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Summary and Commentary on Laudato Si': the Pope's encyclical on the environment and poverty

Summary and Commentary on Laudato Si':
the Pope's encyclical on the environment and poverty

Arthur Lyon Dahl
International Environment Forum
Geneva, Switzerland

Download as pdf (253kb)

The long-awaited encyclical letter of Pope Francis, Laudato Si': on care for our common home, was released on 18 June 2015. The title comes from the canticle of Saint Francis, “LAUDATO SI’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord”, and sets the theme for a lengthy addition to Catholic Church teaching (246 paragraphs) that addresses both the environmental challenges facing the world and persistent poverty, weaving the two themes together as aspects of the same spiritual illness facing the world today. The letter is framed as an integrated systems perspective on the material and spiritual challenges, and the need for spiritual solutions. As Baha'is we can welcome such a clear stand by the Catholic Church on issues where we share both the priority that they should be given, and the diagnosis of the fundamental spiritual illness behind both problems.

Leaves - June IEF newsletter is available

Read on line: Leaves 17(6) June 2015 light text version
Download the pdf version with more illustrations



World Happiness Report 2015

World Happiness Report 2015

The World Happiness Report 2015, released on 23 April 2015, looks at the changes in happiness levels in 158 countries, and examines the reasons behind the statistics. The WHR demonstrates that well-being and happiness are critical indicators of a nation’s economic and social development, and should be a key aim of policy.

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IEF comments on Indicators for the Sustainable Development Goals

IEF comments on the UN Statistical Commission report

The UN Major Groups Programme Coordinator in the Division for Sustainable Development requested stakeholder feedback regarding the UN Statistical Commission's technical report on indicators for the Sustainable Development Goals, which are to be adopted in September. The IEF submitted the following comments on the technical report in the limited space provided.

IEF 19th Annual Conference

International Environment Forum
19th Annual Conference

in association with the
PERL International Conference
UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France
10-11 March 2015

The 19th Annual Conference of the International Environment Forum was held in association with the international conference of the Partnership for Education and Research about Responsible Living (PERL) at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France, on 10-11 March 2015. IEF is a partner in PERL.

Responsible Living: Concepts, Education and Future Perspectives



Scientific review of Sustainable Development Goals and Targets

ICSU and ISSC release “Review of Targets for the Sustainable Development Goals: The Science Perspective”

The International Council for Science, in partnership with the International Social Science Council, have released a report which provides an independent review of the 169 targets under the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are set to be approved at the General Assembly of the UN in September 2015.

Webinar on Hanley's Eleven

Presentation: “Seeding a New Culture”

By author and sustainability expert, Paul Hanley

On Sunday, 1 February 2015, Paul Hanley, author of the insightful new book, Eleven, presented a webinar lecture in Washington, D.C., USA, hosted by the U.S. Bahá’í Office of Public Affairs. Drawing on the material in his book, Mr. Hanley discussed how humanity and the world will adjust to support 11 billion people by the end of this century and how we can and are beginning to cure the social and environmental ills currently plaguing humanity and nature. As part of his talk, Mr. Hanley emphasized a solution rooted in local education and capacity-building processes practiced in the Bahá’í community. A recording of the talk with slides is available at More than 100 individuals took part in the event and feedback was very positive.

Sponsoring Organization: U.S. Baha’i Office of Public Affairs,



Online Interfaith Course on Climate Change

Online Interfaith Course on Climate Change

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