1. CONSTITUTION AND AIMS
1. The non-profit social organisation (ONLUS) known as “Ecospirituality Foundation“ is hereby formed in order to promote and spread the principles of Ecospirituality, as laid down in the Manifesto of Aims annexed hereto as an integrating part of this Charter.
The said Manifesto establishes the concept of Ecospirituality as the realisation of a relationship of harmony between an individual and the environment on the basis of personal inner experience.
2. The Foundation stands for the defence of civil rights and the protection of the various cultural heritages of native, or indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities around the world, in so far as they may be able to make a contribution to the experiential and spiritual heritage of the whole of Humanity.
The Foundation aims to improve understanding of the art, culture and experience of native peoples to demonstrate the philosophical, social, and historical values they represent.
3. The Foundation may work with any national and/or international Institution in order to pursue the aims of its activity. On this matter we would like to underline the Foundation’s annual participation (since 2001) to the operations of the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva and the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York, concerning the subject of indigenous population rights. On such occasions the Foundation presented the case of Mount Graham, the sacred mountain to Arizona Apaches, the case of Ngog Lituba, the sacred mountain to the Bassa peoples of Cameroon; the case of recovery of spoils of the Wamba Wamba ancestors of Australian aborigines; and the case of Bretons defending the sacred megalithic standing stones of Carnac. Moreover, the Foundation presented the opening of its Benin branch, established with the purpose of promoting Ecospirituality.
Due to its effort, in 2005 the Foundation was assigned the “Non-governmental Organization in Consultative Status” by the United Nations in New York, in recognition of it work to protect the indigenous peoples.
4. To this end the Foundation promotes exhibitions, debates, lectures, petitions, and gathering of signatures, as done in the past through the initiatives mentioned below:
1. “Save Mount Graham” initiative in May/June 2001. On such occasion the American representatives of the Apache Survival Coalition, Ola Cassadore and Mike Davis – Apaches from the Apache San Carlos tribe – were hosted:
• in Piedmont: by the Deputy Mayor of Turin, Mauro Calgaro; by the Councillor for Parks and Open Spaces of Turin, Roberto Tricarico; by the Mayor of Collegno, Umberto d’Ottavio; by the Chairman of the Regional Council of Piedmont, Roberto Cota; by Piedmont Region Councillors Pino Chiazzi and Mario Contu; by the Mayor of Venaria Giuseppe Catania; by Turin Province Councillor for Social Solidarity Maria Pia Brunato; by the Councillor for Productive Activities Antonio Buzzigoli;
• in Lazio: by the Chairman of the Italian Communist Party Marco Rizzo and Senator Luigi Marino at the House of Commons; by CGIL (General Federation of Italian Trade Unions) General Secretary Sergio Cofferati; by CGIL International Department Coordinator Giacomo Barbieri at the CGIL Head Office Conference Room; by Minister Vinci-Gigliucci, deputy of Minister Claudio Moreno of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs-Human Rights Coordination Office, at the Farnesina Palace; by the Province of Rome Chairman Silvano Moffa, at the Valentini Palace Conference Room; by Green Party Chairman Grazia Francescato at the Federazione dei Verdi (federation of the Greens) Head Office; by Amnesty International-Italy Director Paola Cutaia at the Amnesty International-Italy Head Office;
2. denunciation of breaches of the Mount Graham case and evidence of the historical role played by Natural Peoples through the book “Natural Peoples and Ecospirituality”, written by Giancarlo Barbadoro and Rosalba Nattero in cooperation with Ola Cassadore, leader of the Apache Survival Coalition. This book has been presented to the Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Section (UN Geneva), receiving the encouragement of the United Nations by Julian Burger of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Proceeds from the sales of the abovementioned book have been assigned to the Apache Survival Coalition for the defence of Mount Graham;
3. presentations of the book “Natural Peoples and Ecospirituality”:
• on 10 December 2002 at the Capitoline Hill-Sala del Carroccio of Rome;
• in 2002 at the University of Turin;
• in 2002 at the International Book Fair of Turin;
• from 20 April to 4 May 2002 at the Hall of Mental Health of the Molinette Hospital of Turin with a seminar on the subject “Native Peoples and Ecospirituality”;
• on 18 February and 26 February 2003 at the Rosa Luxemburg ITC (Technical-Commercial High School) of Turin;
• on 16 April 2003 at the headquarters of the Province (township) of Turin;
• in 2003 the book was presented by the Province of Turin to all school principals for its popularization in schools;
• Since 2003 the book is found in public libraries of Turin;
• on 29 April 2004 at the Great Hall of the “Polo Universitario Studi Superiori di Asti” (University of Asti campus);
• in 2004 at the United Nations branch in Geneva (it is also found in the UNO Geneva Bookshop);
• in 2005 at the University of Melbourne, Australia;
• in 2005 at the public library of Moncalieri (Turin);
• in 2005 at the Leichhardt Italian Forum Cultural Centre (Sydney, Australia) in cooperation with the University of Sydney;
• in 2006 at the United Nations headquarters in New York (it is also found in the UNO New York Bookshop);
4. Creation of the film Shan, the ancient heart of the natural peoples, in cooperation with the music group LabGraal, and with the purpose of giving visibility to the culture and identity of native peoples. The film was produced in three versions: Italian, English, and French.
The movie was created thanks to the moral support of the United Nations branch of Geneva, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and under patronage of the City of Turin, the Province of Turin, the Piedmont Region, the city council administration of Rome, the Italian Cultural Institute of Melbourne (Australia), the Apache Survival Coalition (Arizona, USA), the Wiran Aboriginal Corporation (Australia), Menhirs Libres (Bretagne, France), and the Film Commission of Turin.
The film was presented:
• on 29 March 2007 at the Empire cinema in Turin;
• in 2007 at the Fandango Polytechnic of Rome;
• in 2007 during the television show “Cinematografo” hosted by Luigi Marzullo on the channel RAI 1;
• from 2007 to this day at cinema houses all around Italy, earning appraisal by cinema critics and achieving a spot among the top-30 most viewed films in 2007;
• from 2008 to 2009 on SKY TV, on a weekly basis;
• in 2007 at the Cannes Film Festival to which it took part;
• in 2007 at the University of Turin DAMS (department of visual art, music, and performing arts);
• in 2008 at the United Nations headquarters in New York;
• in 2009 at the Salle des Conférences de la Mairie de Carnac (Mayor of Carnac conference hall, Bretagne, France).
2. OTHER INSTRUMENTAL OR COLLATERAL ACTIVITIES
1. The Foundation promotes ideas aimed at making a contribution towards achieving World Peace.
2. The Foundation proposes the study of ancient traditions as a way of recognising and preserving a link to the cultural roots of Humanity, which may provide a sense of continuity and a source of universal values for every individual.
The Foundation aims to develop research into and the preservation of the heritage of ancient traditional art and music.
The Foundation aims to carry out research concerning the establishment of a historical memory of folk knowledge, to save it from the risk of being forgotten.
3. The Foundation aims to devote special attention to the care, appreciation and promotion of the cultural, artistic, and historical heritage of the Celtic peoples in all aspects of its music, history, and philosophy.
4. The Foundation stands for the right of every individual to have access to knowledge in any form whatsoever, as well as unrestricted use of any suitable means of gaining such access, together with the right to exercise personal freedom of creativity and expression and to enjoy an inner relationship with the meaning of existence.
5. The Foundation recognises the experience of meditation as a personal educational laboratory, where any individual can develop self-knowledge and understanding of the environment, unhindered by ideological or dogmatic partiality.
6. In agreement with the spirit of the Ecospirituality Manifesto of Aims attached to this Charter, the Foundation promotes activity for animal protection and the promotion of a culture that may grant the respect for and dignity of the moral identity of animals. Such purpose is hereby assigned to the specific workgroup “SOS Gaia”.
7. The Foundation considers it worthwhile to pay attention to any possible signs of other intelligent life forms in space, however they may be interpreted outside of the human race, together with any ethical, social or cultural implications they may have.
8. The Foundation aims to work towards the protection and improvement of nature and the environment. To this end it shall undertake projects promoting respect for nature, respect for animals, and protection and improvement of the environment.
9. The Foundation promotes study and research, through the topics of interest to avant-garde science, into areas related to natural phenomena that can aid understanding of the nature of existence, in which the individual lives and areas of human relations can aid understanding and improvement of the human condition.
10. The Foundation aims to carry out projects involving travel for experience and discovery, and promotes the study and diffusion of languages and culture, in order to facilitate a mutual exchange of experience among peoples leading towards a global or planetary identity.
11. The Foundation believes that – by becoming involved in teaching how to use multimedia tools and information technology – it can assist in the two being more widely used and thus lead to easier communication and exchanges of experience among peoples.
12. The Foundation believes in directly organising events promoting art and culture, to bring individuals into direct contact with a creative experience. In pursuance of this belief, it may organise events such as concerts, exhibitions, theatrical performances, lectures, courses, and conferences with relevance to its statutory aims.
13. The Foundation does not pursue any political party nor confessional or profit-making purposes, but pursues exclusively purposes of a socially useful nature and carries out its activities on a pluralistic, voluntary, and democratic basis.
14. The Foundation may organise various kinds of public events and run projects based on publishing, multi-media or information technology resources to make itself known to the public and enable free access to its activities.
15. In pursuance of its social aims as set out in this Charter, the Foundation may carry out any financial operations, involving movable or immovable property, which it may consider necessary.
3. PREMISES AND OFFICIAL SYMBOL
1. The Foundation has its premises at 15 Piazza Statuto, Turin, Italy.
2. The Foundation provides for the establishment of decentralised premises operating with respect for and in pursuance of the provisions of this Charter.
3. The Foundation uses the design reproduced below as its official symbol:
1. The Foundation promotes cultural, research and social activities that are consistent with the content of Chapter 1, Article 1.
2. The Foundation promotes activities supporting and cooperating with native/indigenous peoples all over the world.
3. The Foundation promotes initiatives to bring together the cultures of native peoples across the whole planet.
4. The Foundation works by means of the various Workgroups promoted as an initiative of the Council.
5. The Workgroups considered primary by the Foundation for its purposes are outlined as follows:
a. “SOS Gaia”: animal protection and the promotion of a culture that may grant the respect for and dignity of the animal’s moral identity;
b. “Progetto Dreamtime” (project Dreamtime): research and promotion of meditation as an Ecospiritual experience by native peoples. The Workgroup caters for the study and experimentation of the perceptual consciousness phenomenon and the nature of the transcendence phenomenon by means of which peoples interact.
The Workgroup promotes – on the first Tuesday of each month – a global meditation event with the purpose of offering a witness of Peace and spirituality that may overcome geographic and religious divisions, as well as contributing to a chain of moral solidarity that may bring the whole planet together;
c. “Laboratorio Musicale del Graal” (music laboratory of the Graal), abbreviated as “LabGraal”, with the purpose of promoting research, study, and promotion of the musical heritage belonging to the traditions of native peoples, and thus allow its conservation.
Research carried out by such Workgroup is focused on both music and dance, and particularly the cultural heritage of native Europeans;
d. “Nel Segno del Graal” (in the mark of the Graal), with the purpose of promoting the culture and ideas of Ecospirituality;
e. “Grotta di Merlino” (Merlin’s cave), with the purpose of promoting the Foundation’s activity at information kiosks;
f. “In Difesa di Mount Graham” (in defence of Mount Graham), with the purpose of promoting knowledge of the Mount Graham case. The mountain, sacred to the Apache peoples, is an example of desecration and violation by human construction.
The Workgroup aims to highlight the Mount Graham case as a symbol of respect for sacred sites and the rights of native peoples;
g. “Scuola di Kemò-vad SOLE NERO” (‘black Sun’ Kemò-vad school), with the purpose of promoting the ancient Kemò-vad technique in order to give visibility to the Celtic culture.
Kemò-vad, the “wind dance” of ancient druids, is a natural process that embeds the elements of dynamic meditation, holistic gymnastics, and the sacred dance of native peoples;
h. “Shan Newspaper”, with the purpose of creating a webzine for the promotion of the Ecospirituality topics outlined in this Charter;
i. “Progetto Rama Vive”, with the purpose of carrying out research and promotion related to the historic and moral heritage of native Europeans, including myths, traditions, folklore, and megalithism;
j. “Progetto Dreamland” (project Dreamland), with the purpose of creating a workshop of ideas and experiences based upon the Ecospirituality Manifesto of Aims annexed to this Charter. A hub for the promotion of various initiatives surrounded by nature, inspired by other Ecospirituality experiences and their perspectives, including a harmonic relationship with Nature, spirituality, culture, history, and well-being. Project Dreamland was born and develops on the great Stone Circle, created with the purpose of giving visibility to the ancient tradition of European natives and Celtic culture related to philosophy of Nature.
5. ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
1. An organisational structure has been established for the operations of the Foundation, comprising specific bodies:
a. Traditional College
I. This is formed by the Traditional Guides appointed by the Traditional Communities that take part in the Foundation, having been recognised and nominated as such by the Council.
II. The purpose of the Traditional College is to act as the spiritual soul of the Foundation, as inspiration and guardian of the spirit of the Foundation itself, according to the principles laid down in the Manifesto of Aims.
III. The Traditional College has no particular prerogative nor right to vote or intervene in the work of the Foundation, except as specifically provided for by the present Charter.
IV. The Traditional College has the authority to submit to the Council:
1. possible ideas for new areas of activity;
2. possible censorship motions concerning the activity of the Foundation or its members.
I. The Council is the international body that expresses, at a global level, the Foundation’s general principles and activities.
II. The Council is the management board of the Foundation and is composed of Founding Members, who the Council itself retains the authority to appoint, and of Members elected by the Members’ Assembly among its own Members.
III. The duties of the Council are:
1. to carry out the assembly’s resolutions;
2. to formulate the programs on the basis of the assembly’s approved guidelines;
3. to agree budgets and financial statements;
4. to consider the admission of new members;
5. to consider any requests from the Traditional College;
6. to stipulate all contracts and deeds relevant to the activity of the organisation;
7. to manage all the real estates and assets owned by the Foundation, or entrusted to it;
8. to decide ways and means of taking part in the Foundation or activities organised by other associations and organisations, and vice-versa, provided they are compatible with the inspiring principles of this Charter.
IV. The Council elects, among its members:
1. A management board made up – to respect the principles of democratic delegation of the management of the Ecospirituality Foundation’s affairs and to satisfy the need for subdivision into local functional areas – as follows:
a. A Chairperson, who is the Foundation’s Legal Representative and is responsible for all its activities.
b. A Vice-Chairperson, who may take over the duties of the Chairperson if he/she is unavailable.
c. If necessary, a Co-Chairperson, who assists the Chairperson with identical statutory duties.
2. A Secretary, who manages all administrative affairs of the Foundation, draws up the minutes of the council meetings, Members’ and Executive Committee Assemblies, and signs them with the Chairperson; the Secretary coordinates the work of the Chairperson in carrying out ordinary and extraordinary management; the Secretary is responsible for bookkeeping of the Foundation (the minutes of assemblies and other books relevant to the Foundation).
3. A Treasurer, who manages the Foundation’s funds through an appropriate bookkeeping system, checks that the accounts are kept in order and prepares the financial statements and budgets.
V. The Management Board does not have any decision-making authority over the Foundation’s activities, but is limited to the role of statutory guardian and co-ordinator of the bodies under its responsibility.
VI. The Management Board’s function is to represent the Foundation in its relations with third parties and, if it so considers, to carry out ordinary administration relevant to its own responsibilities, as well as summoning and chairing the Members’ Assembly and any Ordinary Council meeting.
VII. The Management Board may delegate representation of the Foundation to other persons, including persons not belonging to the Foundation, by means of a special motion of the Council.
VIII. The Management Board summons and chairs the Members' Assembly and the Council, and ensures that they are functioning correctly.
IX. The Management Board has the right of veto over the deliberations of the Foundation’s bodies, wherever these may be considered contrary to the spirit and the interests expressed in this Charter.
X. The ordinary administration of the Foundation is entrusted to the Management Board; in exceptional cases of necessity and/or urgency the Board may carry out extraordinary administration operations subject to ratification of such operations by the Council.
XI. The offices elected within the scope of the Council’s activities have a five-year term and may be re-elected or re-confirmed by the Council itself.
XII. The Council appoints bodies that enable it to function and that aid the activity of the Foundation, as follows:
1. a Secretariat, with the purpose of supporting the Council’s activity.
2. a Library, with the purpose of collecting documentary material relevant to Ecospirituality.
3. an Administration, responsible for managing the Foundation’s properties.
4. any number of Workgroups required to fulfil the needs of the Council’s programmes.
XIII. The Council may also allocate to its subordinate bodies other duties fulfilling particular requirements of the Foundation’s activity, not foreseen by this Charter but necessary for the effective operation of the Council itself.
XIV. For executive or consultation tasks relating to its work, the Council may make use of working committees appointed by itself, as well as the voluntary activity of non-member persons with relevant skills who can provide help for particular projects.
XV. The Council may make its own executive deliberations in any particular case and may purchase whatever may be required for the effective running of any of the Foundation's bodies provided for in this Charter. In the event of the Foundation being dissolved, the Traditional Communities shall determine the destination of whatever may have been purchased.
XVI. Ordinary meetings of the Council take place every six months and an extraordinary meeting may be called by request of at least three-quarters of its members or by special request of the Chairperson.
c. Traditional Communities
I. These are recognised as the unlimited number of traditional communities that may subscribe to the Foundation.
II. They perform an executive role in carrying out the results of the deliberations of the Council.
III. Each of them is self-ruling and autonomous, notwithstanding compliance with this Charter, and is responsible for the management of any specific properties that are owned by it already or may be granted to it by the Council.
d. Board of Members
I. This assembles all the members of the Foundation to enable examination and ratification of the reports of the Foundation’s overall activity, as well as to allow said members to present their ideas and suggest new areas of activity for the Foundation.
II. An ordinary meeting of this Assembly is called by the Management Board once a year and an extraordinary meeting may be called by the Council and by the Management Board itself in cases of absolute necessity and urgency for consultation. Meetings must be called by means of registered mail – specifying the time and place of the meeting – sent with at least ten days prior notice.
III. All members are eligible to participate.
IV. The Assembly is chaired by the Chairperson of the Council, when available, or the Co-Chairperson, when available, or the Vice-Chairperson. Should none of the aforementioned be available, the Assembly shall be chaired by any member chosen by those present.
V. The ordinary Board of Members Assembly deliberates on the following matters:
1. approving the budgets and financial statements;
2. approving the guidelines to the programme of activity;
3. suggesting new guidelines to the programme of activity;
4. electing the executive bodies by secret ballot among nominated members up to a number not exceeding the personnel requirements of each body. In the event of parity of votes for candidates contesting the last remaining post on a body, the candidate who has been registered longest as a Foundation member shall be elected;
5. establishing a College of Auditors and nominating the members who shall take part in it;
6. nominating an Arbitration Panel and the members who shall take part in it;
7. deciding the destination of any positive returns from continuation of the Foundation’s own activities and the establishment of funds and reserve funds;
8. any necessary changes to the Charter;
9. where required, the dissolution and winding-up of the Foundation, with subsequent allocation of its assets.
VI. The College of Auditors shall be composed of five members: three full members and two reserves.
The main task of the Auditors is to ensure that the Foundation’s accounts are kept in order and to give their opinion on the financial statements.
2. Within each statutory Body, ordinary voting is valid if three-quarters of the participants in the respective body are present or represented, at the first or second call. Each Member has the right to one vote. Proxy votes are admissible.
Voting shall be done by show of hands. It may occur by secret ballot in special circumstances when requested by three-quarters of Members present with voting rights, and be executively effective upon earning three-quarters of the votes in the session.
Majority decisions should not be clearly detrimental to the interests of the minority and should be taken in consideration for the needs of the latter, with respect for the spirit and aims of this Charter.
3. Each Body foreseen by the present Charter may establish new functions internally and draft its own internal regulations to simplify its work and the tasks foreseen for it in this Charter.
6. MEMBERSHIP PROCEDURES
1. Anyone can join the activities of the Ecospirituality Foundation, provided they intend to contribute to its statutory aims and support the spirit of the Foundation’s activity, whether they be physical persons, legal entities, associations, organisations, or Traditional Communities, represented by a fairly elected figurehead and free to act regardless of any distinction of gender, age, race or ethnic group, social standing, way of thinking, sexual tendency, appearance, physical condition, culture, religion or belonging to a particular species.
Physical persons can join the Ecospirituality Foundation by direct application either to one of the Traditional Communities or through the official representatives of the said Foundation.
2. A prospective member shall, upon having previously read this Charter, fill out and present an official admission form to the Council, which – being permanently invested with the right to do so – shall evaluate the suitability of the prospective member in accordance with the principles of this Charter before accepting the application.
3. The criteria used by the Council in evaluating membership suitability are based on precise considerations, to ensure smooth operation of the Foundation’s activity:
a. absence of a criminal record;
b. full enjoyment of civil rights;
c. ability to respect social conventions in a civil manner;
d. minimum age limit of 18 years. Minors under the age of 18 may participate in the activity of the Foundation as members provided they have the permission of their parents;
e. there should be no ideological conflict with the principles and the spirit of the intentions embodied by the Foundation;
f. conduct tending to counter or undermine the democratic and voluntary principles of the Foundation is not acceptable;
g. the purpose of membership should not be other than what is declared and implied by the proposals and the spirit of this Charter;
h. there should be no perceivable intention, neither direct nor reasonably deducible, to harm the activity of the Foundation.
4. Four types of membership are available:
a. Founding Member. Nominated as such by the Council to acknowledge the specific competence in the experience of Ecospirituality and special allegiance to the spirit and the principles expressed in the present Charter and the Manifesto of Aims. Those who founded the Foundation hold this status and anyone demonstrating sufficient experiential merit to emulate them in pursuing the same principles and Statutory aims may be conferred with equal status, notwithstanding the interim passage of time. This is to ensure the principle of an enduring founding aim, which belongs to a cosmic dimension and cannot belong to any particular chronological dimension;
b. Supporting Member. Membership available to anyone who intends to actively contribute to the work of the Ecospirituality Foundation by taking part in the operations of the Traditional Communities. These members play a particular role in establishing and safeguarding the Bodies required under the provisions of this Charter;
c. Ordinary Member. Membership available to anyone who wishes to make a simple personal contribution to demonstrate support for the activity of the Ecospirituality Foundation. This membership is also open to anyone who, for special reasons, cannot adhere to or constitute a Traditional Community;
d. Honorary Member. Members nominated as such by the Council in acknowledgement of special benevolence demonstrated towards the activity of the Ecospirituality Foundation or moral allegiance to its statutory principles.
5. All Members are required to safeguard and support the activity and public image of the Foundation, as well as taking part in the study, research, and promotion activities promoted by this Charter, to the best of their ability.
6. All Members are required to conduct their activities as members personally, spontaneously, and voluntarily, without creating profit-making motivations.
7. All Members are required to demonstrate solidarity in their behaviour towards other members and outside the Foundation, as well as acting with honesty, good faith, and correctness.
8. No Member may make use of membership status for purposes outside the spirit of this Charter or make ideological and/or commercial propaganda within the Foundation’s activities that may conflict or interfere with such activities.
9. Each Member is bound to observe the provisions of this Charter and to carry out the deliberations promulgated by the statutory Bodies in accordance with the spirit and the wording of this Charter.
10. Adherence to a membership agreement implies familiarity on the part of each Member with this Charter, which is available from all the representatives or premises of the Foundation, and acceptance of all the provisions of the said Charter.
11. Membership is valid for an unlimited period of time. Membership to the Foundation may, however, be cancelled under certain conditions:
a. in the case of death of the member;
b. in the case of a Member’s decision to cancel his/her membership;
c. in the case of failure to observe the provisions of this Charter;
d. in the case of failure to fulfil statutory tasks and principles;
e. in the case of moral, material, or financial harm caused to the activity of the Foundation, or where there is good reason to believe a Member may be likely to cause moral, material, or financial harm to the Foundation;
f. in the case of immediate deliberation of the Council or the Traditional Communities, where a member proves to have made a false declaration regarding suitability for membership. In this case, the expulsion has immediate effect upon notification of the decision justifying the expulsion.
12. Where there is failure to fulfil the provisions of this Charter, the Council has the right to debate and apply disciplinary measures against offending Members. The following disciplinary measures are envisaged, depending on the nature of the failure to fulfil the provisions of this Charter:
a. a simple verbal or written warning;
b. suspension from any posts occupied within the Foundation;
c. temporary suspension, for a fixed period, from work within the Foundation;
d. expulsion from the Foundation.
13. Each Member receives a membership card as evidence of belonging to the Ecospirituality Foundation and observing its membership regulations, together with a copy of the present Charter providing full information about the goals and procedures of the said Foundation. The membership card is stamped annually as evidence of payment of membership fees.
14. The Foundation requires a single annual payment of membership fees, in the amount established by the Council. Honorary members are exempt from payment as is anyone who can present a valid reason for not being able to pay.
15. Any Member may stand for election to any post available within the Foundation and make suggestions about work to be undertaken. In both cases application should be made directly, in writing, to the Council.
16. Members elect domicile at the Foundation offices, where they may refer to any communications, calls for meetings, and other documents relevant to the activities of the organisation, without the need for further communications, unless otherwise decided by the Council.
7. ASSETS AND INCOME, FINANCIAL STATEMENTS,
STATUTORY SAFEGUARDS, CHANGES TO THE CHARTER, AND
WINDING UP OF THE FOUNDATION
1. The Foundation’s Assets
a. The assets of the Ecospirituality Foundation consist of intellectual and spiritual assets as well as financial assets.
b. The intellectual and spiritual assets of the Foundation are considered to be the sum of knowledge and experience accumulated within the Bodies envisaged and set up by the Ecospirituality Foundation as part of its activity.
These assets are safeguarded, managed, and nurtured by the Council as its inalienable right.
The use of such assets is permitted by all the Bodies officially recognised by the Council and operating officially and in accordance with the provisions of this Charter as well as the procedures laid out by the Council itself.
c. The financial assets of the Foundation are considered to be the total figure expressly entrusted to the economic management of the Council. These assets are represented by the sum of: the membership contributions; movable and immovable properties that have been acquired; donations received; the reserve fund; any proceeds from activities promoted by the Ecospirituality Foundation. These assets are entrusted to and managed by the Council, under its inalienable responsibility, in accordance with the needs of the Ecospirituality Foundation in pursuance of its statutory activity.
Any funds left over after covering the ordinary expenses of the Foundation shall be allocated to extraordinary expenses, including possible donations of a philanthropic nature and cases of genuine need, regardless of membership to the Foundation itself.
The economic assets are exclusive property available solely for the activities of the Ecospirituality Foundation and may not be sold to third parties.
d. The financial assets concern only property received through donations or purchased in the name of the Foundation.
The Foundation’s income, which provides its assets, may derive from:
I. payments made by all subjects adhering to the Foundation;
II. revenue generated by the Foundation’s assets under management of the Council;
III. any proceeds from activities carried out under the promotion of the Council.
Property owned or purchased by the Traditional Communities remains their own full responsibility.
e. The Foundation, in pursuance of its own aims as an organisation and in compliance with its principles, may undertake any operations involving movable property, immovable property, or other financial affairs it may consider appropriate.
f. Members who withdraw, are expelled, or in any other way cease to belong to the Ecospirituality Foundation have no right to claim for reimbursement of contributions paid, nor have any other right to claim the assets of the Foundation.
g. The minimum amount of dues to be paid upon joining the Foundation is established annually by the Council. There are no particular regulations or restrictions concerning any other contributions Members may wish to make during the course of their membership to the Foundation, any such contributions being considered as payments without security.
h. Members who withdraw, are expelled, or in any other way cease to belong to the Ecospirituality Foundation have neither the right to repeat contributions paid nor any other right to claim against the assets of the Foundation.
2. Financial statements
a. The final financial statements encompass the organisation’s financial operations under management of the Council from January 1st to December 31st of each year. Separate financial statements shall be drawn up for each operation and a budget shall be prepared when necessary.
b. The Council shall be summoned by the 30th September of each year to draft the budget, and shall present it by December 31st for approval by the Members’ Assembly as required. Preparation of the final financial statements for the previous year shall be carried out by the Council, which must present it for approval by the Members’ Assembly by April 30th.
c. Financial statements shall be kept at the headquarters of the Foundation for 15 days after their approval, during which they shall be made available to anyone who has a good reason to consult them.
d. The annual financial statements envisage allocation of residual assets as follows:
I. 10% to the reserve fund;
II. the remainder available for new activities or purchase of equipment.
e. Any profits or surplus created by the management must be re-utilised for the purposes of the Foundation’s activities, as envisaged by this Charter, and may, under no circumstances, be shared among Members belonging to the Foundation, unless such sharing be imposed by law or be carried out in favour of other non-profit making social organisations belonging to the same structure, in compliance with the provisions of letter (d), paragraph 1 of Italian Decree-Law n° 460 issued on December 4th 1997.
3. Statutory safeguards
a. Each Traditional Community is responsible in the first instance for its own internal issues; disciplinary matters may be referred to the Council by the parties involved. The Council is responsible for matters of a general nature concerning the Foundation and, in second instance, for matters concerning the activity of the Traditional Communities.
b. Members who, for special reasons, are not members of any Traditional Community, may appeal to the Council or be called for judgement by the Council, in single instances.
c. The disciplinary measures envisaged by this Charter are applicable according to the gravity of the failure to comply with this Charter.
d. Any Member who has been subjected to disciplinary action and disagrees with the decisions of the Council may appeal to an Arbitration Panel and ask for the revocation or modification of the decision.
4. Changes to the Charter
Any decision to make changes to the Charter shall be taken into consideration upon a justified proposal by the Council and passed in the Members’ Assembly upon a unanimous vote with a quorum of at least three-quarters of Members with voting rights.
5. Winding-up of the Foundation
a. The Foundation has no fixed lifespan. It may be wound up following a justified proposal of the Council with a decision taken by the Members’ Assembly upon a unanimous vote with a quorum of at least four-fifths of Members with voting rights, for any of the following reasons:
I. if all Members agree unanimously;
II. should there be no Members remaining;
III. for any other reasons that shall be inserted into this Charter during the lifespan of the Foundation.
b. In case the Foundation is wound up, it shall transfer all its assets to other non-profit making social organisations or organisations offering a public service, upon consulting the controlling body and in accordance with article 3, paragraph 190 of Italian Law n° 662 issued on December 23rd 1996, unless other transfer destinations should be legally imposed.
6. The Arbitration Panel
a. In the event of a dispute arising from facts concerning the activities of the Ecospirituality Foundation where the decision of the responsible Bodies as provided under the Statutory Safeguards is not acceptable to the parties involved in said dispute, a final, binding, decision shall be given by an Arbitration Panel, in accordance with the regulations laid down by Articles 806 to 831 of Italian Civil Code.
The Arbitration Panel will be formed by one member nominated by each party involved in the dispute, and another member nominated by the relevant Statutory Safeguard Body, who shall become the natural Chairperson of the Panel.
Each member may contest the nomination of the member proposed by the Statutory Safeguard Body, and must then propose a second nominee and – in the event of the second nominee also being unacceptable – a third nominee.
Should none of the three nominated members be acceptable, the parties involved may appeal to the ordinary Judicial Authority.
If the parties involved in the dispute accept the member nominated by the Statutory Safeguard Bodies, the decision adopted by the Arbitration Panel will be valid as an arbitral award.
All the members of the Arbitration Panel must be chosen among the members of the Ecospirituality Foundation.
b. Any matters unforeseen by the Charter shall be resolved by the Members’ Assembly in accordance with the Civil Code and other legislation in force.