Bonn, 9 September 2019
Continuing its efforts to strengthen the global Evangelical contribution to creation care and the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) has turned to a new chapter with regards to its cooperation with key partners. In recognition of the fact that four SGDs are specifically related to protecting the biosphere – SDG 6 “Clean Water and Sanitation”, SDG 13 “Climate Action”, SDG 14 “Life below Water” and SDG 15 “Life on Land” – the World Evangelical Alliance Sustainability Center (WEASC) has taken over a co-leading role in the newly established work-stream on Environment, Water and Climate Action (EWCA) of the International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD) which specifically focuses on these SDGs. Acting on behalf of the WEA, WEASC will closely cooperate with the other co-leads of the new work-stream: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Global One 2015, Tearfund and the World Council of Churches.
The premise of the new PaRD Environment, Water and Climate Action work-stream is that faith actors and faith-based approaches have an important contribution to make to global efforts to reduce, prevent and reverse environmental degradation and to help mitigate the damaging and life-threatening effects of climate change and the environmental crisis. “Our goal in this new work-stream is to increase the collaboration across diverse communities and to encourage further engagement and contributions of faith actors and faith-based approaches in global efforts to advance the protection of the biosphere”, said Matthias Boehning, Director of the World Evangelical Alliance Sustainability Center. “We are looking forward to even stronger efforts to care for creation and to sharing our perspectives, beliefs and approaches with partners from around the world and from very diverse faith and cultural backgrounds. It is an honor to have been elected by the members to help facilitate the common activities in the new work-stream.”
The EWCA work-stream was launched on August 29th during the World Water Week 2019 in Stockholm/Sweden. PaRD members active in environmental conservation and water management/governance issues had gathered there for a session on “Water and Faith: Mobilizing local faith actors to achieve SDG 6” as well as a “Water and Faith Network Meeting” upon invitation from the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).
At the official launch meeting of the new EWCA work-stream, members adopted a work plan for the period until September 2020 when the next General Member’s Assembly of PaRD will take place. The work-stream will engage in the three areas of work that PaRD covers: knowledge exchange, joint advocacy and capacity building. One of the first activities of the work-stream will be the sharing of knowledge and good practices that should feed into a catalogue of knowledge resources on how religious organizations are working to advance the four focus SDGs. The activities of the work-stream are expected to increase the awareness of evidence, knowledge and good practices related to the role of faith-based approaches on issues of environment, water and climate action. Moreover, the work-stream aims at raising awareness amongst the international community on the various crucial contributions by faith communities in advancing SDGs 6, 13, 14 and 15.
WEA has become member of the International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD) in April 2019. Shortly after, from 1-3 May 2019, the World Evangelical Alliance Sustainability Center (WEASC) participated for the first time in PaRD’s General Assembly of Members in Copenhagen/Denmark. PaRD brings together governmental and intergovernmental entities with diverse civil society organizations (CSOs) and faith-based organizations (FBOs) to engage the social capital and capacities vested in diverse faith communities for sustainable development and humanitarian assistance in the spirit of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. PaRD aims at greater and institutionalized communication and coordination between faith-based and secular actors, while fostering new synergies through cooperation and collaboration of its members. In addition, PaRD uses synergies with existing networks and initiatives to contribute towards a more coherent, inclusive and effective international agenda on religion and development.
World Evangelical Alliance Sustainability Center (WEASC)
Matthias Boehning, Director
WEA Creation Care Task Force, Associate Director
Am Platz der Vereinten Nationen
Fon: +49 (0) 228 – 30 42 63 59
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