Thursday, November 06, 2008

Indonesia First Interfaith Conference in Climate Change

It seems that the movement of religion and environment is not at the stage of beginning, but the start was begun in 1986 since Prince Phillip the Duke of Edinburgh and WWF held an initiative to facilitate all the religious leaders from all over the world congregated at Assisi Italia. As an outcome of this conference:

The Assisi Declaration Proclaimed.

Other action was also conducted in Ohito, Japan, and created other expression of concern of the planet such as:
• The health of the planet is being undermined by systemic breakdowns on several levels. Faith communities are not taking effective action to affirm the bond between humankind and nature, and lack accountability in this regard.
– Human systems continue to deteriorate, as evidenced by militarism, warfare, terrorism, refugee movement, violations of human rights, poverty, debt and continued domination by vested financial, economic and political interests.
– Biological systems and resources are being eroded, as evidenced by the ongoing depletion, fragmentation and pollution of the natural systems.
Recognising the important parallels between cultural and biological diversity, we feel a special urgency with regard to the ongoing erosion of cultures and faith communities and their environmental traditions, including the knowledge of people living close to the land.
• As people of faith, we are called to respond to these concerns. We recognise that humanity as a whole must face these concerns together. Therefore we recommend these principles as a basis for appropriate environmental policy, legislation and programmes, understanding that they may be expressed differently in each faith community. (quoted from Harfiah Haleem Presentation, 2008)

I am surprised to participate at the first conference Indonesia’s Interfaith and Climate Change held by NU and the British Embassy, as about 100 interfaith leaders as well as some grass root activism shared their ‘best practiced’ to response to the global warming actions: such as planting millions trees, changes the electric to micro-hydro power which can avoid the used 300.000 liters gasoline/year, recycling garbage and financing 50% of operational cost to run the an environmental television program. I believe this emerging attention to the faith group for climate action could become much more significant in the future.

I attended the meetin in order to facilite Mrs Harfiah Haleem as she replaced Fazlun Khalid –bacause of the health problem—that cannot attend the conference. Its firs time to acquaintance Harfiyah as I understand she is an important environmentalist to represent IFEES from UK//