Launch of The Interfaith Rainforest Initiative.
The Interfaith Rainforest Initiative was launched in Oslo, Norway, on 19 June 2017. In a first-of-its-kind summit, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu and Taoist religious leaders joined forces with indigenous peoples from Brazil, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Meso-America and Peru to make the protection of rainforests an ethical priority for the world’s faith communities. The result is a new, multi-faith initiative that aims to bring moral attention and spiritual commitment to ending tropical deforestation. [link to press release and media coverage].
The initiative was launched at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo in the presence of His Majesty King Harald V of Norway in an event hosted by His Excellency Vidar Helgesen, Norway’s Minister of Climate and Environment and featuring high-level statements by religious and faith leaders on the ethical imperative of safeguarding rainforests [link to video]. The launch, which featured an afternoon of panel discussions [link to program], was followed by a two-day planning meeting to establish priority actions, activities and milestones for the initiative.
Among the key outcomes of the meeting was a statement committing participants to the formation of an “international, multi-faith rainforest alliance” that will rally spiritual and religious communities to act for the protection of rainforests and the rights of the indigenous peoples who safeguard them [link to statement].
The inaugural meeting of the Interfaith Rainforest Initiative was organized by Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI), Rainforest Foundation Norway and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale University, GreenFaith, Parliament of the World’s Religions, Religions for Peace, REIL Network and the World Council of Churches. The initiative is an open partnership that will welcome contributions and ownership by all organizations, institutions and individuals of good faith and conscience that are committed to the protection, restoration and sustainable management of rainforests. [For more information, please contact Maryka Paquette at:firstname.lastname@example.org]