Our Work

Declaration on Responsible Stewardship

Johannesburg, South Africa 2002


Written for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, the WYA Declaration on Responsible Stewardship stresses that the person is the most important resource on earth and must be at the heart of all sustainable development. Every person is called to exercise responsible stewardship in order to use our natural resources in a way which preserves them for future generations.

We are young people of diverse ethnic, religious, cultural, and economic backgrounds. We are residents of the five continents of the earth, and we are the generation that will be the earth's future stewards.

To meet this challenge, we must foster responsible stewardship in every society. Each human being is called to recognize his or her personal responsibility to be an effective steward of the natural environment that all of us share. That responsibility springs from the intrinsic value and inherent dignity of each human person from conception to natural death. Responsible stewardship is the personal commitment to care for both earth and neighbor.

Responsible stewardship means

  • We view each person as a precious and vital resource of great potential, capable of answering the challenges societies face with innovation and invention. The creativity of human beings is the earth's greatest resource.

 

  • We place great value on our natural environment as a source of both physical sustenance and immeasurable beauty to be cared for with wisdom and temperance. Responsible stewardship recognizes the moral necessity of forming sound policy in order to preserve and enhance the riches of the natural world for future generations.

 

  • We respond to challenges in our societies through integral development. Integral development holds the human person at its center and fosters the physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional growth of each individual, directing human potential towards improvements in society. Integral development will ensure the fulfillment of basic needs, and achieve advancements in every sector of society so that each person will be able to live in a manner commensurate with his or her inherent human dignity.


We therefore commit ourselves to responsible stewardship, in solidarity with one another.