Ethics and Spirituality Initiative
The Ethics and Spirituality Initiative for Sustainable Development (ESI) began to take shape in December 2010 at the Earth Charter+10 Conference in Ahmedabad, India. The conference’s working group on religion and spirituality framed action steps, which included the development of a statement by religious and spiritual leaders aimed at preparations for the Rio+20 conference. A second action focused on developing educational experiences to help our constituencies understand how they can effectively act to bring about strong sustainability and transformative change. ESI was engaged in 2011-12 in shaping both of the themes for the UN’s Rio+20 conference—a green economy and the institutional frameworks for sustainable development. In addition to lobbying efforts, ESI coordinated the drafting of the Peoples’ Sustainability Treaty on Ethical and Spiritual Values for Sustainable Development. This document was one of fourteen Peoples’ Sustainability Treaties that were presented as alternative outcomes for Rio+20, . After Rio+20, ESI began working on the UN process for developing a post-2015 development agenda (as the Millennium Development Goals expire). The challenge is three-fold: (1) to be clear on those policy and practice priorities that need to be put in place by governments and other stakeholders, (2) to work effectively together to build a global citizens’ movement that will bring about the political will to adopt these policies and practices, and (3) to implement these policies and practices in our own lives, organizations, and spheres of influence. From 2013 to 2014 the Forum 21 Institute collaborated with ESI to co-sponsor several meetings and conferences in New York City.