|The 2018 Seoul Draft of The Charter on Earth-Life|
The nuclear power plant accident in Fukushima Japan in 2011 that shocked the world was the third disastrous accident after the Three Mile Island accident in the US in 1979 and the Chernobyl accident in the USSR in 1986. As a result, the earth’s atmosphere, sea, and land are still contaminated with radiation. The humanity realized that its end may come not with a nuclear war but a nuclear power plant accident. In addition, the nuclear wastes coming from 450 nuclear power plants across the world are life-threatening to the future generation. What is more, the civilization created by humans for the last 100 years has plundered the earth. Environmental and ecological problems like air pollution, ocean pollution and desertification, and climate changes leading to the extinction of many life forms are becoming worse in various places in the world. The disregard for life such as mass slaughter of livestock is also at a critical level.
The earth is the only habitat that holds such ecological fundamentals of life as abundant plants and animals, rich fertile lands, and clean water and air. It is the irreplaceable home of all humans. All life forms must be respected from the moment of creation as they are individual entities with originality and at the same time contribute to, and assist in the creation and existence of other life forms.
Because of their endless greed, humans who emerged most recently in the history of the earth have built civilizations but have destroyed the balance of the ecology of the earth and brought sufferings to many life forms. The right to life of all life forms must not be infringed upon. The crisis of life is the crisis of humanity. No organization or state has the right to ‘exclusively or monopolistically’ dominate the earth. Especially, the world powers must reflect on the shameful history of their destruction and killing of the earth and seek a fundamental transition in the ways of thinking in order for the life community to be sustained.
To this day, international organizations, including the United Nations (UN) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), failed to adequately respond to the crises and showed the limitations of their roles. A profound transformation of the awareness of the life community and a new solidarity is needed. Our such efforts must not stop with the adoption of a declaration for its sake, but must be translated into actions with binding forces. The existing agreements should also be revised based on the dignity of life.
In keeping with the spirit of the UN World Charter for Nature(1982) and the Rio Earth Summit’s Earth Charter(2000), we propose the following Earth-Life Principles that all humans must adhere to.
Article 1. Dignity of Life
All life forms have dignity. All life forms adapt continuously to the environment through birth, growth, and mutual exchanges. The dignity of life is the highest value.
Article 2. Connectedness of Life
No life form can exist alone. All life forms are connected like a web. Life is a real thing having lived through billions of years, continuing the cycle of mutual dependence where countless numbers of species are born, grow, and die.
Article 3. Life Community
The earth is a common habitat for all life forms including humans. The crisis of the life community is the crisis of humanity.
Article 4. Humanity’s Responsibility
Humans have the responsibility to respect other life forms and protect and care the earth’s eco-system. Moreover, humans have the responsibility to find the way to continuously protect the earth’s eco-system and to pass on in the sound state to the future generation.
Article 5. Abolition of Nukes
Nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants that can cause disaster and annihilation of all life forms must be abolished. The humanity must strive for peace, the expansion of renewable energy and the conservation of energy.
Article 6. Cease of the Infringement on Life
All scientific and technological actions, including genetic modifications that harm the dignity of humans and life forms, must be stopped. Humans must set stricter standards on issues related to the use of stem cells and human embryo and abide by them.
Article 7. Duty to Act
Every government and organization, and the people of the global village must endeavor to create policies to promote the freedom and rights of life forms in all areas and implement them.
Appeal to the Faith Communities
Faith communities teach the dignity of life and understand the people’s wish for a safe life. Many religious people are engaged in praxis to achieve this. Nevertheless, the crisis is still continuing. Humans must not artificially cause harm or influence negatively by excessively intervening in the process of birth, growth, and death of all life forms, including human beings. Humans must put tremendous emphasis to maintaining a natural life. Instead of entrusting the task to the UN alone, we appeal to all religious communities to unite and work toward the realization of the ‘safety and life of the global village,’ the core value of this drafted charter.
The Earth-Life Charter Drafting Committee
New Silk Road for Life and No-nukes
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