As part of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 5.2), the UNEP Faith for Earth Dialogue kicked off yesterday on Monday, 21 February, with the theme ‘Strengthening Actions for Nature to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.’ Faith for Earth, in collaboration with diverse faith leaders and organizations, is hosting a series of 25+ online dialogue sessions with over 90 partners and 150 speakers from 21 February – 4 March 2022.
The Secretary General of the World Evangelical Alliance, Archbishop Prof. Dr. Thomas Schirrmacher, gave a keynote address at the Official high-level Launch of the Faith for Earth Dialogue on 21 February at 14:00 PM Nairobi time. In conversation with the Executive Director of UNEP, the President of UNEA, and other eminent faith and interfaith leaders, Schirrmacher discussed how faith actors can work together to build effective environmental governance. 'Our common desire for a prosperous and peaceful Earth that we call home' should motivate us to engage in interfaith dialogue across diverse world views and spiritual beliefs, he argued. The opening session explored the role of religions in promoting an integrated approach to ecological sustainability that protects people and the planet. How can faith leaders encourage development paradigm based on spiritual and moral responsibilities towards our only planet?
The Day 1 of the Faith for Earth Dialogue also included a session entitled ‘Faith Communities: Enabling Inclusive and Equitable Cities,’ in which WEA Sustainability Center's Co-Director Chris Elisara addressed faith participation in the SDG Cities agenda. The session provided a space to discuss the interlinkages between creating inclusive and equitable people-centered cities and the role world religions, communities, and faith leaders play in bringing forward SDG 11.
Overall, Day 1 featured 490 registered participants coming from 76 countries and representing 55 religions and congregations. You can watch the recording of the session here. Learn more about the sessions here.