Leaves 15(1) January 2013


Newsletter of the
Volume 15, Number 1 --- 15 January 2013



Website: iefworld.org
Article submission: newsletter@iefworld.org Deadline next issue 13 February 2013
Secretariat Email: ief@iefworld.org General Secretary Emily Firth
Postal address: 12B Chemin de Maisonneuve, CH-1219 Chatelaine, Geneva, Switzerland

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From the Editor, Request for information for upcoming newsletters

This newsletter is an opportunity for IEF members to share their experiences, activities, and initiatives that are taking place at the community level on climate change action. All members are welcome to contribute information about related activities, upcoming conferences, news from like-minded organizations, recommended websites, book reviews, etc. Please send information to newsletter@ief.org.

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

Correction to Email Address in December Leaves Article

Has it been a long time since you had a decent conversation, and do you yearn for some relief from vacuous banality?

“ELEVATE” invites you to contribute questions to stimulate meaningful conversations about the environment and life in general around the water cooler, at dinner, in the car, with family, friends.

All suggestions however well written or hastily scribbled are welcome: elevatedconversation@gmail.com (Corrected email address)


IEF officers for 2013

The IEF Governing Board has re-elected Arthur Dahl as President and Emily Firth as General- Secretary for this year.


IEF Intern

Husseim Stuck, an Environmental and Resource Management student at the BTU University of Brandenburg, Germany, has started a six-month part-time Internship with IEF, to find out how the organization works in order to become a more active member. He already has experienced two Baha'i-inspired NGOs, the Townshend International School in the Czech Republic for 4 years and People's Theater for 1 year of service in Germany. Husseim has already prepared a submission to the UN post-2015 consultations (see below).


Climate Week in the United Kingdom

From the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United Kingdom

4 January 2013
Climate Week 2013 will take place from 4 to 10 March with events being held across the United Kingdom to inspire action and change individual and collective behaviour in order to create a more sustainable future. These will include projects directly concerned with improving or safeguarding some aspects of the environment, as well as campaigns to highlight practical solutions to environmental challenges.

Beyond whatever practical contributions the friends are moved to make during this week, the National Spiritual Assembly encourages the holding of devotional gatherings dedicated to themes connected to Climate Week such as humankind’s relationship with nature/the environment, to which friends, neighbours, co-workers, representatives of local environmental groups and bodies, and others concerned about the effects of climate change can be invited. In addition and where feasible, junior youth groups could consider focusing their service activities during Climate Week to some aspect of improving the environment.

Further information about Climate Week 2013 can be found at http://www.climateweek.com.


Wilmette Institute Climate Change Course
On-line Baha'i Learning Center, 1 February - 31 March 2013

“Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and center your deliberations on its exigencies and requirements.” Bahá'u'lláh

Many people are already suffering from the devastating impacts of climate change such as increased water scarcity, more severe storms, floods, droughts, famines, malnutrition, diseases, and dislocation from their homes. The threat of climate change to our children and grandchildren is immense and its long term consequences are unprecedented in human history.

Climate change is not just an environmental issue. It has far-reaching implications for our efforts to relieve poverty, to establish and maintain peace, and for the economy. It is no exaggeration to say that the future of human civilization is at risk because we are destroying the foundation for life on this planet.

This short course doesn't claim to be comprehensive. The issue of climate change is vast and complex and its ethical implications are profound. Our purpose here is to lay a foundation upon which you will be able to build your own knowledge, and to help make your actions a service to humankind and a contribution to saving the foundation for life on this planet.

The course is based on the scientific findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), especially on its last report of 2007, and on some more recent scientific research. The course includes the teachings and wisdom of many religions. While the course is intended for an interfaith group, scriptures were selected for their relevance in the context of climate change. Some sections feature more Bahá’í sources. Units 3, 4, and 5 focus on scientific and practical matters. Units 2, 6, and 7 cover predominantly spiritual and ethical matters.

Learning Objectives:
• to help participants become literate in the science of climate change and to acquire an understanding of how it impacts people today and in the future,
• to explore ethical questions related to climate change and to address them within the context of the spiritual teachings of the world’s religions, especially of the Bahá’í Faith,
• to enable participants to make enlightened decisions for their lives that are consistent with their own spiritual and ethical values,
• to empower participants to present the spiritual solutions to the climate crisis offered by the Bahá’í texts to the increasing number of people who are very concerned about this problem.

Christine Muller is the Lead Faculty for this course. Other faculty are Carole Flood, Karryn Olson- Ramanujan and Arthur Dahl.

For more information visit our website at http://www.wilmetteinstitute.us.bahai.org
Course Dates: Friday, 1 February 2013 - Sunday, 31 March 2013


Additional on-line training at IEF


The IEF e-learning centre is a place for you to start learning about sustainable development, and also to find resources that you can use to teach others about it


IEF Sustapedia
An encyclopedia of environment and sustainable development

Short do-it-yourself course on sustainable development
A course in 6 modules that you can study at your own pace

Scientific and Spiritual Dimensions of Climate Change
An Interfaith Study Course in 9 classes

Community Materials on Climate Change
Prepared by the United States Baha'i Community for the Preach-in on Global Warming 2011 including Devotional Readings and supplemental materials for Junior Youth and Children's Classes

Rural Environmental Management training materials
Simple materials for use in rural areas of developing countries in 40 modules for community use or self instruction

UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development
Access to resources and activities concerning this UNESCO-led effort.

A page introducing indicators of sustainability and some of the most important activities in this area

Case studies
Practical activities that are bringing more sustainability

Things you can do
Practical suggestions for changing your lifestyle

Presentations and recordings on sustainable development
Presentations (powerpoints) and audio recordings to inspire and educate (large files)

Baha'i writings on sustainable development
A compilation of quotations by sustainability topics
also available in French [français]

Reading list
Suggested books for further reading

Useful materials on sustainability from other sites


The Eco Principle:
Radio interview in Budapest with IEF President Arthur Dahl
November 2005 (mp3 - 50 min.)


Group exercises on Education for Sustainable Development and Spirituality
Selected texts from Engaging People in Sustainability and the Baha'i writings

Spiritual Reflections
Two part programme of inspiring stories of Baha'is, and quotations from Baha'u'llah originally used at the 9th IEF Conference


Presentations combining beautiful photographs and texts from sacred scriptures and other writings, suitable for opening meetings or creating a meditative atmosphere. A musical accompaniment could be added, and the texts read out loud

Reflections on Creation (5.3mb)
prepared by Peter Adriance

Devotional about Richard St.Barbe Baker, "Man of the Trees" (7.8mb)
prepared for the 11th IEF Conference

Other Devotional Materials


New Members

The IEF Governing Board has recently accepted the following new members of IEF:
• Dan Gluck (USA), environmental activist, organizer, systems designer
• Roger Kapp (Switzerland), a member of the Swiss task force that prepared the Rio+20 summit
• Shayan Monajem Fatheazam (Brazil), studying Environmental Engineering at Universidade de Brasília
• Brian Minielly (Canada), involved with camping and outdoor activities in Canada and sustainable development in Costa Rica
• Anthony Banyouko Ndah (Brunei Darussalam), studying for a PhD in environmental studies at Universiti Brunei Darussalam
• Wilmer Felipe Pulido (Canada), communications manager at Nancy Campbell Collegiate Institute London, Ontario
• Jennifer Rusk-Guillet (Canada), recent graduate in Environmental Studies
• Akhteruzzaman Sano (Cambodia), climate change, disaster risk reduction and gender mainstreaming expert in government ministries
• Dennis Worley (New Zealand), a landscaper working on recumbent human-powered vehicles

and Associate applications from
• Neda Bolouri (New Zealand), environmental planner for an engineering consultancy
• Sidney Holt (Italy), expert on fisheries and marine mammals
• Alice Moore (USA), from Sacramento, California
• Gladys Santis (Chile), elaborating national adaptation plans in the Climate Change Office, Ministry of Environment, Chile


Submissions to UN post2015 consultation on environmental sustainability by IEF members


The United Nations, as part of The World We Want 2015 process, invited contributions of 1,500 word discussion papers on what should be included in development and sustainability action after 2015. The International Environment Forum and some of its members submitted the following four papers by the 28 December 2012 deadline. You can read the complete papers on the IEF website (https://iefworld.org/node/609) and also on the UN website (links below).

New Indicators of Human Well-being
Arthur Lyon Dahl, International Environment Forum, Geneva, Switzerland

Let’s collaborate for a global sustainable energy system
Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, http://www.worldwewant2015.org/node/297189

Creating Moral Agents of Change - A neglected generation
Husseim Stuck, http://www.worldwewant2015.org/node/296972

Values and education for responsible, sustainable living
Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, http://www.worldwewant2015.org/node/297187


Next IEF conference in Europe 3-6 October 2013

The next IEF annual conference will be held in Europe jointly with the European Baha'i Business Forum (http://www.ebbf.org) on 3-6 October 2013, probably in Barcelona, Spain. The themes will include rethinking the enterprise to achieve sustainability, sustainable consumption and production, and responding to climate change. This will be an opportunity to explore the relationships between business and sustainability more closely, looking at co-creating solutions. The last time we partnered with EBBF was five years ago in 2008 (https://iefworld.org/conf12.htm).


IEF participation at Rio+20 written up in One Country

The Baha'i International Community's newsletter One Country (vol.22(3) June-Sept.2012) has published articles on Baha'i participation in Rio+20 that quote IEF members Duncan Hanks and Halldor Thorgeirsson and include the following reference to IEF: "Members of the Bahá’í-inspired International Environment Forum also participated in several pre-conference meetings in Rio. These included the Global Research Forum on Sustainable Consumption and Production, which drew about 80 researchers from around the world to review achievements, identify challenges, and encourage a dialogue on the issue."


NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Vital signs of the planet


Updated 15 January 2013