The Inclusive Edge: Tapping into the Faith Dimension to Accelerate Nature Actions for a Sustainable Future

1 October 2020

Faith for Earth Dialogue with Faith Leaders in India

Panel Discussion: The Inclusive Edge; Tapping into the Faith Dimension to Accelerate Nature Actions for a Sustainable Future

Thursday, 10 September 8:30 pm IST

The rapid advancement in the global environmental crisis at an unprecedented rate has been a perilous challenge for humankind. Increasing natural catastrophes, rising sea levels, increasing wildfires and rapidly changing weather patterns, are global emergencies that have an all-pervasive impact in terms of economy and the environment. The universal catastrophic reverberation of human actions, calls for unified efforts to achieve environmentally sustainable development goals for the welfare of the current and future generations.

URI along with UNEP, recently undertook an initiative with Faith-Based Organizations and interfaith platforms to spread mass awareness on environmental emergencies that our human race is confronted with.

On September 10 2020, URI and UNEP, tapped into the faith dimension to accelerate nature-based actions for a sustainable future, over a dialogue with eminent faith leaders titled “The Inclusive Edge; Tapping into the Faith Dimension to Accelerate Nature Actions for a Sustainable Future.” The dialogue consisted of two panel discussions, the details of which are mentioned below. The event was a great success with over 7000 viewers from all over the world. Moderated by Dia Mirza (Actor, Producer and UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador), the event was glorified with the presence of Joyce Msuya (Deputy Executive Director UNEP) and esteemed faith leaders from India.

The first panel of the discussion titled, ‘Bringing Faith and Environment for a better tomorrow’ threw light on the role of the faith-based organizations in promoting nature-based solutions for a sustainable future. Moderated by Dia Mirza, the panel consisted of esteemed dignitaries - Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Sister B.K. Shivani Ji, H.H. Radhanath Swami Ji and Sadhguru Ji. Affirming the pivotal role played by faith leaders and faith-based organizations on a global scale in bringing peace and harmony around the world, the leaders discussed the role of religious and cultural values promoting innovative nature-based solutions and briefly discussed the journey of FBOs engaging with environmental emergencies. Furthermore, new innovative approaches that can be followed under the present circumstances, were discussed.

The second panel of the discussion titled, ‘Interfaith in action: translating religious values into innovative nature-based solutions’ highlighted the need for creating awareness about sustainable patterns of consumption and production to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. Moderated by Dia Mirza, the panel included eminent dignitaries - Rev. K. Reuben Mark, Dr. Rajwant Singh, Haji Syed Salman Chishty and Atmarpit Nemji on behalf of Gurudevshri Rakeshbhai. In light of the current situations in India, the leaders shared some of the noteworthy nature-based practices/solutions that they have been undertaking.

We belong to this planet and it is our duty to work together for its healing. All the esteemed leaders shared the responsibility of humankind towards nature, from diverse religious perspectives, respectively. The faith leaders in India, with a commitment to stand united, devised nature-based action plans, supporting and nurturing the environment, and making attempts at rejuvenating life on Earth.  Together, the dynamic group of leaders formulated innovative nature-based solutions to promote inclusive, green and transformative development through adopting value and faith-based lifestyles and behaviors.

See also the article in Khwaeesh.