Ethical Foundations of Climate Action, Religion, Youth, and Environment - On the eighth day of the Faith Pavilion at COP28

Peace Ambassador Shri Shri Ravishankar: Religions play a crucial role in addressing the challenges of climate change

Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme Calls on World Leaders and Religious Communities to Participate in Tropical Deforestation - to protect the Earth

Call to Instill Ethical Values Related to Climate Action for Children

On day 8 of the Faith Pavilion at COP28, four discussion sessions were held, engaging approximately 16 speakers. The discussions focused on the intersection of religion, youth, and the environment, the ethical foundations of climate action, the involvement of farmers in shaping adaptation policy, and the role of religions in protecting forests, climate, and indigenous peoples.

The day commenced with an opening address by Shri Shri Ravishankar, who praised the organization of the Faith Pavilion at COP28. He emphasized the crucial role religions play in inspiring individuals to preserve the environment and in formulating policies to address climate challenges.

Ravishankar highlighted successful stories of utilizing natural resources in agriculture and environmental conservation, stressing the need to pay attention to the planet's health. He also underscored the importance of preserving and improving water resources to combat climate threats and commended government initiatives, such as the ban on plastic bags, to safeguard the environment. He urged individuals to actively participate in initiatives aimed at saving the Earth from the risks of climate change and the imperative role of religious communities in inspiring and motivating individuals to conserve the environment, avoid water wastage, and implement projects for protecting the planet and its environment was emphasized.

The first session, titled "Religion, Youth, and Environment: A Global Response through Local Action," explored projects by youth participants in the global ACWAY movement. These young changemakers, committed to interfaith work and peacebuilding, showcased how their initiatives and projects between religions can address climate change issues and environmental protection.

The second session, titled "The Ethical Foundations of Climate Action: Integrating Bhagavad Gita’s Teachings to Empower School Students in Combating Climate Change," presented a model educational program established by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) as part of the "Faith for Earth" initiative. The program enables students worldwide to embrace core values and translate them into positive environmental impacts.

The third session, "Amplifying the Voice of Smallholder Farmers in Shaping Adaptation Policy: A Faith-Based Response," challenged common perceptions of the role of religious institutions in addressing climate challenges. Participants emphasized the need to involve farmers in discussions and solutions related to the climate crisis, along with directing them to use modern farming methods for land preservation and resource sustainability.

In the fourth session, "Religions in Action for Forests, Climate, and Indigenous Peoples: Innovations from the Interfaith Rainforest Initiative in Brazil, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia, and Peru," the role of religions in protecting forests and prioritizing strategies to address climate change was discussed. The session showcased innovations from the Interfaith Rainforest Initiative in five countries containing 70% of the world's remaining rainforests.

Inger Andersen, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), emphasized that addressing tropical deforestation is one of the most urgent challenges today. She called for the leadership and influence of the world's religions to halt and reverse tropical deforestation, requiring a commitment from religions alongside the Rainforest Coalition. She also pointed that all religious leaders, organizations, and communities worldwide were invited to participate in efforts to combat tropical deforestation to protect the Earth and future generations.

The Muslim Council of Elders is organizing the Faith Pavilion at COP28 in collaboration with the COP28 Presidency, the Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence in the UAE, and the United Nations Environment Programme. Held from December 1 to 12 at Expo City Dubai, the pavilion will feature representatives of nine religions participating in around 70 dialogue sessions with over 300 speakers from around the world.



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