Leaves 13(2) February 2011


Newsletter of the
Volume 13, Number 2 --- February 2011


Website: iefworld.org
Article submission: newsletter@iefworld.org Deadline next issue: 10 March 2011
Secretariat Email: ief@iefworld.org General Secretary: Emily Firth
Postal address: 12B Chemin de Maisonneuve, CH-1219 Chatelaine, Geneva, Switzerland

Please share the Leaves newsletter and IEF membership information with family, friends and asociates. Please encourage interested persons to consider becoming a member of the IEF.

The changes required to reorient the world toward a sustainable future imply degrees of sacrifice, social integration, selfless action and unity of purpose rarely achieved in human history. These qualities have reached their highest degree of development through the power of religion.
Bahá‘í International Community, Earth Charter, 1991

Request for information for IEF Website & Newsletters

Climate change initiatives and action at the community level

In light of the growing number of climate change activities taking place in communities around the world a new space is being created on the IEF website to facilitate the sharing of information, experiences and initiatives within the IEF membership base. The idea is to establish a place for mutual learning between members which will be light, dynamic and interactive and provide further insight into the motivations and development of these initiatives.

Members are invited to contribute a brief overview (around 250-300 words) to ief@iefworld.org, outlining activities that will bring to light experiences of how environmental and climate aspects are integrated into both the core activities and the "rhythm of community life".

Also, if you would like to contribute towards the creation and development of this part of the website, please contact Emily Firth at ief@iefworld.org.


IEF Website Updates and New Postings

IEF members who want password access to the IEF web site should either email info@iefworld.org or register on the web site. Those registering on the web site should use their own name as a log-in name, as the site is flooded with applications from forum spammers, and unrecognizable names may be deleted in block.

Additional videos and a photo album have been added to the report of the 14th IEF Conference in Brighton, and other videos are still being edited.


International Environmental Governance

The UNEP Major Group and Stakeholders Advisory Group on International Environmental Governance, which is co-coordinated by IEF President Arthur Dahl, has prepared an official information document for the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum for its meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, 21-24 February 2011.

The document, UNEP/GC.26/INF/19 on Civil Society and International Environmental Governance, can be downloaded from UNEP at http://www.unep.org/gc/gc26/information-docs.asp. The Advisory Group will meet in Nairobi, and Arthur Dahl will participate in a high-level panel on international environmental governance (IEG) during the Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum.

Arthur will also go to the United Nations in New York on 5-9 March to participate in a side event on IEG, which is being organized by UNEP and civil society organizations during the Preparatory Committee for Rio+20 (the UN Conference on Sustainable Development to be held in Rio de Janeiro in May 2012).


National Geographic Changemakers Prize Awarded to IEF Member Austin Bowden-Kerby

Austin Bowden-Kerby, a Bahá‘í pioneer to Fiji, was one of 250 applicants for a prestigious international award through National Geographic‘s Changemakers. His application described an innovative social and economic development project "Coral Gardens – Living Reefs" which is helping to transform tourism, increase fish stocks, alleviate poverty, and conserve coral reefs.

Then Austin was named one of 12 finalists – and now he has been named one of the three winners, each of whom will receive a prize of USD $5,000. This National Geographic website shows the project with the winner's cup at http://www.changemakers.com/node/93448?breadcrumb_type=finalists.

Austin described his project: Reefs provide food and income for coastal communities and are a foundation of tourism, producing white sandy beaches and protecting shorelines. My idea has been to actively involve communities and the tourism industry in planting and caring for corals, with the dive industry trained to care for dive sites, and with resorts taking on trained "coral gardeners". Guests can also become involved and learn about reefs while they help plant corals and garden the reefs, giving something back to the destination and to the planet. To learn more about Austin‘s project, please visit http://www.coralsforconservation.com.


The Rabbani Charitable Trust SED Conference

IEF Board member Peter Adriance was a keynote speaker at the Rabbani Charitable Trust‘s 2010 Bahá'í Conference on Social and Economic Development in Orlando, Florida on 17-19 December 2010. The conference theme was "Deeds, Not Words: Uniting the Spiritual and the Practical", and Peter's talk was on "Faithful Environmental Stewardship: the role of religion in addressing the environmental crisis".

You can view Peter‘s PowerPoint slide presentation at http://www.scribd.com/doc/46218779/Faithful-Environmental-Stewardship-O…. (log in to Facebook in order to download it) and you can download and listen to the audio recording at: http://sed.skyrunner.net/2010%20SED%20Peter%20Adriance.mp3. An exhibit on IEF was also on display during the conference.

For more information on the SED conference in general, please visit http://www.rabbanitrust.org/bahai_sed_conference.htm. You can download a variety of presenter‘s materials from conferences 1999 through 2010.

You may download free compressed mp3 files of plenary session speakers from 2005 through 2010 at http://sed.skyrunner.net, or you can order CDs by writing to Don Davis, 5 Ravenscroft Drive, Asheville, NC 28801, USA or Email don@skyrunner.net

The audio files available to download at no charge include:
2005: Dorothy Nelson, Fariborz Sabha, Eloy Anello, Eloy Anello - Q&A, Bill Davis 1, Bill Davis 1 – Q&A
2006: Rebeqqa Murphy, John Grayzel, Bill Davis, Ehsan Hemmat, Gordon Naylor
2007: Erica Toussaint, Adamou Kombo, Debbie Kirton, Dan Scott, Gordon Naylor
2008: Caryl Stern, Arthur Dahl, Halldor Thorgeirsson, Tahirih Naylor-Thimm, Duncan Hanks, Farzin Aghdasi, Erica Toussant
2009: Gordon Naylor, Glenford Mitchell 1, Counsellor Debbie Kirton, Glenford Mitchell 2, William Davis
2010: Sovaida Ma'ani Ewing, Peter Adriance, Erica Toussaint-Brock, Roy Steiner


USA Interfaith Power & Light Preach-In on Global Warming

This interfaith effort in the USA is in progress February 11-13. When more information is available, we will share it. If you listen to Peter Adriance‘s session at the SED Conference, he mentions this effort.


New Publications, Book Reviews
Prosperity without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet

Remember Rethinking Prosperity: Forging Alternatives to a Culture of Consumerism by the Bahá‘í International Community to the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development in May 2010? If you do not have a copy, you can read it or download a PDF version of the document at either the IEF website at http://iefworld.org/biccsd18.html or at the BIC website at http://bic.org/statements-and-reports/bic-statements/rethink-prosperity…

At that UN meeting, Tim Jackson was a panel member, along with IEF Governing Board Members Peter Adriance and Victoria Thoresen (panel members) and Duncan Hanks (moderator).

Tim Jackson is Professor of Sustainable Development and Director of the Research group on Lifestyles, Values and Environment (RESOLVE). He joined the University of Surrey in January 1995 under an EPSRC Fellowship on energy and environment, after five years as Senior Researcher at the Stockholm Environment Institute. In April 2004, Tim was appointed as Economics Commissioner to the UK Sustainable Development Commission (SDC). He is a co-author of the WorldWatch Institute's influential State of the World 2008 on sustainable economies. For a much more detailed biography, please see http://www.ces-surrey.org.uk/people/staff/tjackson.shtml.

Tim‘s book Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet is available in both hardcover and paperback and chapters include:
1. Prosperity Lost
2. The Age of Irresponsibility
3. Redefining Prosperity
4. The Dilemma of Growth
5. The Myth of Decoupling
6. The 'Iron Cage' of Consumerism
7. Keynesianism and the 'Green New Deal'
8. Ecological Macro-economics
9. Flourishing – Within Limits
10. Governance for Prosperity
11. The Transition to a Sustainable Economy
12. A Lasting Prosperity

The following description of the book is taken from the Amazon.com website.

Prosperity without Growth challenges the embedded, unquestioned assumptions of the global policy of growth and shows that it is necessary — and possible — to have increased and widespread prosperity without economic growth. The modern economy is reliant on economic growth for stability. When growth falters, politicians panic, businesses fail, people lose jobs, and recession looms. Tim Jackson argues, however, that continual growth is just not possible, not sustainable — to believe so is ignoring our knowledge of the finite resource base and fragile ecology in which we live.

The book starts with a compelling analysis of the consequences — for the planet and for people‘s wellbeing — of the relentless pursuit of economic growth and material goods. It illustrates why a return to business as usual after the current financial crisis is not an option. Prosperity for a few founded on ecological destruction and persistent social injustice is no foundation for a civilized society. The current economic crisis presents a unique opportunity to invest in change and a future that delivers lasting prosperity for the predicted 9 billion people who will inhabit the earth in 2050. The author — a leading expert and advisor to the UK government — concludes by outlining pathways towards a sustainable economy. It involves radically changing our "shop until you drop" mentality, as well as engaging other disruptive economic practices. Jackson doesn‘t claim this will be easy, but points out that while action is urgent, it is possible. The book opens up dialogue on the most urgent task of our times — the challenge of a new prosperity encompassing our ability to flourish as human beings — within the ecological limits of a finite planet.


Links to other resources

Judeo/Christian quotations on the environment
On the IEF website you will find quotations from the Bahá‘í Faith, the Qur‘an and the Bhagavad Gita, but do you sometimes find a need for Judeo/Christian quotations on the environment and stewardship?

The Recycling Program at the University of St Thomas in Minnesota, USA, posts 2,048 quotations on the environment, along with an author index! Many of the quotes could fit into more than one category, but for brevity's sake, each quote is listed only once. The numbers in parenthesis indicate the number of quotes in each category. You can find these at http://www.stthomas.edu/recycle/quote.htm.

Categories include:
Animals/Creatures (148), Consumerism/Overconsumption (299), Energy/Alternatives (89), Forests (141), Future (60), General Environmental Quotes (189), Global Warming (158), Land (134), Pollution (210), Plants (62), Recycling/Landfills (80), Sky (46), Stewardship (119), Sustainability (162), Water (151)


Calendar of Upcoming Events

UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, 21-24 February 2011
UNEP and civil society organizations meeting on IEG in New York at the UN during the Preparatory Committee for Rio+20, 6-8 March 2011
PERL International Conference, Istanbul, Turkey, 14-15 March 2011
15th IEF Annual Conference, Australia, 2011 (date and location to be determined)
Wilmette Institute Course on Sustainable Development and Prosperity of Humankind, 15 September-15 December 2011
United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 14-16 2012 (including 16th IEF Annual Conference)


Employment Opportunities

Please send information about positions available and positions desired to be included in upcoming newsletters.

Updated 14 February 2011