We, faith-based leaders, networks and organisations representing faith and spiritual communities– Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Bah’ai, Brahma Kumaris, Animist, and Shamanic-from across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas, have joined together at this non-state actors-focused Climate Chance gathering in Morocco. We are here to celebrate, recognise, and remind us all of our deep interconnection and therefore responsibility we share to care for and protect each other and all living Beings of this Mother Earth. This life is a gift the Earth has bestowed upon us; our debt is to love, honour and respect the gift and the gift-giver.
Bridging Science and Religion
Converging and shared biocultural values and traditional wisdom from cultures and spiritual practices around the planet teach us that our wellbeing and the wellbeing of our ecosystems are intricately, delicately interlinked. This ancient wisdom is now mirrored in the accepted current climate science, and planetary systems science, Earth Systems science, Deep Ecology and social-ecology studies, and even developing findings within the neuro-sciences and quantum physics. We humans are part of a living, dynamic, mutually dependent co-arising Earth System. To heal our planet, to care for all Beings upon it, we must approach our solutions through holistic healing of our diverse local spaces. We are moved to interlink each local healing with the healing of whole nations, regions and the globe.
With 84% of the World’s human population self-identifying with one of the world’s major religions, we should not miss this opportunity to engage and include faith leaders in decision-making processes within global climate actions, resource directives and policy making. In fact, this statistic suggests that across the many sectors and activities surrounding climate governance, exist people who practice a faith or spirituality.
Faith leaders bring the wisdom of their own traditions to live in harmony with the Earth. These faith leaders offer a key influential space for facilitating climate change awareness and action within local communities, local policy makers, and national leadership.
Transitioning Systems and New Models for Doing and Being
Some faith-based leaders and networks have already engaged with and supported climate-smart, sustainable markets in communities across Asia and Africa. They offer new and transitioning models for sustainable livelihoods and healthy markets that are part of caring for the planet, rather than extracting and exploiting her. These emerging models for holistic, climate-conscious, and values-based markets are embedded within faith and local community activities. These activities simultaneously contribute to carbon sinking, biodiversity restoration, analog forestry, organics, permaculture and food forests, renewable energy systems, natural and traditional build Zero-waste movements, and climate-conscious circular and sharing economies.
We invite the political, economic and business sectors to join us, to consider the value these new and emerging models, evolving outside of the existing global governance systems. They may inspire, catalyse, and inform our shared work. The framework of all this activity is captured through a primary role of faith leaders: we work to facilitate, support and strengthen peoples’ capacities to cope with and overcome the consequences of climate change through locally appropriate biocultural, spiritual, and traditional values and wisdom.
We Are Nature
At the centre of our message of interconnection and inter-Being is love–love and care for ‘Self’ is love and care for the plants and animals, the mountains and rivers, the oceans and ice shelves, the living Beings we call Nature. We are Nature, we are an integrated part of this whole.
The systems of a globalized capitalist economy and power structures have sought to divide humans from nature- from the nature within ourselves and beyond ourselves. We have learned that we are to dominate or fear the natural world, and in doing so, we have thrown our planet headlong into an ecological crisis. We have ushered in the Anthropocene. As long as the systems and structures through which we work to address the brokenness of the Anthropocene persist in reflecting a siloed, hierarchical and fragmented approach to ourselves within our living earth, we will fail to facilitate healing of the Whole Earth.