Annual Report 2015-2016

Report Year
2015-2016

International Environment Forum Annual Report

March 2015 to September 2016


The 20th Annual Report of the International Environment Forum summarizes the events and activities for the eighteen months from March 2015 to September 2016 between two annual conferences. This report will be presented at the 20th General Assembly of the IEF at Nur University in Santa Cruz, Bolivia on 9 October 2016.

19th ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENT FORUM

The 19th Annual Conference of the International Environment Forum (IEF) was held in association with the 10th International Conference of the Partnership for Education and Research about Responsible Living (PERL) at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France on 10-11 March 2015.

The theme of the conference was ‘A Decade of Responsible Living: Preparing, Engaging, Responding and Learning’. The conference was opened by the Assistant Director-General of UNESCO and representatives of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the European Commission, Hedmark University College, the Norwegian and Swedish Ministries, and a youth representative, and brought together about 120 participants from across Europe and around the world.

IEF enjoys a close partnership with PERL, which is directed by IEF member Victoria Thoresen of Hedmark University College. IEF contributed to the conference in the following ways:
• Organizing a special symposium on ethical transformation and education for service.
• IEF President Arthur Dahl presented a systems perspective in a paper on ‘A Multilevel Approach to Ethics, Service and Responsible Living’, showing that responsible and sustainable living cannot be achieved by each of us acting alone.
• IEF member Onno Vinkhuyzen presented a paper co-authored by IEF members Javier Gonzales Iwanciw, Onno Vinkhuyzen, Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen and Faviana Mendez Raya on ‘Valuing and Evaluating Leadership that Matters’.
• IEF member Ismael Velasco presented research on ‘An Evidence-Based Design Template for Effective Values and Behaviour Change Interventions’. He also discussed technology and social action based on field work in Bristol (UK), Greenland and Tanzania involving a vision of where the world is going, connection and action.
• IEF member Sylvia Karlsson-Vinhuyzen delivered a presentation on ‘Responsible Institutions – Responsible Individuals?’ addressing the importance of personal choice and commitment for responsible living in order to transform societies towards more just and sustainable ones.
• Victoria Thoresen, IEF member and PERL Director, participated in an International Roundtable on ‘Responsible Living around the Globe’.

Further details of IEF involvement in the conference as well as the full list of research presentations and abstracts are provided in the conference report at http://iefworld.org/conf19.

19th IEF GENERAL ASSEMBLY

The 19th IEF General Assembly was held on 11 March at UNESCO headquarters following the close of the PERL Conference.

Nine IEF members and one visitor engaged in the discussions which included a presentation of the 2014-15 IEF Annual Report, consultation on IEF’s engagement in the lead up to the UN Climate Conference (COP21) in Paris in December 2015, discussion on the task force set up by the IEF Governing Board to review the IEF and its functions, and consideration of holding the next IEF conference in Latin America in conjunction with the dedication of the Baha’i House of Worship in Chile in 2016.

The General Assembly and electronic voting elected the Governing Board: Arthur Dahl (Switzerland), Peter Adriance (USA), Emily Firth (Australia), Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen (Netherlands), Victoria Thoresen (Norway), Wendi Momen (UK) and Duncan Hanks (Canada).

The report of the 19th General Assembly is available on the IEF website at http://iefworld.org/genass19.

IEF GOVERNING BOARD

The IEF Governing Board elected Arthur Dahl as President and Emily Firth as General Secretary. The Board held five electronic meetings including teleconferences during the eighteen months covered by this report and has consulted on a variety of topics related to international and national events and dialogue on developments related to climate change and sustainability. The Board has approved 19 new membership applications since March 2015.

In 2015 the Board initiated a task force review of the IEF with a view to better understanding the effectiveness of the IEF. While the task force members undertook this task with enthusiasm and energy, various factors led to the review ending before clear outcomes had been reached. The Board will look at ways to reignite this process, recognising the importance of the review and creating space for a thorough evaluation to help ensure the ongoing effectiveness of the Forum. The Board continues to welcome feedback and suggestions from all members at any time on the functioning of the IEF to maintain our valuable contribution to the important public discourse on the environment and sustainability at global, national ands local levels.

In June 2015, IEF President Arthur Dahl was invited to the Bahá’í World Centre in Haifa, Israel as a consultant to share the experience of Baha’i-inspired organizations like IEF and ebbf - Ethical Business Building the Future, in professional accompaniment and participation in public discourses. He presented a seminar for senior staff on ‘Developments in the Natural Sciences and their Impacts on the Life of Humanity’. He also met with the External Affairs Policy Committee, the Institute for the Study of Global Prosperity (ISGP), the Office of Public Discourse (OPD) and the Office of Social and Economic Development (OSED). The discussions revolved around ways of contributing to public discourse linking science and spiritual principles, and of building more capacity in this field.

In March 2016, the Board announced that Ian Hamilton, the new Representative for Sustainable Development in the US Baha’i Office of Public Affairs, 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. This will extend the close working relationship between the Office of Public Affairs and the IEF that has been so fruitful in the past. For example, it was through this link that IEF members were officially accredited to COP21 in Paris last December. Ian has a Master of Science in Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (2010), and has been Program Manager at the College of Energy, Environment and Sustainability. Most recently he has been a consultant to the African Development Bank, Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Change, and to the Climate Investment Funds of the World Bank.

After twenty years of devoted service, Peter Adriance has resigned from the IEF Governing Board in September 2016 to focus on more local activities, leaving a vacancy to be filled at the next election on 9 October. The Board expresses its deepest appreciation for Peter's many contributions to IEF.

20th IEF ANNUAL CONFERENCE: 7-9 October 2016

Celebrating 20 years since the first IEF conference, the 20th IEF Annual Conference will be held at Nur University in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, on the theme: “Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals as communities and individuals”. The conference is co-sponsored by the Partnership for Education and Research about Responsible Living PERL/UNITWIN network.

Inspired by last September’s launch of the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the conference will focus on the following three goals:
• Responsible and sustainable lifestyles (SDG12)
• Values and education (SDG4)
• Sustainable urban communities (SDG11)

The conference will provide an opportunity to dialogue and reflect on a number of elements crucial to the success of the SDG framework. Participants will explore the expectations, challenges and guidelines for achieving the progress needed. How to ensure social inclusion and participation? And what are the implications for science, social action and policy?

The IEF General Assembly will be held during the conference on 9 October at Nur University.

CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PARIS CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE, 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. Working with the Baha’i International Community (BIC), the eleven-member IEF team organized three events in the Climate Generations area for civil society, co-sponsored a side event at the intergovernmental conference and partnered in a side event on ethics at the intergovernmental conference.

The three events organized by IEF in the civil society space were publicized on the International Council of Science listing of science events at COP21 and engaged audiences around the following themes:
• Community resilience in the face of climate-driven extreme events, a Vanuatu case study
• Principles for accountability for climate change agreements
• Values-based climate change education.

A detailed report of IEF’s engagement in the intergovernmental conference and civil society spaces at COP21 is available at http://iefworld.org/cop21. Insights into the conference and messages delivered by the IEF delegation have been compiled by IEF members Temily Tavangar in ‘A look at the BIC Delegation at COP21’ at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28tUVudNLA4&feature=youtu.be and IEF member Ismael Velasco in ‘IEF comes to COP21’ at https://vimeo.com/152629840. Copies and videos of the presentations delivered by IEF members throughout the conference are included in the full IEF report.

The IEF delegation to the civil society part of the conference included Arthur Dahl of Switzerland, President of IEF, IEF Governing Board members Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen (Netherlands), Victoria Thoresen (Norway), and Peter Adriance (USA), and IEF members Alessia Freddo (Italy/UK), Janot Mendler de Suarez (USA), Mojgan Sami (USA), Valeria Svart-Gröger (Germany/Moldova), Temily and Barak Tavangar (Malaysia/Hong Kong), Ismael Velasco (United Kingdom) and Onno Vinkhuyzen (Netherlands). IEF member Minu Hemmati was part of the German delegation.

CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGs)

In May 2015, the IEF responded to a request by the UN Major Groups Programme Coordinator in the Division for Sustainable Development for stakeholder feedback regarding the UN Statistical Commission’s technical report on indicators for the SDGs. The comments provided by the IEF are included in the May 2015 Leaves newsletter.

OTHER IEF PARTNERSHIPS AND INTERNATIONAL ACTIVITIES

CIVICUS

The IEF has been accepted as an Associate Member of CIVICUS, an international non-governmental organization that supports greater civil society participation in governance at all levels. CIVICUS has a focus on: 1) Protecting the rights of civil society, 2) Strengthening civil society good practices, and 3) Increasing the influence of civil society. IEF Board member Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen sits on the Board of CIVICUS.

The IEF has joined the new initiative Action for Sustainable Development, a global civil society platform to engage with the sustainable development agenda, which was organized by CIVICUS and launched in Bogota, Colombia, earlier this year.

Partnership for Education and research about Responsible Living (PERL)

The IEF continues to be actively engaged with the Partnership for Education and Research about Responsible Living (PERL). PERL is an international network of over 150 partners around the world including universities, educational organizations and international agencies. PERL is coordinated by IEF board member Prof. Victoria Thoresen.

The purpose of the PERL-UNITWIN collaboration is to contribute to empowering individuals to become active, responsible citizens and conscious consumers who can stimulate change through the choices they make every day. The work focuses on research and education for behavior and policy change towards more sustainable living. The objectives are to:
• develop the transfer of knowledge to provide adequate, relevant information;
• strengthen individual awareness and the ability to deal critically with information;
• stimulate learning processes and build capacity amongst teachers;
• contribute to public and scientific discourse on responsible living;
• foster future skills and cultivate multi-stakeholder collaboration.

ebbf

Our partnership with ebbf – Ethical Business Building the Future, the Baha'i-inspired forum for ethics in business, continues in support of its core value of sustainable development. IEF President Arthur Dahl, and Board member Wendi Momen are on the ebbf Governing Board, and several other members are active in both organizations.

Global Ethics Forum

The IEF was represented by Arthur Dahl and Joachim Monkelbaan at the 2015 Global Ethics Forum conference in Geneva in June 2015 to discuss ‘Responsible Leadership in Action: The Value of Values’. The International Environment Forum has been an Associated Partner to Globethics.net and the Global Ethics Forum for several years, and it was one of five such partners (out of 200) to have its logo featured in the conference brochure. Further details of the conference are available on the IEF website at http://iefworld.org/node/736.

European Center for Peace and Development (ECPD)

IEF 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 ECPD 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 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. Over 30 papers were presented by distinguished academics, diplomats and political leaders from across Europe, Asia and North America, and will eventually be published by ECPD. Arthur Dahl presented a paper on "The Sustainable Development Goals and their implications for the Western Balkans". Following the conference, the 3rd ECPD Youth Forum on ‘Culture of Peace: Youth as Peacebuilders’ was held, at which Arthur Dahl moderated plenary sessions on ‘peacebuilding knowledge, attitudes and skills’ and ‘youth – actors of today, peace leaders of tomorrow’ and contributed to the final discussions and conclusions.

IEF INVOLVEMENT IN COURSES

The University of Geneva Global Environmental Policy Programme (GEPP) held a two-week Executive Summer School from 31 August-11 September 2015, for which IEF President Arthur Dahl was one of the faculty, with participants from as far away as China, Nepal, South Africa and Ecuador. A public GEPP Policy Dialogue was held on 2 September at International Environment House in Geneva, Switzerland, on the topic "Implementing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Challenges and Responses", featuring the Swiss ambassador who negotiated the Sustainable Development Goals for the governmental perspective, an expert from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development for the business perspective, and Arthur Dahl, President of IEF, for the civil society perspective featuring IEF experience, chaired by the Director of UNEP's Regional Office for Europe. The University has posted a full video recording of the panel discussion at https://vimeo.com/138195156.

IEF engagement with the Wilmette Institute

The Wilmette Institute on-line course on Climate Change led by IEF member Christine Muller and based on the IEF interfaith course on scientific and spiritual dimensions of climate change is offered twice a year in March-May and September-November. IEF members serve as faculty for the course. In the lead up to the COP21 in Paris, the IEF launched a French version of the interfaith course on ‘The Scientific and Spiritual Dimensions of Climate Change’ with thanks to a group of French-speaking IEF members for the translation. The course is now also available in Spanish, translated by IEF member Zulay Posada.

The Wilmette Institute offered the ‘Sustainable Development and the Prosperity of Humankind’ online course from September to November 2015. All the faculty of the course are IEF members: Arthur Dahl, Gary Colliver, Carole Flood and Christine Muller. IEF President Arthur Dahl delivered a live web talk as part of the Wilmette Institute’s 20th year celebrations on ‘Navigating the Storm: The Transition to Sustainability’. The course is again taking place in September-October 2016.

In August 2015, the editors of the Wilmette Institute eNewsletter asked IEF member Christine Muller to tackle the important question of why we should care about sustainable development. Her response includes reference to the Baha’I writings to find reasons why everyone should be concerned about this important question that informs discussions of broad social concern.

IEF MEMBER PARTICIPATION IN OTHER EVENTS

At the World Resources Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on 11-14 October, a plenary session on "Sustainable Lifestyles and Education" featured IEF board member Victoria Thoresen. IEF President Arthur Dahl was there at the same time as an invited expert at the parallel International Resource Panel meeting. A summary of the presentations is available in the October 2015 issue of the Leaves Newsletter.

During October 15-19, 2015, IEF members Peter Adriance and Christine Muller participated in the Parliament of the World's Religions in Salt Lake City, Utah (USA). Adriance organized and moderated a panel on "The Critical Role of Faith-inspired Efforts for Climate Action" in which Muller discussed the impact of her IEF-related work, "Scientific and Spiritual Dimensions of Climate Change - an interfaith Study Course" and the online Wilmette Institute course on climate change. Other panel members were executive directors, Rev. Fletcher Harper of Green Faith, and Patrick Carolan of the Franciscan Action Network.  Adriance also spoke on Baha'i contributions to sustainability discourse on a panel organized by the Temple of Understanding entitled, "Faith at the United Nations: Sustainable Development Goals, Peace and Interfaith Understanding."

The European Economic and Social Committee, the United Nations Environment Programme and the European Environmental Bureau organized a conference on 12-13 November in Brussels, Belgium, on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their implementation in Europe: Opportunities for Engagement of Major Groups and Stakeholders. IEF President Arthur Dahl was invited to present his work on the challenges that the SDGs represent for Europe and the potential role that Europe can play in implementing the new 2030 Agenda adopted in September by the United Nations. The paper is available on the IEF web site at http://iefworld.org/ddahl15g .

In November 2015, 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". The Embassy of France in BiH in cooperation with the Embassy of the United States of America in BiH, the American University in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the United Nations in BiH organized the BiH Road to COP21 Conference on Monday 23 November 2015, at the United Nations House in Sarajevo.

The Global Research Forum on Sustainable Production and Consumption (GRF-SPaC) and the Partnership for Education and research about Responsible Living (PERL), 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. IEF was represented by IEF Board member and PERL Coordinator Victoria Thoresen, and IEF President Arthur Dahl.

In December 2015, three IEF board members - Victoria Thoresen, Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen and Arthur Dahl - were among eight researchers from Norway and the Netherlands to New Zealand who met at Fudan University in Shanghai, China, to consult on future interdisciplinary research strategies inspired by the Baha'i teachings. They represented a range of fields from sustainability and environmental science to philosophy, education, governance, political science, international law and science methodologies. They discussed future directions for the work that IEF has been associated with on values-based education and indicators, governance and accountability, and involvement in international processes, among other subjects.

In January 2016, IEF was represented by its President Arthur Dahl 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. The conference explored and demonstrated the many techniques for combining a physical meeting and e-participation from around the world, a topic of great interest to IEF as a virtual organization. IEF experience over nearly two decades in functioning and involving a world-wide membership in its activities using the Internet was shared and appreciated.

In February 2016, 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.

In March 2016, several IEF members participated in the 2016 Justice Conference at the de Poort Conference Centre in the Netherlands. The theme of the conference was "Justice in Action - From Local to Global". Ismael Velasco presented his work on suicide prevention with young people in Greenland, gave a workshop on "The Next 30 Years: Perspectives on Radical Technological Change & the Social Transformation of Justice - Trends, Prospects and Dilemmas", and also entertained with evening story-telling. Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen spoke on a plenary panel on "Perspectives on Global Order and the Rule of Law" looking at issues of accountability. Arthur Dahl gave a keynote on "Using the new UN 2030 Agenda to work for justice at the local level". IEF members Nigel Jollands, Wendi Momen and Iko Kongo also attended the conference.

Sylvia and Arthur also ran a workshop on the Paris Climate Agreement negotiations. The workshop reviewed the dynamics of the complex multiyear negotiations leading up to COP21 that resulted in the Paris Agreement adopted on 12 December 2015, and discussed the many opportunities for participation in discourses alongside the negotiations, including the side events that IEF organized in Paris (http://iefworld.org/cop21). It explored the lessons for international governance, the role of Bahá'í-inspired organizations, and the ways such events can be used to contribute Bahá'í perspectives on issues important to society.

A high-level workshop on "Implementing the SDGs: creating and sharing knowledge" was held at International Environment House in Geneva, Switzerland, on 27 April 2016. The workshop was organized and convened by IEF member Joachim Monkelbaan with the assistance of the University of Geneva Institute for Environmental Sciences and the support of the Swiss Network for International Studies, and brought together over 40 experts from the international organizations, academic community and civil society organizations in the Geneva area. IEF represented civil society organizations in the planning of the workshop.

With opening remarks given by Joachim Monkelbaan, the workshop focused on identifying needs and opportunities in terms of research and education needed to implement the Sustainable Development Goals, considering the coherent framework that the SDGs offer together with deep interconnections and cross-cutting elements that require multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder engagement. Alongside other speakers, IEF President Arthur Dahl presented on values-based education and the SDGs describing IEF experience bringing in an ethical perspective.

One of the workshop outcomes has been the launch by Joachim Monkelbaan of the SDG Hub as an independent platform based in Geneva, Switzerland. The SDG Hub aims to mobilize global expertise to promote practical problem-solving for sustainable development, including the design and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

A second high-level workshop on Sustainable Development Indicators was held in Geneva in July 2016, organized by IEF member Joachim Monkelbaan. The topic was ‘Opening up knowledge to action on the SDGs’ looking particularly at opportunities for peace, business and policy coherence. Arthur Dahl gave a talk in the panel on the private sector as an agent in SDG success and led a brainstorming session on engaging communities on the SDGs.

At the end of April 2016, IEF board member Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen attended the International Civil Society Week in Bogota, Colombia where some 900 people from over a hundred countries gathered to discuss and celebrate civic action.

In May 2016, IEF board members Wendi Momen and Arthur Dahl were invited to be keynote speakers at the first Vision Gulf Business Conference in Kuwait, on the theme "Opportunities for Innovation and Coexistence". The conference, planned to be an annual event, aims to explore, inspire and offer practical approaches for building a better future for Kuwait. Arthur Dahl gave two presentations on:
• "The future of business in a world with a changing climate", highlighting the requirement of the Paris Agreement for a rapid transition to a low carbon society and the challenges this represents for a country like Kuwait with a economy built on oil, and suggesting some of the options for a more sustainable future.
• "The UN 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals: challenges and opportunities for business".

Dr. Wendi Momen OBE gave a presentation on "Why bother with business ethics? The ebbf view" in which she discussed a number of passages from the Qur'an about ethics in business transactions.

In August 2016, the 3rd International Symposium on Ethics of Environmental Health was held in Ceské Budejovice, Czech Republic, on 28-31 August 2016, organized by International Environment Forum member Friedo Zölzer of the University of South Bohemia. More than 20 specialists in medicine, physics, toxicology, epidemiology, environmental science, technology, philosophy, ethics, law and governance from around the world shared multidisciplinary perspectives on the interface between science and ethics in managing the risks that environmental factors present for health. Three IEF members participated in the symposium. Friedo Zölzer spoke on "The Balance between Chemical and Ionizing Radiation Risks - Ethical Aspects". Arthur Dahl presented a paper on "The 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals: Placing Environmental Health in a Larger Ethical Framework", and Greg Dahl gave the concluding presentation on "Trust, Corruption, and Public Welfare".

PUBLICATIONS, PAPERS AND STUDY MATERIALS BY IEF MEMBERS

In August 2015, a new set of study materials on Families as Agents of Change: Collectively Advancing Efforts to Build a Just and Sustainable Society, prepared by Peter Adriance of the US Baha’i Office of Public Affairs and IEF board member, was made available on the IEF website.

In early 2016, IEF member Gary Colliver prepared a compilation on "Transition to a New World Order: The Role of Bahá’ís in Responding to Chaos, Confusion, and Calamity in Today’s World", which has been added to the compilations from the Baha'i writings on the IEF web site with the assistance of Christine Muller in formatting it for the web. It can be accessed at http://iefworld.org/cmptransition.

In March 2016, IEF President Arthur Dahl published on the IEF web site (http://iefworld.org/ddahl16a) a paper on "Values-based education for environment and sustainable development" based on a briefing paper he recently prepared for the United Nations Environment Programme. This builds on the work that has come out of the IEF collaboration with PERL, the Partnership for Education and Research about Responsible Living, and explores the role of values-based education in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.

IEF Governing Board member Duncan Hanks has co-edited with Roy Steiner a book: "Harnessing the Power of Collective Learning: Feedback, accountability and constituent voice in rural development" (London and New York: Routledge, 2016, 260 p.). The book includes eleven case studies of organizations trying to develop and implement collective learning systems as an integral component of sustainable development practice. Both the editors and several of the authors are Baha'is, and this is reflected in their approaches to professional challenges in their field.

IEF President Arthur Dahl was Coordinating Lead Author for Chapter 1.1 of the latest Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6) assessment for the pan-European region on the Sustainable Development Goals, and a lead author for Chapter 4. The report is prepared by UNEP and UNECE with support from the European Environment Agency.

Arthur Dahl and Peter Adriance contributed a chapter on Baha'i published in the Routledge Handbook of Religion and Ecology [(c) 2017], in the section featuring Global Traditions. "Written by a team of international experts", the publication, according to the publisher, "provides the most comprehensive and authoritative overview of the field" and is considered an "essential reference for scholars and students across the social sciences and humanities and for all those looking to understand the significance of religion in environmental studies and policy." 

IEF NEWSLETTER AND WEBSITE

IEF web site

The IEF web site (http://iefworld.org) continues to report on IEF events and statements, provides an on-line version of LEAVES, the IEF newsletter, and includes blogs, book reviews and papers by IEF members. It includes several recent reports on United Nations approval of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals and indicators, the Paris Climate Conference, the Pope’s encyclical Laudato Si’, and the Islamic Declaration on Climate Change. The latest Bahá’í International Community statements have also been added to the site.

LEAVES newsletter

The newsletter team consisting of members Cynthia Diessner and Michael Richards, who has taken over from Sarah Richards, continues to make invaluable contributions to the IEF by preparing and distributing the LEAVES newsletter each month. The newsletter shares news of IEF activities and other significant events of interest to IEF members. Contributions from members are always welcome.

CONCLUSIONS

As the International Environment Forum enters its twentieth year, it continues its efforts to bring ethical and spiritual principles into discourses in the scientific community and international organizations on the environment and sustainability. Highlights of the past year have included meeting at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, contributing to the Paris Climate Conference last December, and participating in discussions on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. The number of IEF members contributing actively to these efforts is growing, and needs to be stimulated further in the years ahead. The interest shown by the Bahá’í World Centre in our work highlights the importance of Bahá’í-inspired professional organizations like ours in contributing to discourses in our field and in accompanying our members as they work for coherence between their values and their professional activities. The UN 2030 Agenda launched in January will provide many further opportunities for IEF members to contribute to the necessary transition to a sustainable society in the years ahead.

IEF MEMBERSHIP STATISTICS, updated September 2016

Full members

374 members in 70 countries (up from 355 in March 2015)

Albania 1 * Argentina 2 * Australia 16 * Bangladesh 1 * Belgium 4 * Bolivia 4 * Bosnia and Herzegovina 1 * Brazil 2 * Brunei Darrussalam 1 * Bulgaria 2 * Cambodia 1 * Cameroon 2 * Canada 40 * Chile 1 * China 2 * Colombia 3 * Congo, Democratic Republic 3 * Czech Republic 3 * Denmark 1 * Ecuador 2 * Eritrea 1 * Ethiopia 1 * Fiji 1 * Finland 1 * France 7 * Germany 10 * Ghana 2 * Greece 1 * Guinea Bissau 1 * Guyana 1 * Hong Kong 2 * Hungary 2 * India 9 * Indonesia 1 * Iran 1 * Israel 2 * Italy 1 * Kenya 3 * Liberia 1 * Macedonia 1 * Malaysia 4 * Marshall Islands 1 * Namibia 1 * The Netherlands 12 * New Zealand 8 * Norway 3 * Pakistan 3 * Philippines 1 * Poland 1 * Portugal 2 * Samoa 1 * Serbia 1 * Singapore 1 * Slovakia 1 * South Africa 5 * Spain 3 * Suriname 1 * Swaziland 2 * Sweden 3 * Switzerland 9 * Tanzania 1 * Togo 1 * Tonga 1 * Trinidad & Tobago 1 * Uganda 1 * United Kingdom 46 * United States of America 117 * Zambia 1 * Zimbabwe 1

Associate members

41 Associates in 15 countries

Australia 2 * Canada 5 * Chile 1 * Colombia 1 * Finland 1 * France 2 * Ghana 2 * Iran 1 * Italy 1 * New Zealand 1 * Pakistan 1 * Portugal 1 * Switzerland 3 * USA 18 * United Kingdom 2


Last updated 27 September 2016