International declaration of the rights of the memory of the Earth

1 - Just as human life is recognized as being unique, the time has come to recognize the uniqueness of the Earth.

2 - Mother Earth supports us. We are each and all linked to her, she is the link between us.

3 - The Earth is 4,5 billion years old and the cradle of life, of renewal and of the metamorphosis of life. Its long evolution, its slow rise to maturity, has shaped the environment in which we live.

4 - Our history and the history of the Earth are closely linked. Its origins are our origins, its history is our history and its future will be our future.

5 - The aspect of the Earth, its very being, is our environment. This environment is different, not only from that of the past, but also from that of the future. We are but the Earth's companion with no finality, we only pass by.

6 - Just as an old tree keeps all the records of its growth and life, the Earth retains memories of its past... A record inscribed both in its depths and on the surface, in the rocks and in the landscapes, a record which can be read and translated.

7 - We have always been aware of the need to preserve our memories - i.e. our cultural heritage. Now the time has come to protect our natural heritage, the environment. The past of the Earth is no less important than that of human beings. Now it is time for us to learn to protect, and by doing so, to learn about the past of the Earth, to read this book written before our advent: that is our geological heritage.

8 - We and the Earth share our common heritage. We and governments are but the custodians of this heritage. Each and every human being should understand that the slightest depredation mutilates, destroys and leads to irreversible losses. Any form of development should respect the singularity of this heritage.

9 - The participants of the 1st international symposium on the protection of our geological heritage, including over a hundred specialists from over thirty nations, urgently request all national and international authorities to take into consideration and to protect this heritage by means of all the necessary legal, financial and organizational measures.

Written on the 13th June 1991 in Digne, France.

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