By Fredrick Nzwili *
Peter Prove, director of the World Council of Churches Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, spoke at an online session of a Faith for Earth Dialogue titled “The Power of Faith Partnerships to Safeguard Nature: PaRD a case in point.”
“We are all…in our respective organizations and communities, committed to working for sustainable and inclusive development,” said Prove, also a co-chair of PaRD. “But PaRD provides a unique shared platform for governments, intergovernmental organizations and faith-based civil society to share experiences and priorities, to identify best practices, and to define concrete collaborative initiatives…”
But he warned that time was running out, while referencing the recently-released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group II report which shows that climate change is impacting the planet much more severely than previously anticipated.
PaRD, a voluntary membership international network of 135 organizations established in 2016, taps the influence of religion and values in sustainable development and humanitarian assistance.
It works in four areas: Health; Gender Equality and Empowerment; Sustainable Peace; and Water, Environment and Climate Action (WECARE). WECARE focuses on clean water and sanitation, climate action, life below water, and life on land. WCC is one of co-chairs of WECARE, alongside Faith for Earth, and other organizations.
During the session, speakers shared their best practices that contribute to climate action, water justice and environmental protection. Discussions also covered ideas for engaging with policy actors and identifying how effective partnerships with religious actors can strengthen community eco-justice engagement.
Jean Duff, president of Partnership for Faith and Development, said the faiths know what to do to impact climate change and respond to its urgency and scale.
“Much more serious action is needed. To deliver more serious action, I believe there exists opportunities in scaling up the impact of faith and existing partnerships,” said Duff.
The online dialogues are convening from 21 February to 5 March, alongside the 5th United Nations Environment Assembly and the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Environment Programme.
* Fredrick Nzwili is an independent journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Watch the recording of the online session: