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Faith for Earth Initiative unites world religions against climate change

Faith-based organizations are the fourth largest economic power on earth. They own a total of 10 percent of the planet's inhabitable land, 50-60 percent of educational institutions, 50 percent of hospitals, and five percent of commercial forests.

Faith for Earth Initiative, Principal Coordinator
“Why not involve this massive power of religion and religious followers to implement their traditional ways of dealing and living in harmony within the environment, in tackling the environmental issues?”

The UN launched the Faith for Earth Initiative in 2017. Its objective is to create a network of faith-based organizations to meet the environmental goals outlined in the 2030 Agenda. The agenda, signed by 193 countries, includes eliminating poverty, promoting education and protecting the environment.

Faith for Earth Initiative, Principal Coordinator
“One of the things that we are working on is establishing a global coalition, where we bring in the highly eminent faith leaders to be in one space and to convey one message, which is the need to employ and implement and integrate ethical and behavioral changes based on faith values in the way we deal with the environment and environmental issues.”

Climate change can take an especially heavy toll on people in remote areas, where resources are already scarce, for example, in many places in Asia, Africa and South America.

Faith for Earth Initiative, Principal Coordinator
“So it is very important for them to build their resilience, their capacity to cope with environmental changes, but also work on fighting climate change and conserve biodiversity and restore ecosystems.”

The initiative has already yielded concrete results in different religious institutions around the world, including Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity and others. For example, this community of Seventh-Day Adventists committed to planting thousands of trees in commemoration of World Environment Day.

The hope is that combining scientific findings on environmental degradation with different religious beliefs will effect positive change at the global, regional and local levels. The network already counts on the collaboration of over 3,000 partners.

Claudia Torres