Her Royal Highness Princess Basma has played a significant role in promoting the Earth Charter Initiative at the regional and international level.
The Earth Charter is a global document that stresses the need to maintain ecological integrity and calls on governments and people′s goodwill and action in this regard.
It also calls for a just and sustainable socio-economic order at the national and global level, in order to foster sustainable development.
The Earth Charter promotes the adoption of the principles of equity and peace.
In 1996 Princess Basma became a member of the Earth Council. The Earth Council is an international NGO dedicated to ensuring the follow-up and implementation of the results of the Rio Earth Summit.
In 1997 Princess Basma was invited by Co-Chairmen Maurice Strong and Mikhail Gorbachev to join the Earth Charter Commission. The task of the Commission is to oversee and guide the Earth Charter through to its submission at the United Nations.
In 2000, Princess Basma took part in the meetings of the Earth Charter Commission that convened at the UNESCO headquarters, where the Commission finalized and endorsed the Earth Charter and approved its worldwide advocacy campaign.
To follow up on the implementation and adoption process of the Earth Charter in Jordan, Her Royal Highness Princess Basma took the initiative of launching a national discussion in Jordan as well as an Arab regional meeting to introduce the Earth Charter Principles.
The purpose of these conferences was to encourage the endorsement of the Charter from many key leaders in the region in preparation for the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in South Africa in 2002 (RIO +10).
In 2003, the Earth Charter Youth gained the support of Her Royal Highness Princess Basma to create a national youth network, which embraces the ethical vision of the Earth Charter.
The Higher Council for Youth and Sport used the Earth Charter principles in preparing Jordan National Strategy for Youth.
Through the guidance of Her Royal Highness Princess Basma, the Earth Charter draft resolution was submitted by the Government of Jordan, supported by Costa Rica to be adopted by the UNESCO General Conference in 2003.
In 2005, Princess Basma participated in the international Earth Charter meeting held in Amsterdam to celebrate the accomplishments of the Earth Charter, five years after the launch of the Earth Charter Initiative.
A forward written by Her Princess Basma was included in the Earth Charter Book entitled: "The earth Charter in Action: towards a sustainable world," launched in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Beatrix.
According to Her Royal Highness, the Earth Charter book bears testimony to the ways that people in diverse contexts can all work together for a common cause.
Jordan′s Progress of the Earth Charter 2000-2006:
October 2000: During the IUCN Congress in Amman the Earth Charter (EC) was given considerable prominence.
Copies of the EC were distributed to participants. A lunch was organized for the EC Commissioners during which discussions were held for further dissemination and promotion of the EC in the Middle East and North Africa. Funded by the Earth Council JOHUD organized the translation and printing of the EC document in Arabic.
October 2001: Spearheaded by JOHUD and the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) a conference entitled 'Partners in Development: the Earth Charter' including representatives of local authorities, government institutions, NGOs, environmentalists and women’s representatives to promote the EC. Together with GAM and JOHUD, other civil society institutions and environmental organizations signed a Declaration of Support for the Earth Charter as a declaration of fundamental principles to obtain a just, sustainable and practical society in the 21st Century, which seeks to inspire in all peoples a new sense of interdependence and shared responsibility for the well-being of humanity and the other species on Earth.
November 2001: A regional Arab EC Meeting was held in Amman. Key participants attended from Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Algeria. There were contributions by religious leaders, parliamentarians, journalists and Agenda 21 leaders. The meeting was highlighted by the endorsement of the EC in the Amman Declaration on the Earth Charter, stating that the principles of the EC are in agreement with the values, traditions and customs of Arab communities and all religions.
April 2002: A meeting of Arab NGOs was organized by the Arab NGO network for Environment and Development (RAED) in Tunisia. The meeting brought together sustainable development and environmental NGOs from the region to facilitate and implement a collective report in preparation for the World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD). The regional meeting resulted with the 'Tunis Declaration: Solidarity for Sustainable Development' which endorsed the EC.
May 2002: Spearheaded by JOHUD, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Environment and in collaboration with the General Cooperation for Environment Protection, heads of Jordan’s 99 municipalities endorsed the Declaration to support the EC and pledged to work within the guiding framework of the EC.
June – September 2002 – Jordanian Government’s support for the endorsement of the Earth Charter at the Bali PrepCom and the WSSD in Johannesburg
May 2003: The Earth Charter Youth Initiative commenced its activities in Jordan, which later established the Earth Charter Youth Group Jordan, 'Black Iris,' in 2004. The EC was among the documents recognized in the Youth and Environment theme of the Jordanian National Youth Strategy. Many of the ECYG were members of the Youth Technical Committee that was active in the formulation of the Youth Strategy. The Jordan Forum for Youth and Culture and the United Religions Initiative support for the EC.
October 2003: Earth Resolution presented by Jordan was adopted by the UNESCO General Conference. The Draft Resolution submitted by the Government of Jordan and supported by Costa Rica, Honduras and Spain, affirms member states the intention to utilize the Earth Charter as an educational instrument, particularly in the framework of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development which began in 2005. This represents a significant expression of acknowledgement of the importance of the Earth Charter and recognition of it as an important instrument.
January 2006: The Jordanian Minster of Education and the Secretary General of Jordanian Association of Boy Scouts and Girl Guides agreed to include the Earth Charter Initiative in Jordan′s extracurricular programs. A National Earth Charter competition was also established.
In June 2002, at the invitation of the President of Brazil, Dr. Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Her Royal Highness Princess Basma, participated in the International Seminar on Sustainable Development entitled, 'From Stockholm to Johannesburg – Rio + 10 Brazil'. Achievements and challenges in sustainable development were discussed, as well as ways of strengthening partnerships between states, government and civil society to address environmental concerns, poverty and other threats to the global well being.
Jordan`s reputation as a haven of peace in a region of conflict is based on an openness and acceptance of diverse cultures and religions. As a pluralist society, in Jordan we base our relations on respect. The Earth Charter provides a space for us to share this perspective with others.