Through a series of short videos being released during the first half of 2014, the U.S. Baha’i Office of Public Affairs is highlighting ways in which the Baha’i community is fostering sustainable development at the local, national and international levels. The initiative is part of the US Baha’i effort to support the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development which concludes this year.
Two of the videos were released in mid-January in support of Interfaith Power and Light’s (IPL) annual Preach-in on Climate Change. One features Rev. Canon Sally Bingham, founder and president of IPL, addressing the spiritual dimensions of the climate issue. The other features Christine Muller, a Baha’i who serves on the board of Rhode Island IPL, in which she reflects on the importance of interfaith work on the climate crisis.
Two more videos are being released around the observance of Earth Day 2014. The first features the story of an eco-camp in Maryland started by a group of Baha’i youth who were inspired to start an outdoor program after completing a study circle on holding children’s classes. The eco-camp has become an annual event that has attracted hundreds of children, junior youth (ages 11-14) and their families over the years and helped them to deepen their love of nature and their understanding of related Baha’i teachings.
The second Earth Week video features the Ranson (WV) Baha’i Center’s engagement in a collaborative community garden project which not only makes nutritious produce available to those with limited budgets, but it has served as a catalyst to strengthen the social fabric of the community. As local Baha’i, Judith Ashelman says, “In these urban gardening initiatives that we’re seeing blossoming around our country, a lot of people are discovering that it’s more about people than gardening.”
Four more videos will be released before the project is completed according to Peter Adriance, Representative for Sustainable Development in the U.S. Baha’i Office of Public Affairs. One will explore the concept of sustainable development. The others will showcase Baha’i efforts to advance sustainability at the national and international levels as well as through community building activities at the neighborhood level. “We hope that this series of short videos will help to convey some of the important learning that the Baha’i community has been doing on this topic and assist both the Baha’is and others to reflect not only on the practical but the spiritual aspects of sustainability,” Adriance said.
Links to all videos in the series will be posted in the Related Documents and Resources page for sustainable development.
(from U.S. Baha'i Office of Public Affairs, April 2014)