Faith leaders commit to protect the environment

l-r Fr Michael Higgins, Head of Franciscan Family, Bishop John Arnold, receiving certificates from HRH Prince Philip, HE Mr Ban Ki-moon

l-r Fr Michael Higgins, Head of Franciscan Family, Bishop John Arnold, receiving certificates from HRH Prince Philip, HE Mr Ban Ki-moon

Around 200 faith leaders from around the world took part in last week's conference on the environment: ‘Many Heavens, One Earth’, hosted by HRH Prince Philip at Windsor Castle and attended by the Secretary General of the United Nations, His Excellency Mr Ban Ki-moon.

The aim was to launch and discuss their long term initiatives to Protect the Living Planet, a month before the Copenhagen Climate Change talks.

During the conference,  31 long-term commitments were given by representatives of the different faith groups. These included creating faith-based eco-labelling systems in Islam, Hinduism and Judaism; greening all types of religious buildings; protecting sacred forests; developing ethical investment policies; printing sacred books on environmentally-friendly paper; and creating educational programmes through formal and informal education.

Faith groups who have already made commitments to act on environmental issues were awarded a certificate by  HRH Prince Philip, and His Excellency Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations.

Bishop John Arnold accepted a certificate on behalf of the Bishops Conference of England and Wales  for their commitment to a nationwide parish green audit,  due to be unveiled at the Bishops Conference meeting which takes place later this month.

Source: Windsor2009