The IEF Governing Board is pleased to announce that Ian Hamilton, the new Representative for Sustainable Development in the U.S. Baha'i Office of Public Affairs, has agreed to contribute his expertise to IEF as a co-opted member of the Governing Board. Co-opted members are invited to join in the work of the board to contribute a particular perspective or diversity of opinion that the board feels it needs, without the right to vote that is the prerogative of elected members of the board.
In the United States, people of many faiths, including the Baha'i community, will be celebrating Faith Climate Action Week on 15-24 April 2016 to coincide with Earth Week, including Earth Day on 22 April. Activities are being organized by Interfaith Power and Light, which in previous years held a Preach-In on Global Warming in February. This will be an annual interfaith event aiming to create greater awareness of the changing climate, the challenges it presents, and solutions.
AIESEC Global Leaders Summit
Marrakech, Morocco, 13-17 February 2016
On 13-17 February, IEF President Arthur Dahl was invited by AIESEC, the world's largest student-run organization with about 43,000 members in 120 countries, to participate in their Global Leaders Summit 2016 in Marrakech, Morocco. IEF's partner Baha'i-inspired organization, ebbf - Ethical Business Building the Future, of which Arthur is also a board member, has collaborated with AIESEC for 20 years, and he has often spoken as a representative of ebbf at AIESEC conferences. There were two meetings as part of the summit, the International Presidents Meeting (IPM) and the Global YouthSpeak Forum which was dedicated to the Sustainable Development Goals.
Geneva Engage 2-Day Conference
On 27-28 January 2016, IEF was represented by its President at Geneva Engage, a two-day conference about e-participation in Geneva, Switzerland. It was part of a process of research and innovation aimed at increasing the engagement of International Geneva with communities worldwide. For more about the project see: http://genevaengage.diplomacy.edu/
IEF events at the UN Climate Change Conference, Paris, December 2015
The IEF had an active presence at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) at Le Bourget in Paris, France, on 30 November-11 December 2015. The International Environment Forum organizing three events in the Climate Generations area for civil society, and co-sponsoring a side event at the intergovernmental conference. The Baha'is partnered in a side event on ethics at the intergovernmental conference, with an IEF member participating. Eleven IEF members were part of our team in Paris. Watch two introductory videos: "A look at the Baha'i International Community delegation at COP21" at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28tUVudNLA4, and "IEF comes to COP21" at https://vimeo.com/152629840
The Baha'i International Community issued a statement for the conference: Shared Vision, Shared Volition: Choosing Our Global Future Together available at https://www.bic.org/statements/shared-vision-shared-volition-choosing-o… and on this web site at http://iefworld.org/bic_cop21. The Baha'i Community of France translated it into French at http://www.bahai.fr/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/2015-1112-BIC-COP21-FR.pdf and on this web site at http://iefworld.org/bic_cop21fr.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has quoted from the new Baha'i International Community (BIC) statement for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris.
The full statement "Shared Vision, Shared Volition: Choosing Our Global Future Together" is at http://iefworld.org/bic_cop21 or https://www.bic.org/statements/shared-vision-shared-volition-choosing-o….
Conference on Climate Change in Sarajevo
On 23 November, IEF member Laurent Mesbah helped to organize and moderated a conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the topic "BiH Road to COP21 – In Anticipation of the World Climate Conference".
Shared Vision, Shared Volition: Choosing Our Global Future Together
A statement of the Bahá'í International Community to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, France
Paris—23 November 2015
Anthropogenic climate change is not inevitable; humanity chooses its relationships with the natural world. This lies at the heart of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP 21), the efforts of which are, in many ways, focused on identifying means by which better choices can be made. The current global order has often approached the natural world as a reservoir of material resources to be exploited. The grave consequences of this paradigm have become all too apparent, and more balanced relationships among the peoples of the world and the planet are clearly needed. The question today is how new patterns of action and interaction can best be established, both individually and collectively, through personal choices, social systems, and governing institutions.
Workshop on Sustainable Lifestyles and Education
Vienna, Austria, 20 November 2015
The Global Research Forum on Sustainable Production and Consumption (GRF-SPaC http://grf-spc.weebly.com/) and the Partnership for Education and research about Responsible Living (PERL http://www.livingresponsibly.org), both long-time partners of IEF, held a joint strategy workshop at the Vienna University of Economics and Business on 20 November 2015. The workshop was hosted by the Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development Vienna (RCE Vienna) at the Institute for Ecological Economics, and was facilitated by Vanessa Timmer of One Earth and GRF-SPaC (see November Leaves). IEF was represented by Victoria Thoresen, PERL Coordinator, and Arthur Dahl.
ECPD 11th International Conference in Belgrade
The European Center for Peace and Development of the University for Peace Established by the United Nations held its 11th International Conference in Belgrade, Serbia, on 24-25 October 2015 on the theme "Future of the World Between Globalization and Regionalization". The International Environment Forum, through its President, Arthur Dahl, has been collaborating with the ECPD for a number of years in its work on reconciliation, religious tolerance and human security in the Balkans. The conference took place in the Belgrade City Hall, and began with a welcoming address from Sir James Mancham, founding President of the Republic of Seychelles, and a keynote from Prof. Dr. Erhard Busek, former Vice-Chancellor of Austria.