The national administrative body of the American Baha'i Community sent a third message on climate change in three years to all its members in March 2012 to raise awareness of the moral dimensions of this issue and to call for specific actions during Earth Week (22-29 April). It is collaborating with Interfaith Moral Action on Climate Change (http://www.interfaithactiononclimatechange.org/).
The global change research programmes of the International Council for Science (ICSU) organized a major science conference in London, England, on 26-29 March 2012 titled: Planet Under Pressure 2012: New Knowledge Towards Solutions. The conference aimed to provide scientific leadership towards the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development - Rio+20.
Among the many activities planned at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June 2012, the secretariat is organizing SDlearning courses in the main conference venue for delegates and other participants, and proposals for courses were solicited from all accredited organizations (http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=147). IEF submitted a proposal for a course on Values-based Leadership for Sustainability - Concepts and Capabilities which is now on the official conference web site (http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?page=view&type=700&nr=120&menu…), where the public is invited to vote for their favorite course from the 69 proposed, with a deadline of 13 April 2012.
A new Bahá'í International Community statement on eliminating extremes of wealth and poverty has just been presented to the UN Commission for Social Development, and discussed at a UN panel session on 6 February 2012 (http://bic.org/home-stories/inequality-between-rich-and-poor-highlighte…). The statement provides initial considerations on a theme that should also be considered in the discussions on the green economy at the coming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012.
The UN Secretary-General's High-level Advisory Panel on Global Sustainability (GSP) released it's final report on 30 January with a launch event in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The 99 page report and a 25 page overview of it, along with a press release from the launch event, can be found at: www.un.org/gsp/report. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's statement from the GSP launch event can be found at: http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=5831.
On 10 January the UNCSD Rio+20 bureau released the zero draft of the outcome document for Rio+20, "The Future We Want": http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?page=view&type=12&nr=324&menu=…. This draft is based on hundreds of submissions from governments and civil society, including IEF, compiled at http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=115. It will serve as the basis for intergovernmental negotiations leading up to the conference in June, starting in New York on 25-27 January.
The IEF collaborated with the Baha'i International Community in the launching of action plans on climate change from the major religions at a celebration at Windsor Castle in 2009. One of the outcomes was a proposal from the Mayor of Jerusalem to create a network of pilgrimage cities, and this has now been launched with the aim of making pilgrimage a greener experience.
The Climate Ethics Campaign is aiming for 1,000 endorsements of its new climate change statement by November 30th, the day the campaign plans to officially release and circulate the statement on Capitol Hill.
A representative of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha‘is of the United States recently endorsed the statement, titled “Statement of Our Nation’s Moral Obligation to Address Climate Change”
The Brazilian government and the UN have just announced (4 November) a change of dates for the Rio+20 conference to 20-22 June 2011, with the 3rd PrepCom on 13-15 June. This will be confirmed by the Bureau at the end of November. The dates of the parallel IEF Annual Conference in Rio will be changed accordingly.
SUBMISSION TO THE BUREAU OF THE
UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENT FORUM
25 October 2011
The International Environment Forum (http://iefworld.org), a Bahá'í-inspired professional organization for environment and sustainability with members in over 50 countries, accredited to WSSD in the science and technology major group, offers the following specific elements for the compilation of the zero draft outcome document for UNCSD next year.