IEF 11th Annual Conference programme

Submitted by admin on 23. August 2010 - 22:56
12-14 October 2007
Ottawa, Canada

11th Conference of the International Environment Forum

Responding to Climate Change:
Scientific Realities, Spiritual Imperatives
Ottawa, Canada
12-14 October 2007

Co-organized by the
Bahá'í Community of Canada
and the
 International Environment Forum


You-tube videos and presentations at
Materials are posted under the presenters' names
and programme schedule, and linked directly below

with links to presentations, videos (YouTube) and audio recordings

Friday, 12 October 2007
2:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

  Susanne Tamas, Bahá'í Community of Canada

Introductory remarks / overview
 Arthur Dahl, President, International Environment Forum

Scientific Realities of Climate Change

The science of climate change, with a specific focus on the Arctic region
 John Stone, Adjunct Research Professor, Geography and Environmental Studies, Carleton University
[Download presentation 5.9mb]
Video and presentation available on e-conference web site

From the Arctic to the Small Island Developing States: Ethics and Adaptation
 John Crump, Polar Issues Coordinator, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
[Download presentation 2.1mb]
Video and presentation available on e-conference web site

The impact of climate change on northern culture, people, and livelihoods
 Robin Anawak, Environmental Researcher, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), the National Inuit Organization
[Download presentation 5mb]
Presentation also available on e-conference web site

Questions and Answers – Open discussion

Climate Change: Ethical Considerations
 Convenor: Sylvia Karlsson, IEF

Ethical challenges of climate change
 Arthur Dahl, Coordinator of the UNEP/University of Geneva Environmental Diplomacy Programme, Switzerland; President, International Environment Forum
[Download presentation 2.5mb] [full paper]
Video and presentation available on e-conference web site

The spirit of climate change
 Heather Eaton, Associate Professor, Feminist Theology; Ecology; Contemporary Theology and Spirituality, St. Paul University, Canada
Paper (speaking notes) available here.
Video available on e-conference web site.

Questions and Answers – Open Discussion and round table with all of the presenters

Closing Remarks

Saturday, 13 October 2007
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


Opening Devotional [Download presentation 5.6mb]

Welcome and Introductory Remarks
 Convenor: Diana Cartwright, Advisor on Sustainable Development, Baha'i Community of Canada

An Inconvenient Truth: A multimedia presentation on climate change
 Michael Gerbis, CEO, The Delphi Group
Notes from presentation (by volunteer reporter)
Video of question/discussion session available on e-conference web site

Questions / Open Discussion on the moral implications of the presentation

Addressing the ethical implications of climate change: Local to Global Approaches
Convenor: Diana Cartwright, Advisor on Sustainable Development, Baha'i Community of Canada

Faith-based NGOs and the Common Good
 Ted Reeve, Secretary, Leadership and Theological Education, for the General Council of The United Church of Canada, and Executive Director, Faith and the Common Good Network
[Download presentation 380kb]
Video and presentation available on e-conference web site

Governance of Energy from the Local to the Global - A Necessity for Climate Change Mitigation
 Sylvia Karlsson, Finland Futures Research Centre, Turku School of Economics, Finland; Associate Member of the Club of Rome; Secretary-General of the International Environment Forum
[Download presentation 7.1mb]
Video and presentation available on e-conference web site

The Bahá’í International Community at the United Nations: Global Focus on Climate Change and Sustainable Development
 Tahirih Naylor, Representative to the United Nations, Bahá’í International Community, New York
Video available on e-conference web site

Questions and Answers – Open discussion

PANEL: Reflections on Value-based Approaches to Environmental Action: Lessons Learned and Challenges Ahead
 Convenor: Arthur Dahl

  Clive Doucet, Poet, Author, City Councillor, Ottawa, Canada
Video available on e-conference web site

 Peter Adriance, NGO Liaison, National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the U.S.
[Download presentation 32kb]
Video and presentation available on e-conference web site

  Jessica Lax, Director, The Otesha Project
Video available on e-conference web site

Open Discussion / Questions and Answers

The Development of Moral Capabilities for Sustainable Action
Convenor: Duncan Hanks

 Gordon Naylor, National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada; President and CEO of Hatt's Off Specialized Services; President of Nancy Campbell Collegiate Institute and Breakwell Learning
[Download presentation 48kb]
Video available on e-conference web site

Small group discussions on harnessing moral and spiritual values to drive community, organizational and individual action on climate change
Audio recording (mp3) of reports of group discussion, presided by Gordon Naylor [Download mp3 recording 8.8mb]

Saturday evening 13 October 2007


One Planet, One People, One Common Cause:
A Celebration of the Environment

Mac Hall, Bronson Centre, 211 Bronson Avenue, Ottawa, ON Canada
A special artistic program and interfaith celebration on the environment co-organized by the Bahá’í community of Ottawa and “Faith and the Common Good”. [Download programme pdf 708kb]

Welcome and opening performance
 Hosts/MCs for the evening: Tony Michel and Jane Lefeuvre
 Rosemary Peterson sings

Opening comments and short keynote
  Diana Cartwright, on behalf of the International Environment Forum and the Bahá’í Community

The Climate Symphony
 Marty Quinn
The Climate Symphony integrates the art of music with the science of glaciology, chemistry and climatology in the new science of art and sonification.

Faith and the Common Good, Green Sacred Space awards ceremony
Celebrating the steps various faith groups have taken to green their sacred spaces.

The Otesha Project
Lively, funny and inspiring performance about the changes we can make every day.

Closing performance
 Rosemary Peterson and daughter sing

A small sampling of local environmental groups had displays and information about local environmental activities available.

Sunday, 14 October 2007


International Environment Forum General Assembly and Annual Meeting
  Arthur Dahl, IEF President
Report of the IEF General Assembly

Opening Devotional
Opening remarks by Peter Adriance and Diana Cartwright [Download mp3 recording 564kb]
Devotional about Richard St.Barbe Baker [Download presentation 7.8mb] [Download mp3 recording 5.2mb]

Living Lightly: Inspirational Examples of Taking Action
Opening and summary of Saturday session by Peter Adriance [Download mp3 recording 5.1mb]

Inspiring examples and slides of what individuals can do to take action
  David Chernushenko, Producer, the Living Lightly Project and Member of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE)
[Download presentation 3.4mb] [Download mp3 recording 9.7mb]
Video available on e-conference web site

Learning to Make Responsible Choices: The Consumer Citizenship Network
  Victoria Thoresen, Associate Professor, Education, Hedmark University College, Norway; Project Manager, Consumer Citizenship Network
[Download presentation 9.7mb] [Download mp3 recording 6.6mb]
Video available on e-conference web site

Questions and Answers / Open Discussion

WORKSHOP: Creating Action Plans that Address Spiritual Values in our Personal and Community Activities
 Facilitators: Diana Cartwright and Peter Adriance
[Download presentation 560kb]

Conclusions and Closing Remarks – Next Steps
  Arthur Dahl, President, IEF [Download mp3 recording 6.8mb]
Acknowledgements and thanks by Duncan Hanks [Download mp3 recording 3mb]


For the e-conference, abstracts of talks, powerpoint presentations, recordings of the major speakers, and summaries of the discussions were posted on the e-conference site ( as they became available. Participants registered for the e-conference also received notices by e-mail. These materials are now all linked from the programme above. Additional downloads are also available for other parts of the conference.

Resource Materials for the e-conference
A compilation of Baha'i resource materials on environment and sustainable development prepared for this conference is at the resource materials page.

Children’s Program
An environmental children's program (ages 5-13) was provided by CanaDiana UnlimiTed on Saturday and Sunday that included the 'Cosmic Walk' looking at the Wonders of Creation and a visit to the Museum of Nature.


Peter Adriance has served as non-governmental organization (NGO) liaison for the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the U.S. since 1990, with a primary focus on issues of the environment and sustainable development. He represents the U.S. Bahá'í community at related national and international fora and was a contributor to the decade-long effort to draft the Earth Charter – a global ethic for sustainability. In 2003 he helped found the U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development, and currently serves as vice-chair of its board of directors and co-chair of its faith sector team. He develops programs of education for sustainable development for the Bahá'í community and helps it to engage with others on that subject. He has been a member of the Governing Board of the International Environment Forum since 1998. Mr. Adriance has an M.B.A. from the University of Massachusetts and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Alfred University.

Robin Anawakis a Junior Environmental Researcher with Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), the National Inuit Organization, where he has been working for a little over a year.

Diana Cartwright has promoted environmental initiatives and sustainability in various faith communities across Ottawa. She is on the National Board for Faith and the Common Good (FCG), an interfaith organization focussed re-establishing our sacred relationships with the Earth and with each other, and is the current Chair of the local Ottawa chapter of FCG.

She represented the Baha'i Community of Canada at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 and continues to advise the Baha’i community on sustainable development issues.

Diana works at Environment Canada as a senior policy advisor in the Strategic Policy Directorate, addressing ecolabelling and sustainable consumption issues. Previously she worked for the Delphi Group, a consulting company, where she managed The EXCEL Partnership, an organization of business environmental leaders from across Canada.

Prior to obtaining a degree in Environmental Resource Studies at the University of Waterloo, she performed across Canada as a professional dancer, actor and singer.

David Chernushenko is an expert communicator of ideas for creating healthy, abundant livelihoods. He helps individuals and organizations find ways to prosper by tapping their personal values, creativity and enthusiasm and directing them toward action that is both practical and fulfilling. He works to promote the idea of living lightly on the Earth and in society, and to connect practitioners with like-minded allies next door and around the world.

David has written three books on sustainable management practices and delivered hundreds of uplifting speeches and workshops in more than 20 countries.

David co-founded Clean Air Champions, a national charity that involves athletes in raising public awareness about air pollution, climate change and the benefits of physical activity. From 1998 to 2004, he served on the International Olympic Committee’s advisory commission on Sport and the Environment

He is a member of Canada’s National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy, and he is a “green building” professional accredited by the LEED building certification program.

David is currently producing the Living Lightly Project, a film and online initiative. It’s goal is to share the stories, solutions and passion of a growing movement of people working to build a rich future for all on a healthy planet.

John Crump is currently the Polar Issues Coordinator of UNEP/GRID-Arendal. His academic background is in journalism, communications and political economy. He has a Master's Degree in Northern and Native Studies from Carleton University. His practical northern experience began when he migrated to the Yukon Territory in the early 1980s and got hooked on all things northern.

After working with CBC Radio in the Yukon, he was Cabinet Communications Advisor to Tony Penikett's NDP government. Currently residing in Ottawa, John has worked on policy issues for the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, been government relations manager for the Nunavut Planning Commission, and Executive Director of the Canadian Arctic Resources Committee (CARC). He was also Executive Secretary of the Indigenous Peoples' Secretariat in Copenhagen, Denmark.

He has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in journalism, public administration and geography Yukon College in Whitehorse, Carleton University and the University of Trier in the beautiful Mosel Valley in Germany.

Dr.Arthur Lyon Dahl of Geneva, Switzerland, is Coordinator of the UNEP/University of Geneva Environmental Diplomacy Programme, and a retired Deputy Assistant Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), where he was Deputy Director of the Oceans and Coastal Areas Programme, Coordinator of the UN System-wide Earthwatch and Director of the Coral Reef Unit. He is also a consultant to international organizations on environmental assessment, observing strategies, indicators of sustainability, coral reefs, biodiversity, islands (, environmental education, and social and economic development.

He holds an AB in Biological Sciences from Stanford University and a PhD in Biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. A specialist on coral reef ecology and small island developing states, he spent many years in the South Pacific and organized the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme. He represented the Baha'i International Community at the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment (1972), was in the Secretariat of the Rio Earth Summit (1992) to help prepare Agenda 21, and organized several parallel events at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg, 2002). He has participated in various interfaith gatherings on the environment, including the Word Summit on Religions and Conservation and the World Parliament of Religions.

He is President of the International Environment Forum and on the governing boards of the European Baha'i Business Forum and the Global Islands Network. He has published many scientific papers and books including "The Eco Principle: Ecology and Economics in Symbiosis".

Clive Doucet is currently serving as a city Councillor for his home Capital Ward in Ottawa, Canada, a position which he has held since 1997. Mr. Doucet is also poet and author having published over a dozen books, including his latest publication: “Urban Meltdown: Cities, Climate Change and Politics as Usual.” He began his career at the Federal Ministry of Urban Affairs (MSUA) where he was one of the authors of The Federal Urban Domain, a multi-volume evaluation of the federal government’s urban properties. Subsequently, he worked as policy advisor in the Ontario Municipal Affairs Ministry’s local government reform section. At the federal level, he has held a variety of communications and policy positions.

He has a Bachelor of Arts with honours degree in Urban Anthropology from the University of Toronto, and a Masters degree (MSc) from the Université de Montréal. He is married with two children.

Heather Eaton, Professor, Saint Paul University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in ecology, feminism and theology from the University of St. Michael's College, Toronto School of Theology, and a Master's of Divinity. Engaged in religious responses to the ecological crisis, particularly the relationship between ecological, feminist and liberation theologies. Committed to inter-religious responses to ecological crisis. Taught courses in these areas at St Michael's College, T.S.T.; Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University; and Saint Paul University. Involved in numerous conferences, workshops, teaching and publishing in these areas. Dr. Eaton is the co-founder of the Canadian Forum on Religion and Ecology.

Michael Gerbis is the CEO of the Delphi Group, a strategic consulting firm operating within the spheres corporate sustainability, climate change and clean energy. Michael oversees the growth and strategic direction of The Delphi Group. On the project side, Michael provides strategic direction to corporate and government leaders, assisting them to develop and implement actions that will enhance corporate competitiveness and productivity, while transforming the organization into one that is more environmentally and socially responsible.

Michael has more than 15 years experience in both the operational and strategic aspects of environmental management. Prior to joining Delphi, Michael owned and operated a successful environmental engineering consulting firm.

He has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Chemical Eng. and a Masters Degree in Environmental Engineering. He is actively involved in the community - coaching minor hockey, and sitting on the board of directors for Ottawa's Young Environmental Professionals and The Climate Project - Canada. Michael is also actively engaged in the education of youth through SHAD Valley International and regularly making presentations to university and high school students around the province on issues such as climate change, clean energy and sustainable development.

Duncan Hanks is the Executive Director of the Canadian Baha’i International Development Agency ( He has lived and worked internationally for twenty years supporting social and economic development programs in education, youth training, leadership, public and primary health, public administration and governance, information and communication technologies, organizational capacity building and the use of participatory methodologies for sustainable development.

Duncan also works as an independent international development consultant. He is a founding director of Wave Energy Technologies Inc., a private Canadian business harnessing renewable ocean wave energy for electrical generation, desalination, and aquaculture. He is engaged in both business development and corporate social responsibility. He is also a founding member of Breakwell Education Association, a not-for-profit corporation advancing academic excellence and moral education in schools.

He has a Master’s degree in International Development Management and an undergraduate degree in Administrative and Commercial Studies. He has executive experience working in NGO administration, project and program development and management, and management training in Canada, United States, Indonesia, Bolivia and Ecuador. He currently resides with his wife and two children in Canada.

Dr.Sylvia Karlsson is a Research Fellow of the Academy of Finland based at the Finland Futures Research Centre, Turku School of Economics, Finland, studying international governance of energy and climate change. She has an M.Sc. in Biology/Ecotoxicology from Uppsala University and a Ph.D. in political science from Linköping University, Sweden, where her research focused on multi-level environmental governance. She held a position as Postdoctoral Fellow at the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy in 2003/04, analysing the negotiation process of the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Between 2001 and 2003, Dr. Karlsson worked as International Science Project Coordinator at the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP) in Bonn, Germany. She has worked shorter periods for UNEP Chemicals and the Economic Development Institute of the World Bank.

In parallel to her studies and research, she has been actively engaged in the NGO processes of the Rio Conference and the World Summit for Social Development. At the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg she headed the delegation of the International Environment Forum for which she serves as Secretary General since its foundation in 1997. She is an Associate Member of the Club of Rome and a Trustee of One World Trust.

Jessica Lax. In early 2002, Jessica Lax, 21 years old, from Ottawa, was studying in a traveling field school in Kenya along with Jocelyn Land-Murphy. Their experiences left them overwhelmed with the inequity between life in North America and the lives of many Kenyans. They felt powerless as individuals to change such extensive problems - until they sought their own solutions by bringing it down to a personal level. They began to alter their own lifestyles to reflect the change they wanted to see in the world. They began to dream of the impacts that could result should this mindset of conscious choices spread amongst Canada's youth.

On Feb 16, 2002, in Kitale, Kenya, the Otesha Project was created. Otesha means ‘reason to dream’ in Ki-Swahili. The organization is based on the belief that there are alternatives to our society of over-consumption, and that each one of us has the opportunity to have a positive impact, every single day. Within just five years, The Otesha Project has reached over 65,000 people directly with their theatre presentations and workshops inspiring youth to re-evaluate their daily choices to reflect the kind of world they want to live in. Otesha has also co-ordinated 10 bike tours that have reached thousands of students across Canada, and trained over 300 sustainability ACT-ors to deliver presentations. "The Otesha Book, From Junk to Funk" was self-published in 2005, and was written collaboratively by over 30 hopeful hooligans from across Canada. Recently awarded the YouthActionNet award, the Tooker Gomberg award, the CAMBIO award, and the outstanding non-profit EECOM award – Otesha has been widely recognized for its innovative and creative activism.

Gordon Naylor has over 25 years of experience as the Executive Director of his privately-owned social services agency for residential treatment which now employs more than two hundred employees. He has been instrumental in creating, developing and successfully implementing programmes for the education and empowerment of youth and families in North and South America. The development of human potential has been the focus of his work for more than thirty years. He has completed graduate studies in International Education, Clinical Psychology and Educational Administration. Mr. Naylor has lectured extensively throughout the world on education and moral leadership. He is the founder and Executive Director of the Nancy Campbell Collegiate Institute (NCCI) which opened in the fall of 1994 in Stratford, Ontario as a private, international, co-educational secondary. Mr. Naylor is president and C.E.O. of several other family-owned and run companies managed through his Holding Company, which include real estate development, service sector businesses, and philanthropic charities. Mr. Naylor is a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada and served as a representative to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002.

Tahirih Naylor joined the staff of the Bahá’í International Community to the United Nations (New York) as a representative in July 2006. Prior to coming to New York, she worked as an external affairs representative in the Office of Governmental Relations for the Bahá’í Community of Canada.

Ms. Naylor completed a degree in sociology and studied law at Osgoode Hall Law School specializing in international, comparative and transnational law. She interned in the field of immigration law and subsequently practiced in the Ontario Crown Attorney’s Family Responsibility Office with a focus on the legal rights of women and children.

A member of the governing body of the Nancy Campbell Collegiate Institute and the Stratford College of Liberal Arts, Ms. Naylor has a deep interest in the role of education in development. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Lazos Learning Association whose goal is to make available educational materials designed for social and economic development.

Ms. Naylor has participated in volunteer service projects in over twenty-five countries and lived in South America and Canada.

Marty Quinn is a scientist at the Climate Change Research Center at the University of New Hampshire and is a computer scientist and composer/percussionist. He has collaborated to create a uniquely entertaining and enlightening theatrical presentation of 110,000 years of earth's climate history. 'The Climate Symphony' is based directly on research analysis of the nearly two miles of ice core samples retrieved from the Greenland Ice Sheet over the past decade. As audiences are transported across time, they experience the forces of nature that cause the climate through music. The interdependent play of the geophysical and astronomical cycles of nature weave an intricate and beautiful sonority. The Climate Symphony integrates the art of music with the science of glaciology, chemistry, and climatology. The audience is also introduced to the new science and art of sonification: the transformation of data into music and sound. Marty Quinn, as creator of the software used to produce 'The Climate Symphony', explores the frontier of sonification using patterns of music and drumming and opens the mind to new approaches to perceiving scientific knowledge. His singular performance as actor, master percussionist, software engineer and host combine to produce a memorable and enjoyable experience.

Rev. Dr.Ted Reeve is a religious social ethicist with special interests in economics, health and ecology. These days he combines these fields into eco-sustainability to indicate the inter-relatedness of economics, ecology, and ecumenism in seeking a sustainable future. He is Secretary, Leadership and Theological Education, for the General Council of The United Church of Canada and Executive Director of Faith & the Common Good Network.

Dr. John M.R. Stone is an Adjunct Research Professor at Carleton University. He graduated with a BSc in Chemistry (Special Honours) in 1966 and a PhD in Molecular Spectroscopy in 1969 both from the University of Reading in the UK. He came to Canada as a Post-doctoral researcher in 1969 working at the National Research Council in the spectroscopy section under G. Herzberg. He then spent a year at the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences in Prague before returning to Canada to continue his research interests at the University of Sherbrooke.

In 1972 he joined the Public Service of Canada assuming increasing responsibilities first in the Ministry of State for Science and Technology, and later in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the National Research Council's Bureau of International Affairs and finally Environment Canada. He retired in 2005. During the last 15 years of his career he directed research programs on climate and atmospheric sciences as well as developed policy on a range of environmental issues.

He has had considerable experience in international science and has served Canada through his affiliation with the NATO Science Committee, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, the UN/ECE Senior Advisors on Science and Technology, UN the Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Scientific Steering Committee for the START program and as co-Chair for the Canada-Germany S&T Agreement. In 1997 he was appointed to the Bureau of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), specifically as Vice-Chair of Working Group I, and has since been re-appointed, now as a Vice-Chair of Working Group II. The IPCC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 (announced the morning the conference opened).

Susanne Tamas has served as Director of Governmental Relations for the Bahá'í Community of Canada since 1997, engaging with government officials and national non-governmental organizations concerning policy issues related to human rights and global prosperity and supporting bilateral and multilateral action on behalf of Bahá’ís facing religious persecution.

Her professional experience ranges from elementary school counselor to junior high school librarian; ESL teacher to correspondence tutor; primary school teacher to College Registrar. In each of these occupations, she has worked closely with students of all ages and ethno-cultural backgrounds in Yukon, Nunavut, NWT, five provinces across Canada and briefly in Ghana. Susanne‘s graduate studies focused on issues related to citizenship as the basis of social cohesion in a pluralist society.

Susanne was appointed as an Auxiliary Board Member in 1990 and was released from that service in 1997 in order to take up her responsibilities as Director of the Office of Governmental Relations. She was elected to membership on the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada in April 1999 and is currently serving as its Chairperson.

Susanne and her husband Andy live in Almonte, Ontario. They are blessed with two children in their late 30s and three grandchildren.

Victoria Wyszynski Thoresen is Associate Professor in education at Hedmark University College, Norway, and project manager of the Consumer Citizenship Network, an international network of researchers and educators in cooperation with UNESCO and UNEP. She has specialized in curriculum development, global education, peace education, value-based education, lifelong learning and consumer education. In addition to many years of experience as a teacher and teacher trainer, she has been a member of the Norwegian board for the revision of the country's core curriculum. Thoresen has written textbooks for schools and teacher training and has been project leader of several Nordic and European projects. As well as functioning as an international educational consult, she is a member of the Norwegian Baha'i Office of Social and Economic Development, a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Norway, a board member of the International Environment Forum, and head of the board of the Norwegian Peace Center.


Last updated 30 November 2007