Interfaith Eco-spiritualities Global Consultation 2023 Promotes Ecojustice and Inclusive Civil Society Engagement

by Cheon Young Cheol

From 24 to 26 October 2023, the Council for World Mission (CWM) hosted the Interfaith Eco-spiritualities Global Consultation 2023 at Missenden Abbey, UK. The event brought together 40 participants from CWM member churches, ecumenical partners, and other faith traditions worldwide, representing diverse religious traditions, including Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, indigenous people, and practitioners of African traditions.

The consultation focused on two key areas: discipleship and dialogue, and ecology and economics. The goal was to encourage conversations among various spiritual beliefs and promote ecojustice.

Interfaith participants shared sacred texts from their religions and their reflections, highlighting common ground in their commitment to environmental preservation. They also discussed the importance of inclusive civil society engagement in combating planetary crises, and explored ways to mobilize faith networks to address these challenges.

A key highlight of the consultation was the insightful presentation by Ms. Azmaira Alibhai, Faith and Ecosystems Coordinator at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Faith for Earth. She emphasized the importance of faith engagement in addressing the triple planetary crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution, and highlighted the role of the Faith for Earth Coalition in supporting faith actors to mobilize their networks and take action.

“Inclusive civil society engagement is key,” remarked Alibhai. “UNEP, through the Faith for Earth Coalition, is committed to engaging faith actors and leveraging their extensive networks to address the triple planetary crises.”

The consultation concluded with a reflective evaluation session, providing a platform for participants to voice unspoken ideas and thoughts. This approach not only allowed for the exchange of visible perspectives but also unveiled common unvoiced concerns, fostering a profound sense of unity and solidarity among all attendees.

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