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MINAS GERAIS CHARTER 

Adopted by the International Conference "Earth Dialogues on the Water Planet"
Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, November 26-28, 2008



The “Earth Dialogues on the Water Planet”, an initiative of the Government of the State of Minas Gerais, Green Cross International, Green Cross Brazil and the Renato Azeredo Foundation, with support from public authorities, private initiative and Third Sector entities, the press and community, within the assumptions of the initiatives in the sphere of Earth Dialogues, in benefit of the populations, and in search of sustainable life on the Planet and sustainable development,

Considering the resolutions and principles established in the Rio 92 Conference in order to assure the integrity of life on the planet, especially the Kyoto Protocol, Agenda 21 and the UN Convention on Climate Changes,

Remembering the commitments made by the countries to the Millennium Development Goals and the need for a joint effort in order to attain them,
Having in mind the ethical principles of the Earth Charter, which shows the need to mobilize civil society, businessmen, scientists, environmentalists, social movements, government and, in particular, people to debate and disseminate it,

Reaffirming the importance of international solidarity and greater effectiveness in the actions carried out by various multilateral agencies,

Considering that water is a gift from nature and not merchandise, let us learn with the mistakes of the past and begin to consider it an important cultural globalization factor, (this blue paragraph contributed by Mr. Anand Krishna ed-)

Reaffirming the need to plan actions focusing on a sustainable development model, in the global scenario of economic and political changes, with a commitment to the quality of life of the populations, respect for the environment, biodiversity and cultural diversity, seeking social and economic inclusion and the eradication of poverty,

Also considering the severe reality of the global energy matrix based on non-renewable fuel fossils, climate change and the imminent lack of water, even for basic human needs,

Admitting the conviction that efforts for changes are taking place and that they suggest the need to discuss success experiences, with important advances in the conservation and adequate use of natural resources to build sustainable development,

Remembering the need to obtain quality weather and hydrologic information,

  1. Decides to work towards the fulfillment of the Millennium Goals and Agenda 21, issued by the UN;
  2. Invites participation in the effort to conclude in 2009 the negotiations of the UN Convention on Climate Change, focusing on solutions to water problems, especially harmonizing the water cycle;
  3. Testifies the deepening and dissemination of the understanding that sustainable development is only attainable by changing consumer and production patterns, as well as working to eliminate poverty and social inequality, taking advantage of the current global crisis as an opportunity to correct deviations;
  4. Emphasizes encouragement to sectoral agendas committed to sustainable development, permitting the establishment of goals and the monitoring of their results, the implementation and use of methodologies to generate sustainability indicators;
  5. Supports education, the popular dissemination of science, mass communication, as well as the dissemination of success experiences, as essential tools for the training of citizens, encouraging them to seek  sustainable practices in their daily lives, including the conservation and adequate use of water, as well as values that respect living beings and the environment.
  6. Urges the assurance of territorial planning so as to promote biodiversity, the adequate use of natural resources and, especially, water, linking human activities to territory in a democratic and participatory way, while promoting sustainable development.
  7. Affirms the need and promotion of scientific and technological research to identify, avoid, mitigate and solve environmental risks, facilitating the transfer of knowledge and increasing South-South cooperation; 
  8. Reaffirms the promotion of international cooperation initiatives in a broad sense, the shared management of river basins, the sustainable exploitation of resources from the sea and Antarctica.
  9. Demands the mobilization of efforts for the revitalization or re-naturalization of rivers and basins, as well as the preservation of water sources, with the commitment to improvements goals in quality and increase of the availability of water, including its conservation in the different phases of the water cycle, while also requesting the implementation of payment for environmental services;
  10. Equally supports the proposition of a water policy for the planet, within a multilateral process, especially in the sphere of the Istanbul Conference, based on ethical, environmental and economic principles;
  11. Highlights the development and dissemination of the results of studies that clarify possible doubts about impacts of increased production of biofuels on the environment and the production of food, and also emphasizes  assistance to the special report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change  on renewable energies, biomass, wind, sun, water power and others, as well as their relations with climate change (the report should be concluded within two years);
  12. Confirms the support to initiatives and the development of policies to assure the role of biofuels in promoting sustainable development, as an element that will reduce the emission of gases that have impact on climate change, always from areas already anthropized;
  13. Encourages national weather and water services to contribute to efforts of the World Weather Organization in collecting reliable global data and information.
  14. Assures the continuity of debates and the exchange of knowledge on sustainable development, the use and conservation of water in communities of the social networks on the internet, opening up for discussion of themes addressed at this meeting;
  15. Commits to take this “Charter of Minas Gerais”,  as a conclusion of the Earth Dialogues on the Water Planet, to international water and/or sustainable development forums, especially the World Water Forum in Istanbul, in 2009, in its recommendations for the conservation, use and management of water. 

And affirms that the dream of sustainable, economically feasible, socially fair and ecologically balanced development can become a reality if we continue united through dialogue and strengthened by the certainty that it is possible to change, each one doing his/her part and getting away from the culture of “waiting for others and the government to do it for us”.

Belo Horizonte, November 28, 2008.

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