The Vatican and UN Environment bring faith organizations together to “care for our common home”

(UN Environment, 8 Jul 2019) The UN Environment Programme’s Faith for Earth Initiative, with its slogan "One earth, many religions, one goal", aims to tap into, and harness, the enormous goodwill and power of the world’s religious authorities and believers to make a positive difference to our global environment.

July 2019 is the fourth anniversary of Laudato Si', the second encyclical of Pope Francis, specifically on the environment. In it, the Pope calls on all people of the world to take "swift and unified global action" against unsustainable practices.

To celebrate the fourth anniversary of Laudato Si', UN Environment’s Faith for Earth Initiative—along with partners including the Catholic Youth Network for Environmental Sustainability in Africa, the World Wildlife Fund, and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development—is  organizing a conference on 15-16 July 2019 at the United Nations Office at Nairobi, Kenya.

Pope Francis has already warned about the dangers of global heating. The conference will focus on the climate emergency and ecosystems restoration to spur governments and young people to heed the calls of many indigenous peoples for better global stewardship of the environment.

The Interfaith Rainforest Initiative is one leading example of this commitment in action.

“We are finding real cooperation and shared purpose across the world’s religions to make protecting forests and the rights of indigenous peoples a top ethical priority,” says Charles McNeill, Senior Policy Advisor on Forests and Climate, UN Environment. “Youth will be the foundation of any faith-based movement to end tropical deforestation, and we welcome this conference as an opportunity to deepen and expand commitment across faiths and sectors.”

The Faith for Earth Initiative is also working with faith-based investment institutions to help them make the switch from carbon-based investments towards more sustainable energy and other investments. 

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UN Environment, 8 Jul 2019: The Vatican and UN Environment bring faith organizations together to “care for our common home”