NEXT IEF CONFERENCE IN TORONTO WITH ABS 7-10 AUGUST 2014
The 18th Annual Conference of the International Environment Forum will be a partnership with the 2014 Association for Baha'i Studies - North America Conference on 7-10 August at the Fairmont Royal York hotel in downtown Toronto, Canada.
IEF inputs for Open Working Group on SDGs
2 March 2014
The Open Working Group (OWG) set up by the United Nations General Assembly to prepare proposals for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for post-2015 has completed a first round of meetings and issued a progress report at http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/3238summaryallowg.... Based on this work, its co-chairs have prepared a report on the focus areas for SDGs it has identified (http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/3276focusareas.pdf) for consideration at its meeting on 3-5 March 2014, at UN Headquarters in New York, USA.
Faith communities, including IEF governing board member and Representative for Sustainable Development of the U.S. Baha'i Office of Public Affairs Peter Adriance, testified recently before the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the moral implications of carbon pollution causing climate change. Peter's write-up on the testimony, "Faith Communities Stress Moral Dimension of Carbon Pollution at EPA", has just be published in the Huffington Post and can be read at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-adriance/faith-communities-stress-_b....
MEASURING WHAT MATTERS
TOOLKITS OF VALUES-BASED ACTIVITIES AND INDICATORS
FOR EDUCATION FOR RESPONSIBLE LIVING AND SUSTAINABILITY
Measuring What Matters is an international project which aims to inspire students to understand ‘achievement’ and ‘success’ in new ways - not just in terms of exam grades, but in terms of acquiring the skills and values needed to survive and thrive in the 21st century.
The Global Environmental Policy Programme (GEPP) at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, which IEF President Arthur Dahl has helped to design, organizes policy briefings as well as a summer training programme. GEPP has now issued a two-page brief on "Beyond the Limits: Implementing a Resilient Future" summarizing its 28 November 2013 event with Ian Johnson, Secretary-General of the Club of Rome, and Per Olssen of the Stockholm Resilience Centre. This can be downloaded here.
The Club of Rome and the Alliance of Religions and Conservation have launched a project on "ValuesQuest: the search for values which will make a world of difference" (see http://www.clubofrome.org/?p=5821). After addressing the root causes of world problems for over 40 years at a broad systemic, holistic and long-term level, the Club of Rome has recognized that values are the main drivers behind societal instruments like economy, education and governance, and that present values are guiding the course of society in the wrong direction.
Symposium on Meaning, Values and Spirituality in the Development of Children and Young People
The Centre for Social Pediatrics, Cantonal Hospital of Winterthur, Switzerland, in collaboration with the Club of Rome, organized a scientific Symposium on Meaning, Values and Spirituality in the Development of Children and Young People on 5-6 December 2013. The Centre, as part of of its daily work with children, young people and parents, as well as in discourse with experts, frequently focuses on the question of values and ideals, and how these are communicated. What are the reference points for adolescents? What are their wishes and aspirations? Who are their role models; what are their guiding principles? In childhood, it is usually the parents that communicate purpose and values. But when dealing with the challenges of our globalized world, adults also sometimes experience insecurity, asking “What it’s all about?” – material independence, happiness, love, faith, knowledge…? Can faith – a spiritual foundation – help children, young people and adults find fulfilment and contentment?
The symposium was of particular interest because it provided a scientific perspective on many of the issues being addressed by the International Environment Forum, although the focus of most speakers was Europe rather than the whole world. The multidisciplinary perspectives from sociologists, psychiatrists, theologians, educators, and even a Nobel Prize winner in chemistry, highlighted some key issues about religion and spirituality in the modern world and the challenges ahead. The decline of interest in the environment among young people noted by some speakers is of particular concern. The following paragraphs provide a synthesis of the main points. A full report and list of speakers is at http://iefworld.org/node/656.
PERL (the Partnership for Education and research about Responsible Living) is running a media competition for students and film-makers. The link below will lead you to PERL’s website where you will find all the information needed to participate: