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From left: Co-founders Marianne Touchie and Ekaterina Tzekova, and chair of the Promise group, Diane Park
Photo courtesy of Sustainability Office

A Promise to Future Generations

A U of T group encourages participants to protect the Earth for future generations

Civil engineering PhD students Marianne Touchie and Ekaterina Tzekova were undergraduates when they were first introduced to Jacques Cousteau’s Bill of Rights for Future Generations. Inspired by the conservationist’s document – an appeal to leave an “uncontaminated and undamaged Earth” for our children and grandchildren – the students drew up their own contract in 2009, calling it A Promise to Future Generations.

Those who sign the document agree to make informed environmental choices, and to act as trustees for future generations by using resources responsibly. This past June, more than 30 students participated in the ceremony – which took place at the Galbraith building following the civil engineering convocation. While many signatories are engineering grads, students from throughout the university – as well as faculty, staff and alumni – have also taken part.

“The ‘promise’ is an active choice and duty to protect the Earth for those inheriting it,” says Tzekova. “It’s not something you tuck away after – we encourage participants to frame the document as a reminder of our personal commitment.”

To learn more about the Promise to Future Generations, visit

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