The second plenary had a keynote address by Professor Steven Rockefeller on the challenges and opportunities facing the Earth Charter Initiative. Professor Rockefeller in his speech gave a background of the Earth Charter and highlighted key declarations which have reaffirmed its vision. He highlighted the initiatives being taken by the Earth Charter International in forming a system of decentralized networks and organizations to imbibe the principles of the Earth Charter and in the process of gaining UN recognition. He concluded with an emphasis on Education which has a critical role to play in the transition to a just and sustainable world community reiterating that the Earth Charter can be used in both formal and informal educational programs to clarify the critical choices facing humanity and the urgent need for commitment to a sustainable way of life. Professor Rockefeller’s address was followed by observation and discussions initiated by Razeena Omar, Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, South Africa who summarised the comments made in the talk by Professor Rockefeller . The other discussant was Sudarshan Iyengar, Vice Chancellor, Gujarat Vidyapith who presented a Gandhian perspective based on the Professor Rocekefeller’s talk. The plenary was then opened for discussion.
A special session at the second plenary was a video conference where Julia Martin Lafare, Director General, IUCN and Ashok Khosla, President, IUCN were beamed in live for a comments on their insights and experiences with the Earth Charter followed by an interaction with the audience.