Newsletter of the
INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENT FORUM
Volume 2, Number 1 --- April 2000
"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"
From a small Bahá'í inspired organisation launched in October 1997, the International Environment Forum (IEF) has slowly begun connecting and networking with organisations and individuals across the globe interested in promoting issues of the environment and sustainable development. Its past three conferences, has seen it grow to 66 members from 33 countries (see membership statistics below) and links with many people in over 30 countries and 5 continents. This has been made possible through the Internet, where people who can not afford to attend the conferences can participate electronically and also have access to its web site. Its second conference, which took place jointly with the Bahá'í Association for Social and Economic Development (BASED-UK) in England last year was a success, as participants learned to draw on the Bahá'í principles of combining spiritual and practical approaches to the environment. Presently, the IEF has no funds of its own and limited human resources to run and promote all its activities, but that not withstanding, the commitment of its membership and the board, provides impetus in its efforts to continue to promote its goals and ideals. It is against this backdrop that its intention to hold this year's conference jointly with the Bahá'í Conference on Social and Economic Development for the Americas can be regarded as a step in the right direction and a unique opportunity in its outreach programme. It is hoped that the pending conference will constitute another mile stone in the IEF 's efforts to promote exchanges of experiences and ideas through consultation.
THREE IEF MEMBERS FACILITATE
CHECK THE IEF WEBPAGE
The revised IEF brochure which was
modified to reflect the new draft statutes was distributed at
the Orlando meeting and is now available on the IEF web site.
NEWS FROM MEMBERS
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.
CALL FOR PAPERS
(This call for papers has been taken from Bahá'í-Announce mailing list)
World Order magazine, a peer-reviewed quarterly, has been published since 1966 by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States, and is intended, "to stimulate, inspire, and serve thinking people in their search to find relationships between contemporary life and contemporary religious teachings and philosophy." The Editorial Board invites submissions of articles, reviews (book and film reviews or reviews of current art or photography exhibits), poetry, photographs, and photographic essays that "focus on topics of broad social concern from a Bahá'í perspective." Articles for non-theme based issues on conflict resolution, history, the arts, comparative religion, coping with AIDS and similar terminal illnesses (community and individual challenges), aging and care for the elderly, drug abuse and addiction, and the relationship between humanity and nature are particularly welcome. Prospective writers are encouraged to contact the editors for an author style sheet, and for a list of recent books and films for which reviews are sought.
SUBMISSION DEADLINES: April 15 for the issue dated Winter 1999-2000; May 15 for the issue dated Spring 2000; and June 1 for the issue dated Summer 2000. Submissions are also accepted on a rolling basis but manuscripts received for the above deadlines will receive prompt attention.
4516 Randolph Rd., Apt. 99
Charlotte, NC 28211, U.S.A.
Tel: 1(704) 362-5336
E-mail: WorldOrder @ usbnc.org
(Submitted by Richard Sherwood)
Towards Sustainable Development
Aim of the conference is support, popularization and enforcement of the ideas of sustainable development and sustainable way of living in the current process of globalization.
Sustainable way of living (meaning respect for life, nature and responsibility to future generations) is the core concept that can become the essential idea for co-operation and development of the human society in the 21st century.
*MAJOR TOPICS OF THE CONFERENCE*
HUMAN DIMENSIONS WORKSHOP
(Submitted by Austin Bowden-Kerby)
2ND Bi-annual International Human Dimensions Workshop for young developing countries' scientists. From 10-22 September 2000, Bonn, Germany. Theme Human Dimensions issues in the Coastal Zone. Deadline for applications 10 April 2000. All successful applicants would be funded. Contact International Human Dimensions Program on Global Enviromental Change. Walter-Flex-Str.3 53113 Bonn, Germany. E-mail: thiem.ihdp @ uni-bonn.de
PROGRESSIVE ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY IN THE PHILIPPINES
(Submitted by Terry Randolph)
The Philippines - The Filipino press has disclosed that the government is to spend P750 million to implement its Clean Air Act (Republic Act 8749) signed by President Estrada last year. The amount is part of a P14 billion loan package it obtained from the Asian Development Bank for its Air Pollution Control Facility program. The Act, hailed by environmentalists and Filipinos, is regarded as a victor against pollution for now and future generations and constitutes a landmark in a major national clean-up campaign. However, doubts are still being exercised in the press as to whether the new law will be enforced. This is because the costs involved, and the need for enforcement pose major policy problems to the government due to political wangling. The Senate has been urged to provide P1.2 billion in the proposed 2000 national budget towards the initial implementation of the Act. However, it is feared that the additional foreign funding to support the Act may be threatened should Congress fail to appropriate the necessary funds for implementation in its first year.
The Act is being regarded as unique and progressive in this region of Asia and would have tremendous impact especially on oil companies who must now support the cost of upgrading their refineries. The House of Representatives, in its bid to strengthen the Act, is reported to have drafted a pro-environment agenda to protect the environment from future degradation and to preserve the natural wealth of the country. These include: Sold Waste Management Act; Clean Water Act; Integrated Land Use and Water Act; Sustainable Forest Management and Mangrove Act; Coastal Environmental Program; and Regulating Chainsaw Act. Another environmental legislation currently before the House is a bill prohibiting laundry detergents containing non-biodegradable cleansing chemicals from being manufactured, imported, distributed or sold in the country.
INTERESTED IN RESEARCH ON GENDER, ECONOMICS AND ECOSYSTEMS?
(Submitted by Melinda Salazar)
I will be conducting an evaluation on the implementation of the
Bolivian site of the UNIFEM/BIC international gender development
project. This research will have an environmental/ecosystems
component as part of a Natural Resources doctorate (see extract
from project description below). I am interested in
corresponding with others who have integrated gender equity,
economics and ecosystems approaches.
"This study evaluates the implementation of an international non-governmental (NGO) Gender and Development project in a rural Quechua community in the Bolivian Andes to see if the project's goal to change attitudes and behaviors towards gender in order to improve women's status actually happened, and to learn how the participants were able to sustain and apply lessons learned into their daily lives. Secondary goals are to contribute to gender planning in development by exploring the long term implications of including men, and to examine how a Colombian Latina scholar, educated in the North, "does research" with indigenous women and men in Latin America."
(for contact details see IEF directory, Melinda has just left for field work in Bolivia).
CALL FOR PAPERS
(Submitted by Peter Adriance)
Writers are needed for a forthcoming Kalimat Press volume on the environment entitled Earth Circles (a Bahá'í book). Please send hard copy, 10-20 pages, to the following address; the full range of environmental themes would be of interest:
Michael Fitzgerald, Editor
(As of 28 February 2000)
Total 66 members / 33 countries. Up from 44 members / 27 countries in 1999.
TO BECOME A MEMBER
The International Environment Forum is a Bahá'í-inspired organization addressing the environment and sustainable development. To become a member, just contact the secretariat which will send you a membership questionnaire.
Updated 20 April 2000