity in sharing her knowledge and experiences, and for her energy and effort protecting the planet.

It has been a truly transformational journey for me.”

Estibaliz Errazquin, Project Coordinator / Facilitator, Ireland

“As a teacher in the New Zealand vocational education sector I have for some time been wanting to find a way of encouraging learners to explore the wider environmental impacts of their chosen fields.

I first heard of the Earth Charter through a conversation with Cathy and thought it might be provide a useful lens through which students could view and analyse the activities of the various industries they were hoping to work for in their careers. I’m very pleased to have then taken the Haumea Earth Charter course. The content of the course comprehensively covered the EC pillars in a way that was both engaging and sympathetic to the audience.

I particularly enjoyed being part of the eclectic group taking the course, as it allowed a wide range of opinions to be aired using everyday language. This experience will greatly assist me in communicating wider concepts to my own groups of learners, who also come from diverse ethnicities and social backgrounds.”

Dr Rhys Jones, PhD (Paris XI, Otago) Senior Lecturer, Centre for Applied Science and Primary Industries WINTEC (Te Pukenga), Hamilton Aotearoa New Zealand


answers to your questions below

  • How much time will this take?

    2-6 hours per week. A total of 7 weeks of content, connecting and sharing. It is a self-paced course – you can dive deep or skim the surface and still find great benefit.

    WEDNESDAYS (7 PM IRISH/UK TIME) are when the course instructors host the live group learning sessions. You will get so much more out of the course by joining us for the weekly Live Group Meetings—that is when the learning will really come alive, and you will get a chance to meet new friends and colleagues who can expand the ecology of mind, bringing mutual insight and inspiration.

    We highly recommend setting aside a specific time each week, after new material becomes available each THURSDAY, to go through the weekly module lesson.

    The course material is also available to access for TWO months after the course ends.

  • What if I'm busy?

    You will be notified each week by email when next week's module lesson is available.

    You will have a week to view videos, read and listen to other resources and time to complete short and simple exercises. That means there is plenty of time to do your homework and to prepare yourself for the Live Group Meetings a week later!

    The course material is also available to access for TWO months after the course ends.

  • What do I need?

    An Internet connection, and a computer with a camera and audio to join the online (Zoom) meetings and to view the course video material. It is not advised to use a mobile phone to take this course.

    Also, your presence and commitment. You will gain more if you participate more. The group meetings, where we can listen and hear how others interpret the learnings, are the special magic sauce for appreciating the value of ecoliteracy. We tend to develop an ecology of mind among participants as we move through the weeks.

    Please note, 'The ESD-EARTH CHARTER' course can be taken without joining the weekly live Zoom meetings but the experience is somewhat reduced.

  • What technology platforms will we use?

    Each weekly module contains videos, reading resources, practices and occasional, optional written exercises.

    The weekly LIVE Group meeting will be done over Zoom.

    A supplementary private Soundcloud playlist complements each week's module for learning on the go.

    Topic sharing will happen in a private SLACK group that respects your data. A weekly email will sent to keep you up to speed.

    At the end of the course, you can APPLY THE COURSE LEARNING, EARTH CHARTER VALUES for your situation, and receive written feedback from the course instructors.

  • What if the course doesn't suit me?

    Because we want you to be completely happy with your decision, we will let you test-drive and evaluate the Haumea ESD-Earth Charter course for 14 days. Enroll today.

    If the course doesn’t suit, let us know before the 14 days are up and we'll return 100% of your money back—no questions asked (although because this is a unique course, we'd really love feedback).

  • Is remote learning good value?

    Our Haumea Online course tuition fees are much lower than what you would have to pay a traditional educational institute—if you could find such courses elsewhere. Our students have found this material to be both rare and valuable.

    As with any good educational experience, you will get tremendous benefit from our expertise.

    Education is not a matter of information exchange. From that more limited perspective, our courses contain a great deal of information that would require a lot of time and many headaches for you to gather alone. But, more than that, we offer experience—not only our experience of working with these ways of knowing, being, living, loving, and creating, but also our experience at fostering insight and inspiration.

    You will find our courses an empowering investment in yourself and your work.

  • I live in a different timezone - advice to join the weekly LIVE group meetings

    Check the time of the Live Group Meeting in your region– see

    Please check to make sure the Live Group Meeting time will work for you, before you book!

Cathy explains why we need expanded values to advance planetary wellbeing

We will not effectively or equitably advance humanity to work toward the UN Sustainability Developments Goals for 2030-without a holistic ethical framework

Equitable, flourishing, peaceful living on Earth relates to caring about the interconnectedness of life.... 

Although in a busy world we often overlook values, they guide our individual and collective actions. We embody values from our culture and experience that influence those we teach or our audiences.  

For a better world, identifying common universal values that comprise an ecological worldview and translating them for our situation and place,  is essential to help us effectively care for ourselves, others and the wider community of life. 

Early on in my doctoral research, around 2013, I sensed more than I could explain, that our current societal values fall short in guiding us to care about others and the wider community of life on Earth.

In a world that values consumerism and growth above all else, coming across moral philosopher Kathleen Dean Moore's important work (via Derrick Jensen's podcast) for collating values from 80 visionaries , including Thich Nhat Hahn, Desmond Tutu, Oren Lyons, Ursula le Guin, Wangari Maathai, Peter Singer, Gary Snyder, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Wendell and Thomas Berry and more,  in 'Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril' (2010) alerted me to key thinkers who were much more skilful in recognising that expanded, integrated ecosocial values are crucial for these urgent times. 

Whilst the Earth Charter wasn't mentioned in Moral Ground, some of the contributors had been involved in the development of the Earth Charter several decades ago.

In recent years, I noted an upswell in interest in the Earth Charter from leading International Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) scientists, ethicists, religious leaders like Pope Francis, environmental and youth ambassadors like Jane Goodall DBE, former Green Party leaders, like Canadian Elizabeth May. 

Most importantly,  in my recent study with the UN University of Peace 6-month course on Education for Sustainable Development in association with the Earth Charter Initiative, I have realised that educators, some of whom have been developing a radical reform of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) over several decades, keenly  realise and have been amassing learning and resources that underline that we will not effectively or equitably advance an ecological  worldview or attract humanity to reach the UN Sustainability Developments Goals ethically for 2030 without a holistic  framework that attends to ecological integrity alongside social justice and democratic values. 


My sincere thanks to the Irish Arts Council for the 2020 Professional Development Award to allow me to attend  the Earth Charter Education for Sustainability course and meet with such inspiring educators and other cultural workers from around the world .

 Also HUGE THANKS to former Haumea course participants (especially Lisa Cahill) & collaborators (Nikos and Mary) who reflected their enthusiasm for the Earth Charter back to me, which in turn inspired me to research and develop this course for the cultural  sector. 

My sincere thanks to the Earth Charter International team and my fellow ESD - Earth Charter learners.

Haumea Online offers holistic transformative learning

Transformative learning for a life-sustaining worldview and sustainable cultural renewal – involves the head, heart and hands

UNESCO recognises advances in education for sustainable development (ESD) through lifelong, transformative learning, which advances the necessary understanding, experiential, contemplative and embodied practices for individual, collective and planetary, and wellbeing.

'At the Transformative Learning Centre in Adult Education (Toronto), transformative learning is defined as the experience of a deep, structural shift in basic premises of thought, feelings and actions. It is a shift in consciousness that dramatically and irreversibly alters our way of being in the world.

“Such a shift involves our understanding of ourselves and our self- locations, our relationships with human beings and the natural world; our understandings of relations of power in interlocking structures of class, race, gender; our body awareness; our visions of alternative approaches to living; and our sense of possibilities for social justice and peace and personal joy” (O'Sullivan 2002; p.xvii).

In other words this is a shift toward embodied ecological consciousness. Transformation is used here in the sense gleaned from systems theory.'

–Eimear O'Neill, In: Radical Human Ecology (2012, Routledge)

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Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

Haumea is Earth Goddess of fire and creation in the Pacific, who across voyaging and time, became the male God of harvest, in Aotearoa New Zealand, where Cathy Fitzgerald was born.

Haumea is also the first Indigenous name given to a dwarf planet discovered in our solar system in 2004.

Some say the discovery of Haumea corresponds to awakening planetary ecological consciousness and a renewed interest in other non-Western cultures’ more life-sustaining world views.