Religions for Peace is forming a partnership with FaithInvest. FaithInvest is an international non-profit organisation that assists faith groups to invest in line with their beliefs and values. The organisation’s aim is to support the rapidly developing movement of faiths actively using their investments to create a better world – for people and planet.
The goal of this new partnership is to share ways of developing environmental aid, and one of the ways to support the achievement of Religions for Peace’s strategic priorities 2020-2025 can be through FaithInvest’s Faith Long-term Plans. The collaboration will drive multi-faith investment for multi-faith efforts, and to grow the scale and impact of faith-consistent investment. This partnership advances Religions for Peace’s strategic plan 2020-2025 and actively supports the United Nations’s COP26 efforts
The destruction of the natural environment – including the impact of climate change – is the biggest challenge to all life on earth. It threatens the survival of communities and puts the diversity and wonder of nature at risk. It also demeans our sense of dignity as it increases the poverty resulting from blatant exploitation of the Planets’ natural resources.
It has been argued elsewhere that Covid-19 itself is an outcome of the disregard with which humans have treated our natural resources (particularly, albeit not only, the rainforests). At the same time however, the responses to this pandemic have demonstrated the role of faith-based organisations, as well as religious leaders, in coping with challenges to health, wealth and spirits as first responders and builders of personal and community resilience. Faith leaders, religious institutions and faith-based non-governmental organizations (FBOs), can and must continue to help prevent further developmental and humanitarian crisis from happening, by wielding their influence to improve humanity’s stewardship of the planet.
Religions for Peace is the largest coalition of religious institutions and leaders, together representing all the world’s faith traditions, through inter-religious platforms (Councils) at both regional (6) and country/national (90) levels. Religions for Peace’s unique representative structures include religious institutions as well as grassroots interfaith women and youth networks, strengthened through 50 years of multi-religious collaboration towards human rights, sustainable development and peace and security.
Since their inception, Religions for Peace has undertaken various programmes, and worked in partnership with the United Nations, in these areas. As an example, ahead of the COP21 held in Paris, RfP co-hosted an Interfaith Summit on Climate Change in September 2014 in New York. Religious leaders and representatives of faith-based non-governmental organisations from all over the world committed themselves to the promotion of disaster risk reduction, adaptation, low carbon development, climate change education, curbing their own consumption patterns and reducing their use of fossil fuels. As faith leaders they pledged to raise consciences and encourage their communities to consider such measures with urgency. (Climate, Faith and Hope: Faith traditions together for a common future statement).
In 2017, Religions for Peace furthered its proactive engagement and intercountry collaboration in joining the Interfaith Rainforest Initiative, a global partnership that includes the UN Environment Program (UNEP) and other organisations working together to protect the world’s remaining rainforests.
More recently, the Religions for Peace movement adopted its Strategic Plan 2020-2025 that devotes a large part to nurturing a sustainable environment in supporting and promoting the developing of international and multi faith alliances that aim to protect and restore the planet’s vital ecosystems. Religions for Peace is committed to mobilise the whole movement to campaign for lifestyle changes to reduce consumption and energy use.
In this spirit, Religions for Peace is now forming a partnership with FaithInvest. FaithInvest is an international non-profit organisation that assists faith groups to invest in line with their beliefs and values. The organisation’s aim is to support the rapidly developing movement of faiths actively using their investments to create a better world – for people and planet.
The goal of this new partnership is to share ways of developing environmental aid, and one of the ways to support the achievement of Religions for Peace’s strategic priorities 2020-2025 can be through FaithInvest’s Faith Long-term Plans. The collaboration will drive multi-faith investment for multi-faith efforts, and to grow the scale and impact of faith-consistent investment.
The Faith Long-term Plans (FLP) are commitments by the major faiths of the world to develop a set of measurable, real world initiatives driving action on key issues including climate change, biodiversity and sustainable development. The global faith program was launched in 2009 by the Alliance of Religions and Conservation – co-founded by His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh – and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) asking faith communities to articulate theology and nature in their own tradition.
They involve each religious group planning how they will manage their assets and resources over the next seven to ten years – from their investments, schools, hospitals and youth organisations to their land, purchasing power, influence, advocacy – and wisdom.
More than 200 religious groups covering all faith traditions are being invited to take part in the programme, which mobilises the vast potential of religious organisations – the biggest organised sector of civil society – to make a significant contribution to the climate crisis and the post-COVID regeneration. As well as providing moral leadership through example, the Plans focus attention on the importance of profound and urgent action to address the climate and ecological crisis ahead of the United Nation’s COP26 climate negotiations and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Faith, COVID-19 and the push for a healthy environment. Op-ed by Prof. Azza Karam, Secretary General, Religions for Peace and Inger Andersen, UN under-secretary-general and executive director of the UN Environment Programme
Q&A with Martin Palmer, President, FaithInvest – The role of Faith in the Covid-19 crisis. 4/27/2020
Faith-consistent investment: FaithInvest [Alliance of Religions and Conservation’s website]
Climate Change Statement from World Religions [Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology]
Religious Leaders at Cop 22 Call For Addendum To Paris Agreement: 33 Percent Reductions In Greed, Hatred And Ignorance [Marrakech, November 2016]
Alliance of Religions and Conservation: http://www.arcworld.org/