Since 1997, IEF members have engaged and participated in civil society discussions within the international and United Nations framework. These opportunities have helped open up and expand the dialogue within the wider community to promote the application of spiritual and ethical principles to the challenges of the environment and sustainable development.
Wilmette Institute Course
Sustainable Development and the Prosperity of Humankind
Lead Faculty: Arthur Lyon Dahl, Faculty: Karryn Olson-Ramanujan, Melinda Salazar, Carole Flood
Duration of course: Three months, Thursday, September 15, 2011 - Thursday, December 15, 2011
Co-sponsored by the International Environment Forum
The compilation from Baha'i texts on Environment and Sustainable Development has been updated with new material from recent Baha'i International Community statements on poverty, climate change and rethinking prosperity.
The International Environment Forum is now a partner of the Global Ethics Forum, a project of the Geneva-based Foundation Globethics.net and its global digital ethics library. As partners we would like to invite you as members of IEF to participate in the forthcoming Conference of the Global Ethics Forum taking place in Geneva, Switzerland from 30 June to 1 July 2011.
Super Cooperators (Book Review)
Harvard Professor Martin A. Nowak, with Roger Highfield, have written a remarkable book: Super Cooperators: Altruism, Evolution, and Why We Need Each Other to Succeed (New York, Free Press, March 2011) that summarizes two decades of research on the mathematics of evolution, and concludes that ethical and religious values of cooperation, not competition, are essential to succeed in resolving today's environmental, economic and social crises.
PREPARATIONS FOR RIO 2012
Several IEF members participated in the second meeting of the intergovernmental Preparatory Committee for the Rio 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, which took place at the United Nations in New York on 7-8 March, including Peter Adriance, Arthur Dahl, Duncan Hanks and Victoria Thoresen.
UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 2012
PROBABLE CHANGE OF DATES: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 20-22 June 2012
The United Nations General Assembly decided in December 2009 to hold the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) in 2012 - also referred to as 'Rio+20', although it could be Stockholm+40.
The Conference will aim at securing renewed political commitment to sustainable development, assessing the progress and implementation gaps in meeting already agreed commitments, and addressing new and emerging challenges.
The Brazilian government and the UN have just announced (4 November) a probable change of dates for the conference to 20-22 June 2011, with the 3rd PrepCom on 13-15 June. This will be confirmed at the end of November.
Download Conference Brochure (pdf 1mb)
Call for Human Rights Council action on Climate Change
On 28 February 2011, non-governmental organizations concerned with climate change and its effects on human rights delivered a letter to Ministers attending the UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, asking them to call for a Special Procedure on climate change and human rights. The International Environment Forum was one of the signatories, following on from our work on this issue at the Human Rights Council Social Forum last September.
IEF member Dr. Austin Bowden-Kerby from Fiji is one of the 3 winners in the Changemaker competition co-sponsored by the National Geographic Society. Austin has worked for many years in the Pacific Islands to help local communities, particularly village women, restore damaged coral reefs by selecting resistant corals and replanting them on the reef. He is now extending the project to the Caribbean. The Changemaker web site showing the project with the winner's cup is at http://www.changemakers.com/node/93448.
In the United States, Interfaith Power and Light is organizing a national Preach-In on Global Warming on 11-13 February 2011. Materials from various faith groups, including the American Baha'i community, are available for download from the IPL web site at http://interfaithpowerandlight.org/2010/10/national-preach-in-on-global-warming-2011/. These include Baha'i materials introducing the topic, for devotionals, youth and children.