what we do
The mission of the Common Home of Humanity is to build a new theoretical and operational model of just and sustainable global governance, through a decision making structure based on improved knowledge of Earth System functioning and in harmony with the sovereignty of States.
The mission of the Common Home of Humanity is driven by two strategic objectives:
- To secure the global legal recognition of our Safe Operating Space as a Natural Intangible Common Heritage of Humankind
- To enable the development and implementation of an environmental-economic accounting system for the monitoring and protection of this Safe Operating Space.
WHAT IS COMMON HOME
Common Home of Humanity is a novel initiative conceived in 2016 in recognition of the enormous governance challenge of ensuring a sustainable future for humankind. A truly global and inter-disciplinary effort, the Common Home of Humanity works to build a global consortium of thought leaders and experts to create the structural conditions to build a new model for just and sustainable global governance.
What we want
Common Home of Humanity proposes a governance model for safeguarding the Safe Operating Space of the Earth System— the conditions necessary for us to live safely and comfortably on Planet Earth.
The Common Home of Humanity works on the structural conditions to build trust and achieve collective action.
VISION OF THE COMMON HOME OF HUMANITY
To create a world in which all countries work together to preserve our planet’s Safe Operating Space for humans and all other living species.
For societies to be driven by a new economic model that incentivises the maintenance of nature and the provision of Earth System Services, not its depletion.
To build an inherent sense of respect for and belonging to the Earth System – our Common Home – as citizens of Planet Earth, enriched by our individual cultural diversities.
Why it matters
So far, the success of the human society on Planet Earth has been made possible by a unique period in the history of the Earth System, which provides the favourable conditions for humanity to thrive – in short, the Safe Operating Space for humanity. This favorable state of the Earth System is therefore humanity’s ultimate global common – intangible and legally indivisible – and should be formally recognised as a new object of law. This includes the need for trusteeship to be exercised over such global common in the collective interest of humanity.
How change can happen
Common Home of Humanity provides an opportunity for all nations to acknowledge and own the need to protect the Safe Operating Space to successfully manage their relationship with the Earth System. Our efforts will be directed towards working with the United Nations, which is currently the only Institution with both universal membership and the legitimacy to host such a global initiative. Ultimately, protecting and managing a legally recognised Safe Operating Space requires an independent trusteeship institution that – supported by a Scientific Commission – can and must act on behalf of all humanity for the management of our Planetary Condominium.
The condominium is the only existing legal framework acknowledging the coexistence of different legal regimes (private property and co-ownership) within the same physical space. By scaling this model up to the planetary level, it is possible to reconcile the intangible functional system of the planet – the Safe Operating Space – with the tangible sovereignty of States. Such a legal model recognises planetary interdependencies (similar to those among tenants who inhabit the same building and depend on its common functional elements) as well as State sovereignty (similar to the ownership of an apartment in the building). States are the owners of their national territory (“apartment”) and equally trustees of the global commons and the Earth system (“building”).
How we work
The Common Home of Humanity is assembling an international coalition of leading Earth System and sustainability scientists, legal experts, socio-economists, sovereign states, NGOs, international organizations, local authorities, individuals, academia and other stakeholders within the following three groups that together, will move the collaboration forward: the Legal Working Group, the Earth System Accounting Framework Working Group and one Advisory Council. The Common Home is advocating for the legal recognition of the Earth System as a Common Heritage of Humankind in international negotiations, as well preparing an National Pilot Programme that will serve as a trial for the accounting framework.
Common Home of Humanity is headquartered at the Centre for Legal and Economic Research (CIJE), at the Faculty of Law, University of Porto, as a development of the research project "Common Home of Humanity: a legal construction based on Science". An Executive Board provides strategic guidance and oversees Common Home of Humanity’s activities. It is currently supported by the Portuguese Ministry of Environment as well as the Municipalities of Porto, Gaia and Guimarães.
Who are Common Home of Humanity’s partners?
Common Home of Humanity was created at the University of Porto, as a development of the research pursued at its Centre for Legal and Economic Research (CIJE), at the Faculty of Law, with the support of the Faculty of Sciences, and in an partnership with: