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EnvironmentFaith-based Engagement at Stockholm+50

Faith-based Engagement at Stockholm+50

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Faith-based Organisations (FBOs) established an interfaith working group to support faith communities understanding of, and engagement on, issues related to Stockholm+50.

This page is a resource guide to facilitate networking, in-person collaboration, and to inspire and build partnerships with civil society, indigenous groups and all other stakeholders.

The protection and improvement of the human environment is a major issue which affects the well-being of peoples and economic development throughout the world; it is the urgent desire of the peoples of the whole world and the duty of all Governments.

1972 Stockholm Declaration

On 4 March 2022 UNEP Faith for Earth facilitated a session during the Faith for Earth Dialogue that spurred coordinated efforts for a consultative interreligious and interfaith approaches to Stockholm+50.

In the dialogue session, FBOs were encouraged to engage in the Stockholm+50 process early enough to set their expectations for governments/leaders for the next 50 years of environment policy and action. Watch the recording

During the Regional Multi-stakholder Consultations, faith representatives highlighted the following key messages:

Latin America and Carribean Regional Multi-Stakeholder Consultation

FBOs provide good practice at a local and regional level stressing the need to mobilise FBOs and faith communities. Advance FBO engagement (SDG Platform) and work closely with indigenous groups.

Need for environmental education – collaborate with local experts and scientists about environmental issues.

Faith literacy – how to engage with faith-based organisations in international meetings and need to facilitate faith-based interventions within other Major Groups & Stakeholders.

Africa Regional Multi-Stakeholder Consultation

Faith actors as drivers of behavioural change.

Mobilise funding for smaller local actors – encourage divestment of faith-owned assets and investments from the fossil industry and need to secure adequate funding for grassroots stakeholders.

Reimagining the Human-Environment Relationship

Stockholm+50 is a commemoration and a time for reflection on the interconnectedness of humans and the environment. The UN University Centre for Policy Research and the UN Environment Programme are co-leading a collaborative effort that captures, interrogates, and elevates alternative paradigms of the human/nature relationship, by inviting a diverse community of thinkers and voices to supply evidence and shape viewpoints in this important global conversation.

Stockholm+50 is an opportunity to take stock of the progress achieved in the 50 years since the 1972 Conference on the Environment, and instigate serious reflection on today’s environmental crisis. There remains a significant gap between the urgency of the challenges facing humanity and the willingness to undertake the kind of radical action necessary to collectively shift towards more sustainable forms of consumption. Most proposals by the world’s largest emitters remain framed by longstanding models of infinite growth, exploitative energy production, and a belief that human survival will come by way of technological innovation. Current public discourse features limited propositions to tackle pollution, biodiversity loss, and the degradation of our natural environment — the triple planetary crisis that threatens humanity.

The sources of alternative paradigms are both extraordinarily diverse and still unfamiliar to most. Widely differing religious practices offer a range of environmental ethics that could underpin a shift in how the human-nature relationship is conceptualized. Forms of traditional ecological knowledge and indigenous knowledge propose sophisticated and deeply symbiotic frameworks that can also broaden understandings through key ideas such as reciprocity and intergenerational fairness. Paradigm shifts may also come from innovations in more traditional domains. Legal scholars and some states are exploring how the environment and the interests of future generations might be given a legal personality, alongside contemporary humans. Biology and ecosystems research offer non-anthropocentric models for sustainable coexistence, while astrophysics can shift the starting point for many of these conversations, moving beyond the human-environment binary as we identify potentially infinite forms of life.

This curated collection of ideas captures, interrogates, and elevates alternative paradigms of the human-nature relationship – existing and new, and from various disciplines and societies – creating a space to recast our relationship with the environment and inform future policymaking. It has been made possible through a grant by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

Managing these security risks requires action across the entire impact chain: work to mitigate climate change; reducing its consequences on ecosystems; adapting socio-economic systems; better management of climate-induced heightened resource competition; and strengthening governance and conflict management institutions. And every dimension of the response must be conflict-sensitive and climate proof. Without the right responses, climate change will mean more fragility, less peace and less security. But this paper sets out illustrative examples of how, with a greater understanding of how climate change interacts with social, political, economic and environmental drivers of conflict and fragility, we will be better placed to make the kind of risk-informed decisions is integral to achieving international peace and security.

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