INTRODUCTION TO THE STATUTE
In 1982, on the occasion of the eight birth centenary of St Francis of Assisi, who was proclamed the patron saint of ecological scientists, by His Holiness Pope John Paul II’s “Inter sanctos” bull, environmentalists and Franciscan Orders, with the collaboration of the local bodies, set up the first international “Terra Mater” Seminar, that took place in Gubbio (Umbria, Italy) and produced “The Gubbio Document 1982”, in which the urgency
of a world-wide call for the protection of the biosphere is stressed.
It was the first scientific and ideological act drawn up by a movement of intention and thought in order to encourage the support of national and international bodies, associations and movements of different ideological points of view, religious beliefs and working commitments.
“Terra Mater” movement aims at urging public opinion and authorities to make decisions and choices which may give a prompt, interdisciplinary, global and well planned answer to the ecological-environmental question, which is threatening mankind.
Concurrently with the European Year of the Environment (1987-88), after a wide awareness campaign, “Terra Mater” promoters organized the second meeting, where the great religions and the scientific and the cultural world in all its aspects were represented, in accordance with the “Gubbio Document 1982”.
On that occasion a new concept of progress for the third millennium, which implies a harmonious relationship with nature and the environment, was defined.
The meeting did not only produce a document called “Gubbio 1987: Towards the Third Millennium”, but it also pointed out the need to make the international “Terra Mater” Seminar institutionally operative.
A standing Committee for the international “Terra Mater” Seminar is appointed. It is an interdisciplinary, interreligious, non-governmental, non-party, non profit- making organisation, which is given the shortened name of “International Terra Mater Committee” and adopts the Gubbio Custodia Seal as its symbol.
The Committee has its institutional seat in Gubbio, Piazza della Signoria, in the Town Hall and has the authority to set up national and international seats as well as administrative and representative ones.
The Committee aims at promoting a better quality of life respectful of the biosphere, in defence of the environment and the correct distribution of natural, cultural and human resources, in accordance with St Francis’s message.
The Committee, in compliance with “The Gubbio Document 1982” and the document “Gubbio 1987: towards the Third Millennium”, for the achievement of its statutory purposes, intends:
* to promote interdisciplinary and interreligious studies on the environment from
different points of view (ethical, religious, ideological, scientific, juridical, technological,
economic, social, cultural, educational and informative), through:
1) meetings and seminars;
2) studies and researches;
3) contacts and collaboration with other experts pursuing the same aims and working in fields which are connected with the environment;
4) drawing up of documents, declarations, as well as audiovisual, illustrative, informative and teaching materials;
* to stimulate the awareness, at a national and international level, of Heads of State, governments, legislators, politicians, administrators, the world of school, research, science, economy, production, work and mass media through qualified initiatives;
* to continue the dialogue between different religions on the common points concerning the relationship of man with nature and divinity from an ethical point of view;
* to take part, officially and unofficially, in meetings and initiatives concerning the above themes.
The founding organisations and members of the Committee are the associations and bodies which promoted the seminars of 1982 and 1987, listed as follows: Azienda di Promozione Turistica Gubbio; Comune di Gubbio; Comunità Montana “Alto Chiascio” Gubbio; Regione Umbria; Assisi Nature Council (A.N.C.); Associazione Italiana per lo Sviluppo Internazionale (A.I.S.I.); Associazione Italiana per il World Wildlife Fund (W.W.F. Italia); Associazione Nazionale “Italia Nostra”; Bureau Européen de l’Environnement (B.E.E.); Club Alpino Italiano (C.A.I.); Club of Rome; Conference of Franciscan Families; Ente Nazionale Protezione Animali (E.N.P.A.); Federazione Nazionale “Pro Natura”; International Union for Conservation of Nature an Natural Resources (I.U.C.N.); Lega per l’Ambiente; Lega Italiana Diritti dell’Animale ( L.I.D.A.); Lega Italiana Protezione Uccelli (L.I.P.U.); Planning Environmental and Ecological Institute for Quality of Life; Società Italiana di Ecologia (S.IT.E.); Society for International Development
(S.I.D.); World Futures Studies Federation (W.F.S.F.). National and international organisations, territorial and public bodies, centres and institutes of research and experimentation, associations, experts and personalities who
share the aims of the Committee are also accepted as Members, by decision of the Committee.
The Organs of the Committee are:
* The Members’ Assembly;
* The Executive Council;
* The Secretariat;
* The Commission of the Auditors.
The Assembly is composed of its Members or their delegates.
* The Assembly meets once a year at least.
* It is summoned by the Executive Council with 15 days’ notice.
* It is valid when 51% of the Members are present.
* It elects or confirms the representatives of the social organs by secret ballot.
* The Assembly makes decisions about:
1) the admission of new Members;
2) the approval of the budget and of the final balance;
3) the report on the activities carried out;
4) the general programme of activities;
5) other points on the agenda.
* Written delegations are admitted: each member can receive a maximum of two delegations.
* The decisions are made by simple majority.
The Executive Council is composed of seven members:
– One is appointed by the local bodies of Gubbio and Umbria;
– One is appointed by the General Ministers of the Conference of the Four Franciscan Families;
– Four are appointed by the member associations, bodies, national and international organizations, members;
– One is the Secretary General, who represents the Secretariat.
* It meets at least three times a year and whenever a meeting is required by the Members and/or by the Secretary General.
* It is summoned by the Secretary General with 7 days’ notice.
* It has got legal validity with the presence of at least four Members.
* The Presidency of the meeting is taken each time by a different Member who has got a specific qualification on the subjects on the agenda or by a Member appointed by the others.
* The decisions are taken by a simple majority of the Members who are present at the meeting.
* It has got legal, administrative, managerial, operative representation.
* It drafts and arranges programmes, documents, proposals and budgets.
* Its task is to organise and coordinate the activities.
The Secretariat is composed of the Secretary General and his collaborators in charge of the various seats.
* The Secretary General is appointed by the Assembly and chosen preferably outside the member Organisations.
* He has got the task of connecting and coordinating the activity of the Members and that of the institutional Organs for the planned initiatives.
* With the other Members of the Executive Council, he convenes the Council itself and the Assembly of the Members and arranges meetings.
* He carries out the necessary activities to the existence and operation of the Committee.
* He coordinates the various representative, organising and executive seats.
* He coordinates the administrative relations with the Treasurer appointed by the Gubbio Town Council and is responsible for the debits and credits.
* The Secretariat has its official seat in Gubbio, Piazza della Signoria, in the Town Hall, where the local administrative and tourist bodies supply its premises, structures, services, staff and adequate finances.
The Auditors’ Commission is composed of three Members plus a substitute. The Members of the Commission are elected by the Assembly outside the associated bodies.
Social positions last three years and can be renewed.
Social positions are not paid; only the expenses met in the fullfilment of one’s duties and documented are refunded.
Financing comes from the members’ contribution and from private offerings, bequests, donations, etc. If the Committee dissolves, the destination of all properties, financial funds, etc, will be decided according to the laws in force in Italy.
The Assembly, which makes decisions by simple qualified majority, has the authority to introduce possible changes and statutory integrations.
Gubbio October 6, 1989