IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economy and Social Policies hosts faith leaders at COP21
Paris, FranceDecember de 2015
CEESP held its first major panel event at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, COP21 in Paris. The newly minted Specialist Group on Religion, Spirituality, Environmental Conservation and Climate Justice (ReSpECC) hosted a multifaith panel on climate ethics and actions on the opening day at the COP.The panel was opened by IUCN Director General, Inger Andersen and included distinguished faith leaders and activists from the World Council of Churches, ACT Alliance, the Holy See (Vatican), the International Buddhists Confederation, the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences, the Fellowship of Church Councils of Southern Africa, the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University and Our Voices climate pilgrimage project. Andersen emphasised the need for IUCN to reach out to a broad spectrum of actors working for the well-being of the planet, social justice and sustainability.
Imam Ibrahim Saidy from Norway open with a prayer of peace and unity, paying homage to those who lost their lives in the terrible terrorist attacks in Paris and all of those whose lives are endangered by climate change impacts.The leaders spoke extensively on the ethics of climate change, the need for human solidarity, courage and good faith. All of them expressed their dismay with the speed and attitude of the negotiations, and called on all humans to work diligently to avert suffering and catastrophes. Much of the frontline climate relief work is provided by religious institutions and they are witness to the famines, diseases, forced migrations and human misery brought about by the current energy and economic models.
Monsignor Luís-Miguel Muñoz Cárdaba, Counsellor at the Apostolic Nunciature to France, Holy See Embassy, emphasized that last June, the Holy Father, Pope Francis released an extraordinary document, the Papal Encyclical, Laudato Si, stressing that Laudato Si has resonated around the globe, uniting Christians of all denominations as well as catalysing actions by other religious communities.Other presentations included the Istanbul Islamic Declaration on Climate Change and the Global Buddhist Climate Change Collective statement, supported by all of the world’s Buddhist lineages. The African and Asian climate justice networks recounted their massive global mobilisations and pilgrimages. Using the religious institution of the pilgrimage, people of different faiths joined together to walk across Asian countries, to cycle from Mozambique to Nairobi, and a mass walk from the Vatican to Paris. The event was led in prayer by His Grace, Thabo Makgabo, Anglican Archbishop of Southern African.
The panel was closed with a simple ceremony by Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Bhikkhu Thầy Pháp Dung, from the French Plum Village Sangha. Venerable Thầy rang his meditation bowl and asked people to connect with the living world, to walk gently, value each breath, and find the sacred within our relationship with all living things.
Source: IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy – Members Newsletter 1517 – December 2015
Link to the full new: CEESP hosts faith leaders at COP21
Related documents>> Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change>> Roles of religion and ethics in addressing climate change