Evolution of an Earth Trusteeship Initiative
The Earth Trusteeship programme builds upon the legacy of Judge Christopher Weeramantry, Sri Lanka, (1926 – 2017) who was a visionary Vice President of the International Court of Justice, and co-founder of the World Future Council. Judge Weeramantry received the Right Livelihood Award in 2007. He postulated that consensus can be established among world religions and indigenous philosophies, confirming that “humanity is in a position of trusteeship of the environment and not in a position of dominance”.
He was the opinion that this carries weight as customary international law and can be a foundation for international law innovation, complementing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The spirit of trusteeship had been demonstrated since ancient times by farmers and communities in Sri Lanka by developing a sophisticated system of irrigation based on collaboration, self-restraint and conscious inter-dependence.
In 2016 the School for Wellbeing Studies and Research published its book titled The Wellbeing Society. A Radical Middle Path to Global Transformation in which Earth Trusteeship was explored. In April 2017, at the UN Headquarters, New York, Klaus Bosselmann, Professor of Law, Auckland University, delivered a speech in the framework of the annual UN General Assembly dialogue on “Harmony with Nature” titled: The Next Step: Earth t(T)rusteeship. In July 2017 a first round-table on Earth Trusteeship was organized by the School for Wellbeing at Utrecht University, the Netherlands.
“Humanity is in a position of trusteeship of the environment and not in a position of dominance” – Judge C.G. Weeramantry (1926 – 2017), Sri Lanka, Vice President, International Court of Justice, Peace Palace, The Hague.