Leaves 1(1) April 1999


Newsletter of the
Volume 1, Number 1 --- April 1999

"Reflect upon the inner realities of the universe, the secret wisdoms involved, the enigmas, the inter-relationships, the rules that govern all. For every part of the universe is connected to every other part by ties that are very powerful and admit no imbalance, nor any slackening whatsoever"
'Abdu'l-Bahá (Conservation of the Earth's Resources, A Compilation... p.4)


This is the very first issue of "Leaves" the Newsletter of the International Environment Forum. The board hopes that this newsletter will serve the purpose to share information from the board with members, for members to share information with each other and facilitate networking. The newsletter will be distributed in electronic format primarily via email to cut costs but for those members who do not have email we will send a paper copy of it. The newsletter is also posted on the IEF webpage (see below). The newsletter will be sent to all members of the IEF. This first issue will also be sent to those around 50 people who at some point during the last two years have indicated that they wish to have information on the development and activities of the IEF but who have not expressed their desire to become members. From the next issue "Leaves" will only be sent to members, but it is still accessible for everyone on the webpage.


The Governing Board has met two times over email since the annual conference, on 24 December-10 January and 13-21 March. On the agenda was foremost the organization of the 3rd annual conference which this year will be co-organized with BASED-UK (see announcement below). It is the hope of the board that this collaboration will attract a wider audience and enable a dynamic setting for the conference. Other topics consulted upon were how to start the work on publications, the launching of our official website, the development of education materials on environment and sustainable development and plans for World Environment Day/Earth Day in the year 2000.


The 2nd conference of the International Environment Forum took place 6-8 November 1998 at de Poort, The Netherlands. The conference report has been distributed to members but can also be obtained from the secretary and on the web.

Two of the papers presented at the conference, by Arthur Dahl and Peter Adriance, will be published in modified form in the Herald of the South magazine. This means that the deliberations will reach an even wider audience.


A new bench mark draft of the Earth Charter has recently been released by the Earth Council. It can be found at: http://www.earthcharter/org/draft/
It will be interesting reading for all who were involved the conference consultations on the Earth Charter at the 2nd Annual conference, which resulted in sending the drafting committee of the Earth Charter a summary of those comments (see conference report) to see if any of our comments are reflected in this new draft.


With the cordial assistance of the BCCA (Baha'i Computer and Communication Association) the International Environment Forum now has its own official and permanent website and email address.
Website: http://www.bcca.org/ief/home.htm
Email: ief @ bcca.org [no spaces]

The website is still under construction so please visit it but be patient with the sections still to be added. This newsletter is posted there as well as conference reports and papers, information material, Bahá'í quotations and statements, etc.


Charles Boyle, Roxanne Lalonde, Nigel Jollands and Peter Adriance, together with Arthur Dahl from the board, have been appointed to constitute the editorial group that will initiate and oversee the issuing of publications of the IEF.


In the increasing excitement in the world for the coming millennium, the board has consulted upon the idea for the IEF, through its members around the world, to encourage Baha'i communities to celebrate in the year 2000 either the World Environment Day of the United Nations (5 June) or the Earth Day (22 April) depending on which day is most well-known in the different countries. These days could be a good target date for the IEF to develop some information/education materials to be shared in communities and at the same time give concrete suggestions for activities at local level. To plan for such an outreach we need to form a working group that could come up with ideas and concrete plans for their realisation. If you are interested in this project and could consider being a member of a working group please contact the secretariat. This will help the board to appoint a working group. As with all other work so far in the IEF it is of no importance where in the world you are located since all work will be carried out over email.


The board welcomes everyone to send information on upcoming international seminars/conferences/workshops/events where representation of the IEF would be relevant. Please contact the secretariat.


As the newsletter is in its first and experimental stage, the number of issues per year has not been determined yet. But the next issue is scheduled for late August, so the deadline for contributions is August 20.


Practical Applications of Spiritual Principles:
A Conference on Baha'i Social and Economic Development
and the Environment

Organized jointly by
the Baha'i Agency for Social and Economic Development -
United Kingdom (BASED-UK)
and the
International Environment Forum (IEF)

Dates: Sunday 15th August (pm) to Wednesday 18th August (am) 1999
Venue: Sidcot School, Sidcot, near Bristol, UK
Registration deadline: 30th June, 1999

There will also be an electronic version of the conference. For those who are unable to come to Sidcot, you can participate from your computer over email. To register for the electronic version of the conference please send your name, full mail address and email address to the International Environment Forum ief @ bcca.org [no spaces] before 1 August. There is no fee for the electronic conference.

For queries and conference details, please contact:
Geeta Kingdon, 45 The Warren, Abingdon, Oxon. OX14 3XB, UK
Tel: 44-1235-522641, Email: geeta.kingdon @ economics.ox.ac.uk [no spaces]


Under this headline we will report on interesting activities of members, participation in conferences, in environment projects etc. Please send your contributions to the secretariat.

Tahereh Nadarajah reports from Mongolia: "I teach a 'Sustainable Development and Resource Management' course at the International Ulaanbaatar College this year. Colorado University asked me to design the program as I see fit for Mongolia. As part of the course (decision making method) I have included the Consultation prepared by Badi Foundation in Macao. I'm also working very closely with the Mongolian Development Centre, which is a Baha'i inspired NGO. As part of our projects, we teach a Social Enterprize course which is prepared by Badi Foundation. It includes Transformation of the Heart and Consultation. We then teach the project people (or the community) about group dynamics, moral education and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Then the necessary skills such as gardening, etc.


New members registered after the latest annotated directory (4 November 1998):
Martino Alvaro, France
Lloyd Brown, China
Jean Marie Moutoir, France
Nuri Nyazi, United Kingdom
Jan Stenis, Sweden
Lawrence Staudt, Ireland
Naeim Yousefpour, Australia

Voting members: 34
Non-voting members: 15
People on sendout list who are interested in the IEF: 57

An updated annotated directory will be issued in July. Please send information to the secretariat on changes of address etc.


The International Environment Forum is a Baha'i inspired organization addressing the environment and sustainable development. To become a member, just contact the secretariat which will send you a membership questionnaire. Filling this in and returning it is primarily all it takes at the moment to become a member. We have not started to collect membership dues yet.

Sylvia Karlsson
Arrendegatan 65
S-58335 Linköping
Tel: +46-13-211106
Fax: +46-13-211106
Email: ief@bcca.org