What: Inter-Religious Dialogue on Climate Change
When: September 23- 27, 2012
Where: Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
Who: Conference organizers:
International Network of Engaged Buddhist (INEB) – Bangkok, Thailand
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Sri Lanka
The conference organisers have collaborated to convene an inter-religious conference on climate change. The conference is one component of a larger programme identified for Asia and other regions on religion and climate change to include: theological work, hard science and action planning at the same time. The conference will focus on connecting Buddhist environmental activists across Asia for the first time while bringing in leaders from other religions to begin a wider process of coordination.
The organizers believe that it is imperative to recognize that the current climate crisis is rooted in human values and human behavior. Ever increasing consumption, the belief that more material possessions will lead to greater harmony and happiness, and a lack of mindfulness about the consequences of our actions continue to degrade and destroy the earth. Ultimately, the roots of the climate crisis must be addressed through accountability and responsibility for the values, morals and ethics which underpin the current situation.
Goal: The conference?s goal is to increase active participation and knowledge on climate change among the religious leaders and activists.
In order to accomplish the goal the conference will focus on creating concrete actions at the three following levels:
- Micro Level – Grassroots linking with the INEB process
- Macro Level – Policy level connection that integrates the perspectives and knowledge of these activities with national, regional and global policy level change
- Introducing a paradigm change
Design: The conference is designed to take place in two parts:
- the first part is a two day field visit from September 23?24 with exposures to areas affected by climate change on the island; and
- the second part is the main conference from September 25?27
Field-Exposure Visits will take place on September 23 and 24 when participants can choose a visit based on the different regions in Sri Lanka (e.g. North Central, Northwest, East, Upcountry, and South). Field visits will focus on communities affected by climate change, initiatives by religious groups, and inter-religious programs.
Day 1 ? Notable persons are being invited for the opening and plenary sessions. The afternoon breakout groups will be by religion (and sub-branch of Buddhism) to discuss the role of each religion in addressing climate change through its teachings, ethics and institutional networks.
Day 2 – Representatives from each breakout group will share their conclusions with the main group. The afternoon breakout groups will be by key action areas with representatives from each religion in each group. Possible topics may include disaster response and mitigation, education, international conferences, etc. Participants will have an opportunity to share experiences, discuss challenges, and identify opportunities for collaboration.
Day 3 ? Outcomes of days 1 and 2 will be discussed at the workshop before drafting an inter-religious declaration and action plan.
The conference will weave together general themes from faith-based traditions and science. Topics will include: environmental education; materialism and consumerism; natural resource management; grassroots adaptation and mitigation; disaster risk reduction humanitarian aid; and national policy and program advocacy in addition to others.
The core group is estimated to be one hundred (100) persons who will come from Buddhist communities in South, Southeast and East Asia, as well as invitations given to ensure participation by other inter- faith/religious groups. Each country will have a delegation of persons that represents their groups.
This conference represents the first step initiated by the organisers in their search for a comprehensive way to address and reverse the negative effects of climate change. The organisers? desired outcome is that the conference will help to establish consultative mechanisms to work strategically and consistently across faith traditions. This can be achieved through actions taken at the three levels ? micro, macro and a paradigm shift. The desired outcomes include:
1. Local language resource materials to help religious leaders understand the climate crisis.
2. Opportunities to share tools and strategies on grassroots adaptation and mitigation.
3. National and regional workshops to form alliances that can influence policy.
4. Increased representation of Asian religious leaders in international forums.
5. Matching grant funds to support initiatives by religious institutions.
Collaboration and collective action of this nature is essential in order to eventually impact international and national policies that will help shift the paradigm.
Since the number of participants will be limited to 100 persons, please register early. The registration deadline is August 31, 2012. The registration form can be downloaded directly from the conference website:
Fees: 140 USD September 23 ? 24 ? exposure trip
320 USD September 25 ? 27 – conference registration
460 USD Total cost to participate in exposure trips and the conference
The registration fee includes food and lodging as well as the local transportation for the exposure trips.
Payment can be made by bank transfer and online via INEB?s website ? www.inebnetwork.org – through PayPal.
>> Bank transfer ? Payment can be made through direct transfer to the below bank account:
Account Name: ?INEB by Sathirakoses ? Nagapradeepa Foundation?
Account Number: 024 ? 262146 ? 8
Bank Name: Siam Commercial Bank Plc. (Charoen Nakorn Branch)
Bank Address: Soi Charoen Nakorn 22, Klong San, Bangkok 10600 Thailand
Bank Swift Code: SICOTHBK
Date of Payment: _____________________________
Information about Sri Lanka: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sri_Lanka