Join us for a conversation about the Great Lakes Commons Charter – an emerging strategy to transform our human relationship with the Lakes.
The cumulative, disparate, and drastic threats to the Great Lakes need to be matched by a collective and unifying response. The Commons Charter is a participatory, community-led initiative to shape that vision and build community leadership for it around the Lakes.
On June 19th (1pm-2:30pm ET) find out what the Charter is, where it came from and how it can be a powerful instrument in your hands and those of your organization, your community in concert with other around the Lakes region facing similar challenges. We want to share this Charter with you, hear your responses, innovations, and insights. Only with your participation and wisdom can the Charter become the instrument for change it is being created to be. Register here.
Background: The Great Lakes Commons is a grassroots effort to establish the Great Lakes as a living commons — shared waters that we all take care of and protect in perpetuity.
The Great Lake Commons draws on the knowledge and practices of both commons and Indigenous governance traditions. These long-standing and complementary models offer viable paths for reorienting how we care for water. They are both rooted in values of shared benefit and responsibility, sustainable use, and participatory decision-making.
We do not seek to turn the Great Lakes into a Commons but rather to recognize that this is what they are and have always been – something essential for all, belonging none. But a commons must have ‘commoners,’ engaged populations empowered to act as its stewards and protectors. Otherwise, the waters are vulnerable to misuse, abuse and degradation. This is the logic and purpose of the Charter.
GLC works to:
- Renew and restore our relationship to these living waters;
- Awaken a spirit of responsibility and citizenship in the bioregion; and,
- Establish stewardship and governance by which communities can protect the waters in perpetuity.
Water can unite people across interests, cultures, and borders. That unity is necessary for the many courageous and disparate efforts to sustain and protect the waters to succeed.