NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE BAHA'IS OF THE UNITED STATES
February 25, 2010
To the American Bahá'í community
Dearest Bahá'í Friends,
The Bahá'í International Community recently joined forces with several major world faiths to launch - as part of a broad interfaith effort in collaboration with the United Nations - a Seven Year Plan of Action on Climate Change. By encouraging close study of Bahá'í teachings on the environment, the Bahá'í plan seeks to stimulate a range of grassroots responses to the climate change problem.
It is evident that human pressures on the environment are escalating, and perhaps no threat is as severe as that of climate change. The world's scientists tell us the atmosphere is warming dangerously, in part as a result of human activity - primarily the burning of fossil fuels and the destruction of forests. The destabilization of the global climate system is in large measure a moral challenge, requiring humanity to develop a greater sense of stewardship and responsibility for the environment, as well as a greater awareness of the interdependence and oneness of all the earth's inhabitants.
As you continue your efforts to fulfill the goals of the Five Year Plan, we encourage you to study and reflect on the Bahá'í teachings on the environment and to incorporate greater awareness of the environment in your community life and core activities. Materials will be developed to facilitate this study, but many resources, both Bahá'í-inspired and others, are already available. A list of such helpful resources is attached to this letter.
Far from distracting from the processes of growth underway in our community, attention to environmental practices that respect the earth and foster the oneness of its inhabitants will serve to support and sustain these processes. To facilitate learning, we invite you to share with us how you are applying the Bahá'í teachings on the environment in your activities. We will be reporting on such efforts in The American Bahá'í and through other means. You are welcome to direct stories and inquiries to the Assembly's Office of External Affairs at email@example.com.
The beloved Master, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, gave us to understand that "the Lord of all mankind hath fashioned this human realm to be a Garden of Eden." Regarding the environment and the support of endeavors to protect it, we share the bright hope expressed by the Universal House of Justice that "armed with increased knowledge of this important subject, the friends will be inspired to lend their assistance to those who are striving to make this world 'an earthly paradise.'"
With loving Bahá'í greetings,
Kenneth E. Bowers
Resources on the Environment and Climate Change
Bahá'í or Bahá'í-inspired resources
The Bahá'í International Community - pages on social and sustainable development:
U.S. Bahá'í Website - page on sustainable development, provides links to several environmentally related stories and resources:
The International Environment Forum - a Bahá'í inspired organization addressing the environment and sustainable development. Its website contains numerous resources of interest, including relevant compilations and Bahá'í International Community statements: www.iefworld.org.
Other resources of interest
Interfaith Declaration on Climate Change - a statement endorsed by the Bahá'í International Community: www.interfaithdeclaration.org
Interfaith Power and Light - an interfaith program in response to climate change with tips and resources for faith communities
The Renewal Project - A documentary about how diverse faith communities are responding to environmental challenges (includes links to Bahá'í resources)
Last updated 28 May 2011