Haumea Ecoversity proposes UNESCO-endorsed Earth Charter values and vision framework for Irish Arts Council Climate Action Policy

Turning Conscience into Action –

Earth Charter International

I was excited this week to present at the Irish Art Council and Julies’ Bicycle EU Climate Action Policy Roundtable discussions by and for the Irish creative sector. In wide-ranging discussions about ‘Arts Council funding as a driver for climate action, capacity-building and support for the creative sector, for unlocking leadership and innovation’ and general conversations about what might policy for the sector might include – I was proud to share findings from Haumea Ecoversity Earth Charter learners work.

Since 2019, we have gathered insights and real-world experience of the value and vision of the peoples’ Earth Charter (2000) to empower creative practitioners and cultural professionals about the: ecosocial imperatives, and consequently, the fluency needed in new eco-centric language, shared integrated universal values, and holistic systems thinking that comprises a new life-promoting vision for humanity. We have found that creatives and art educators employing the Earth Charter in different ways can confidently act and transmit understandings of the unprecedented cultural shift we all need to undergo for a just, equitable transition for intergenerational and planetary wellbeing.

Arts Council Julies Bicycle EU poster

My presentation shared that we find values education and improved ecoliteracy for this immense paradigm shift are essential for cultivating a compassionate ecological worldview/cosmovision/mindset in creative practitioners who in turn can inspire and communicate new values and vision for their audiences and communities. Much research by leading international Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) educators and from neuroscience confirms an ecological mindset is needed to empower prosocial, more compassionate understanding in citizens’ so their actions are inclusive, holistic and ethical for justice and planetary wellbeing.

I shared in my talk below how at Haumea Ecoversity, we and our learners have found that the Earth Charter is an inspiring, non-prescriptive, poetic and accessible guiding ethical and learning framework. It’s the perfect inclusive conversation starter that can be easily interpreted to align with Irish creative peoples’ diverse social justice, inclusion and environmental concerns. I share at the end of the presentation how we’ve made it our own and supported our learners translate the Earth Charter and the Children’s Little Earth Charter into Irish.

I hope you will view below to see how we in Ireland’s creative sector can join the global community in envisaging universal principles and an overarching vision for a more just and sustainable era across Ireland.

Comments and queries welcome to me at cathy@haumea.ie Details of our next Autumn Earth Charter online training are below.

What we recommend to help initiate learning and develop principles and vision for the Irish Creative sector –
last slide of the presentation above.

About the Earth Charter

The Earth Charter (which I have written about here and which I offer as a comprehensive online course at Haumea Ecoversity here ) is the UNESCO-endorsed integrated values framework, language and learning document for systems literacy to guide Earth’s citizens, business, whole-of-institutions’/sectors actions toward ethically achieving the UN SDGs. Developed over an inspiring 2-decades global civil society process, the Earth Charter updates and significantly expands on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1946) by including the global environmental guidelines of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

A recent and accessible summary article published by Earth Charter International ‘What does the Earth Charter teach us about ethics, value systems and the vision of the future that are not included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?’ can be read here

February 2023 Update – the following reports were shared by the Irish Art Council, following the above event, in early 2023:

Irish Arts Council ‘Climate Action Policy – Consultation Summary Report 

‘For the past six months, The Arts Council has been working with our partners Julie’s Bicycle EU to undertake an in-depth consultation process with artists, arts organisations, arts workers and wider stakeholders to inform the development of its Climate Action Policy. This consultation process included an industry wide survey, internal and external interviews and a roundtable event.

The consultation summary report which includes key findings and conclusions is available here (in English). The Irish version is available here. The results of the survey can be found here and a more easily readable version of roundtable visual minutes here. We would like to thank everyone who participated in the consultation process.’ ‘

Some of the images from the reports:

Delighted that my emphasis on vision, values, ecoliteracy and Earth Charter were recorded, thanks to Hazel for the wonderful graphic recording.


I wish to thank the Irish Arts Council for the 2020 Professional Development Award that enabled me to undertake the 5-month programme from Earth Charter International, UNESCO Chair of ESD to become an accredited ESD Earth Charter Educator that enabled me to design an Earth CHarter course of particular interest to those working in the creative sector Also for hosting this important roundtable discussion with Julies’ Bicycle EU.

Biggest thanks to Haumea Ecoversity Earth Charter course participants, in particular: Lisa Cliffe, Tom Duffy, Nikos Patedakis, Phoebe Cope, Jeni Roddy, Mary Carty, Rosie O’Gorman, Iain Biggs, Grace Wells, Anita McKeown, Jules Michael and Martin Lyttle for their support.

My special thanks to Megan Best (who interviewed me in 2019) and her team at Native Events for the invitation and for hosting such an inclusive informative event.

Deep thanks also to my co-director philosopher Dr Nikos Patedakis (Dangerous Wisdom.org, California) and my arts strategy business mentor Mary Carty (co-founder of AwakenHub), and also to the Carlow Arts Office and Local Enterprise Office for supporting the initial development of Haumea Ecoversity during 2019.

Thanks also to the staff and other learners involved at Earth Charter International for your ongoing ESD leadership and inspiration. Ongoing accredited training for education, and short courses for youth, business, Masterclasses, and podcasts – all with leading international ESD educators and ecological changemakers can be found here.

Hello! Kia Ora! My name
is Cathy Fitzgerald.
I’m a New
Zealander, living in rural
Ireland, the home of my ancestors, these past 25 years. Since 2019, I have offered ecoliteracy training to 250+ creative professionals in Ireland and internationally.

“In these urgent times, I’m passionate
about bringing ecoliteracy including
new ecological thinking, values,
language and head-heart-body
practices in empowering
transformative learning
to the creative and wider cultural
sector. Creative and cultural sector
professionals have a crucial
leadership role if informed and
supported. They can employ their
social inclusivity and creativity skills
to inspire diverse communities to
envision and embrace new
understandings, values and actions
for a more beautiful and just world.

Dr Cathy Fitzgerald, PhD:  ecological artist for the ongoing Hollywood Forest Story (begun 2008), | Accredited 
ESD Earth Charter educator | researcher | advisor & mentor. In 2022, Cathy was nominated as Earth Charter Focal Point Communicator by Earth Charter International.

Dr Cathy Fitzgerald

Ecological artist for the ongoing Hollywood Forest Story (begun 2008), Advisor for Creative Drummin Carlow Bog project, Accredited ESD* Earth Charter educator | researcher | advisor & mentor.

In 2022, Cathy was nominated by Earth Charter International, UNESCO Chair for ESD as Earth Charter Focal Point Communicator for Ireland.

*ESD is the UN-mandated shift in global formal and lifelong learning toward Education for Sustainable Development

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