International Environment Forum
12 and 15 December 2001
Bahá'í Conference on Social and Economic Development for the Americas
Orlando, Florida, USA, 13-16 December 2001
In December 2001, the International Environment Forum participated in the Baha'i Conference on Social and Economic Development for the Americas in Orlando, Florida, December 13-16, 2001. This included holding a one-day seminar on Wednesday, December 12, 2001 during the pre-conference Seminar for development professionals, as well as participating in a networking session that evening and co-hosting a networking session with the AgForum during the conference itself. We also held an afternoon session on Saturday, December 15, during the conference.
The theme of the Baha'i development conference was "Continuous Learning: Divine Key to Human Progress." Our pre-conference seminar was based on themes surrounding applying Baha'i principles in sustainable development. Sessions had a practical focus and participatory format. We also repeated the inspiring integration of the arts into our sessions, enriching our program through the participation of the performing and visual artists on site.
IEF SPONSORED PROGRAM
AT THE 2001 ORLANDO CONFERENCE ON SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Application of Bahá'í Principles in
Sustainable Development and the Environment
Wednesday, December 12
10:30 - 11:15 Facilitators/Presenters: Peter Adriance (USA) and Roxanne Lalonde (Canada)
These offerings helped participants to better understand how the Bahá'í teachings apply to and can influence sustainable development in the global and local contexts. Members of the International Environment Forum presented overviews of Bahá'í involvement in recent international/U.N. environment related activities and of different faith perspectives regarding the environment.
11:15 - 12:00 "The Three Sisters
Garden Project: Indigenous Agricultural Values Respectful of the
Facilitators/Presenters: Sandy Gershuny, Alma Lo (Canada)
14.00-15.15 "Reconnecting Faith
with Home" - Part I
Facilitator/Presenter: Bob Zuber (USA)
This workshop examined the disconnects between faith and place and explored some of the faith and place-based resources (including Green Maps) that can help people understand more about local environments. This understanding is a prerequisite to being more effective stewards of the gifts of home. The requirements of faith-based stewardship, a different, more intense level of personal involvement in nurturing local resources, were also discussed.
3:30 - 5:00 "And All Life is
Sacred: First Nations Reflections on the Environment"
Facilitators/Presenters: Sohnela Wiji (East Coast) and Honour All Nations (West Coast) drum groups
In this presentation, members of two sister "Baha'i Drums" came together in celebration of the Teaching "And All Life is Sacred" - Sohnela Wiji (East Coast) and Honour All Nations (West Coast). Drawing on East Coast First Nations Teachings and the Baha'i Sacred Writings on Agriculture and the Environment, Sohnela Wiji Drum Keepers spoke to the role of First Nations women as keepers and teachers of the wisdom of Mother Earth. Members of Honour All Nations Drum Group gave voice to the interrelationship of sacred place and song in Northwest Coast culture and its role as a tool for transformation, community healing, and building relationships. Together, presenters shared songs they have received during their travels and set Baha'i Sacred Texts to the drum.
Saturday, December 15
14.00-17.00 "Reconnecting Faith
with Home" - Part I (reprise) and II,
Facilitator/Presenter: Bob Zuber (USA).
Featured Artists: Members of the Sohnela Wiji and Honour All Nations drum groups
This workshop began with a brief summary of the Wednesday afternoon session, followed by an interactive workshop that applied some of the tools and ideas presented. Participants were involved in an introductory Green Map exercise, experiencing how faith-based and other community resources can be applied in promoting investigation/assessment of local communities. We covered the use of ecological/cultural icons to symbolize important sites, finding and using a "base map," community investigation skills, and using maps as resources for promoting community sustainability initiatives.
For information on the Orlando Conference, go to the conference web site at: http://www.rabbanitrust.org/bahai_sed_conference.htm
International Environment Forum - Updated 2 January 2002