The World Constitution and Parliament Association (WCPA) in association with the Earth Constitution Institute (ECI) in the USA and the Earth Federation Institute (EFI) in India.
The Background of WCPA
The World Constitution and Parliament Association was founded in 1958 at the same time Sri Aurobindo’s World Union was founded. These organizations worked together to write the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. Their main goals were to end war and establish world peace, protect universal human rights, reduce poverty, foster human prosperity and protect our planetary environment.
The Constitution for the Federation of Earth was completed in 1991 through a collaborative process involving many world citizens. At this Fourth Constituent Assembly in Troia, Portugal, this Earth Constitution was declared finished and ready for ratification. Since that time WCPA has sponsored study and ratification of the Earth Constitution as the only practical solution to our human planetary descent into perdition and possible species extinction.
The understanding of the thinkers and leaders who designed the Constitution was the same understanding that the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) came up with in 2015—that the saving our planetary environment required transformation of economics, politics, and planetary culture across a broad spectrum that holistically includes ending poverty, establishing peace, protecting universal human rights, and converting humanity to sustainable, ecologically sound, ways of living.
Our Global President of WCPA, Dr. Glen T. Martin, published a scholarly study of our planetary environmental crisis in 2021 called The Earth Constitution Solution: Design for a Living Planet. In this book he reviews the latest scientific information put out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other experts concerning what is required for survival and sustainability. (The IPCC is a collaboration of some 1000 climate scientists from around the planet.) He shows in depth how and why the Constitution for the Federation of Earth is the ultimate solution to our current, apparently suicidal trajectory.
Martin also shows how and why the SDGs must necessarily fail—because the UN system remains predicated on both obsolete classical economics and a system of militarized “sovereign” nation-states that collectively spend 1.5 trillion US dollars annually on militarism and war—the two human activities most destructive of the environment and most opposed toward the collective cooperation and harmony (peace) that human beings require if we are to survive the climate crisis.
His book also reviews the work of the many sustainability economists. With one voice these economists declare that “you cannot have infinite growth on a finite planet.” We are today far beyond the sustainable carrying capacity of our planet both in terms of population (8 billion persons and growing) and economic activities (still predicated on growth of GDP—Gross Domestic Product). In 1972 a major study was published by Donna Meadows, et.al., entitled Limits to Growth explicating this principle that the growth-fetish of planetary economics is destroying our planetary ecosystem. In 1996, well-known economist Hernan E. Daly published Beyond Growth: The Economics of Sustainable Development. In 2011, sustainability expert Richard Heinberg published The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality.
In 2017, British economist Kate Raworth published Doughnut Economics: How to Think Like a 21st Century Economist in which, like all the other economists cited here, she shows that traditional economists (as still entrenched at the World Bank, IMF, and the World Trade Organization) have it exactly backwards. They treat the economy as independent of the planetary ecosystem rather than as a subset of our planetary ecosystem. They are under the reductionist illusion that there are” iron laws of economics” when in fact economics is about how we want to design management of our planetary household. In 2019, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its Sixth Assessment Report with truly frightening and dire descriptions of the reality on the ground and predictions that include our trajectory toward possible human extinction. We are literally destroying the ecosystem of the planet that makes human life possible.
Herman E. Daly defines “sustainable development” succinctly: “development without growth beyond environmental carrying capacity, where development means qualitative improvement and growth means quantitative increase.” The implications of this simple definition are immense. We can no longer operate on the principle of private investment and expected return on this investment through growth of business or industry. This will not solve the problem of global poverty, nor will it end war, and even “green investment” will have to be done on different assumptions than the traditional ones of maximizing private wealth return contributing to perpetual growth of private and corporate wealth.
In her 1997 book The Violence of the Green Revolution, Indian environmental activist Vandana Shiva writes:
Not till diversity is made the logic of production can diversity be conserved. If production continues to be based on the logic of uniformity and homogenization, uniformity will continue to displace diversity. ‘Improvement’ from the corporate viewpoint, or from the viewpoint of western agricultural research is often a loss for the Third World, especially the poor in the Third World. There is therefore no inevitability that production acts against diversity. Uniformity as a pattern of production becomes inevitable only in a context of control and profitability.
Patents and intellectual property rights are at the center of the protection of the right to profits. Human rights are at the center of the protection of the right to life, which is threatened by the new biotechnologies, which are expanding the domain of and drive for capital accumulation, while introducing new risks and hazards for citizens. (pp. 256 and 261)
For Mahatma Gandhi the spinning wheel became a system for Sarvodaya (holistic community self-sufficiency). Similarly, the environmental crisis requires local empowerment for communities worldwide along with the development of durable, repairable, and recyclable products for use within local, self-sustaining, ecologically friendly communities. Globalization of trade and focus on foreign exports and imports is fundamentally dependent on burning fossil fuels to send products half-way around the world, fuels that contribute to CO2 pollution of the atmosphere and thereby global warming. Corporate globalization imposes massive mono-systems worldwide directed toward market profit rather than human and biological diversity and well-being. The crisis of clean water is addressed through corporate production of untold numbers of single-use plastic bottles priced beyond the reach of the poor and designed for corporate control of both water (a human right) and profits.
The Legislative Work of WCPA for Sustainability
Under the authority of Article 19 of the Earth Constitution, WCPA has organized some 15 sessions of the Provisional World Parliament (PWP). In these sessions, citizens who are signatories of the Earth Constitution from around the world come together to model for the world what the world should be doing: that is, coming together in a World Parliament to address the many global problems that are beyond the scope in individual nation-states to address. The 15th session of the PWP met in New Delhi, India, in December 2021 and passed additional World Legislation directed toward empowering people at the grassroots level to convert to largely self-supporting ecological communities.
Since its first session in Brighton, England in 1982, the PWP has passed some 72 provisional World Legislative Acts (WLAs), many of these directed toward protecting the global environment. Indeed, WLA 6 creates an Earth Emergency Rescue Agency (EERA) to spearhead the global changes necessary to save our planetary environment. Many of these necessary changes are ignored by the UN SDGs because the SDGs are excellent goals posited within the global framework of militarized nations states, an exploding planetary population, and a worldwide debt-based banking system (none of which the SDG document even mentions) that make attainment of these goals in time to save the planet for future generations impossible.
At the 15th session of the PWP in New Delhi in 2021, the Parliament passed a new article to the EERA mandate entitled the “Grassroots Empowerment and Family Planning Act.” Here are some selections from this Act:
The optimum situation requires integrating top-down (the necessity of governance to empower all levels of human flourishing beyond the smallest units such as families) and bottom-up grassroots empowerment and community involvement. The global grassroots regenerative initiatives activate integrative methods to maximize the synergistic, regenerative effect of dealing with the planetary climate disaster. Regenerative science is quite advanced and knows the chemistry of soils and the methods of preserving and enhancing soil, protecting against insect pests in non-toxic ways, and creating excellent results. At the same time, many indigenous and traditional cultures understand similar ways of enhancing soil and producing positive results through growing “complementary” crops together with plants that repel certain insects, etc.
Enhancing planetary community spirit and grassroots empowerment is also essential to deal with the other “broad functions” mandated by the Earth Constitution such as protecting human rights, diminishing social differences, and ending war. For these reasons, the creation of these regenerative projects is foundational to the entire transformative spirit of the Earth Constitution. Grassroots empowerment of the people of Earth is perhaps the most fundamental key to the Constitution’s goal of creating a peaceful, just, and sustainable planetary civilization.
District Officers and Liaisons may establish positive relationships especially with those who are accorded local respect and authority or governance patterns. In India, for example, this would likely involve working with the Panchayat, the council of five elders and local self-government that operates in many rural village communities. Liaisons may also establish a positive relationship with the teachers in the schools, and other community leaders or influencers, to mobilize community participation in the regenerative transformative project, from which, ultimately, everyone (including future generations) will benefit.
Regenerative commissions shall encourage families to limit their size to two children, particularly by ensuring health education and availability of birth control. New families participating in these programs will make an agreement (the wording of which may vary according to culture, language, etc.) to limit their children to 2. Already existing larger families may participate in the program with the agreement not to have any more children.
One clear area of overlap between rural and urban regeneration is the “green cities” movement that began in the 1970s and has spread to many cities around the world. Abandoned lots, rooftops, terraces, former rail lines, any unused urban areas can be planted, cultivated, and turned “green,” thus improving the air quality of the city, the ambience, the food-supply, as well as community spirit. Expertise in how to facilitate this will clearly be part of the knowledge base of Commissioners and Liaisons.
Government and local communities need to work together to create the fundamental changes necessary for a sustainable future. And this needs to be done, clearly, worldwide, which means ultimately ratification of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.
Two Concrete Environmental Projects in India (and Nepal) now being developed under the umbrella of WCPA:
The Global Green Mission under the leadership of Jyotirmay Goswami (WCPA Distinguished Advisor):
Glob-cal (Global-Local) Green Mission aspires to address major issues like crisis in the environment, employment, and agriculture by utilizing all kinds of unutilized or underutilized resources lying within any community.
This grassroot initiative, as it becomes more widespread, will be one of the most effective vaccines for combating three major issues mentioned above, while at the same time invoking peace by cultivating a viable socio-spiritual connectedness in the context of the destructive isolation created by modern civilization, a civilization that is NOW ultimately being threatened with a possibility of a huge collapse.
At present, we have projects in Gaidakot Gaon Palika (local government) in Nepal along with few other adjacent Palikas. We are also working with a few Panchayats (local governments) in the district of Chamba, Himachal Pradesh, India.
The World Parliament University and Ecological Community in Noida near New Delhi under the leadership of Guruji Arun Kumar (WCPA Distinguished Advisor):
This unique project of WCPA in Noida sector 150 near Delhi, India, will include WCPA Global University, Media Centre, Conference Halls and rooms, Global Marriage Destination, World Bird Sanctuary, World Animal Sanctuary, Vertical Hydroponic Organic farm of 5 acres, World Organic/Natural Multi-cuisine Restaurant with attached vegetables/herbs Garden, World Cultural/Religious Harmony Centre and eco-friendly cottages besides many other unique spaces in this most beautiful twenty-one acres campus on the bank of one of the holiest and ancient rivers named Yamuna.
This entire space (currently 700 acres) will be eco-friendly and non-biodegradable plastic free. 2 MW or more energy/electricity will be generated from the Solar energy plant which will be commissioned on the roof of the pathway on the bank of Yamuna (government permission to be taken) so that entire energy requirements of the project can be taken care of, and excess energy will be shared with the neighborhood. The water energy department of India will be motivated to work with us to clean and deepen the Yamuna for further development and ethical use of the holiest water body.
This is our project, now under development, for our planned World WCPA Village/Hub@Noida.