June 11, 2017
Unprecedented Meeting of World Faith Leaders to take on Global Deforestation
Monday, June 19, at the Nobel Peace Center, Oslo, Norway
For the first time, leaders from many of the world’s religions will meet to discuss the spiritual and ethical responsibility they share to protect rainforests, one of the planet’s most vital life-support systems. Besieged by growing global demand for commodities, tropical rainforests are being cleared at a perilous rate, with an area the size of Austria chopped down each year.
The meeting, which will take place in the presence of His Majesty King Harald V of Norway, will discuss how to activate the collective moral influence of religious communities across the planet. Based on sheer numbers, they could prove decisive in protecting the world’s last standing rainforests.
There is growing consensus among the world’s religions that environmental concerns are closely linked to social justice, a position reinforced by Pope Francis’ Laudato si and high-level declarations from many other faiths about the spiritual imperative of protecting the planet and its most vulnerable people.
The multi-faith summit marks the first significant engagement by the world’s religions with an issue that climate scientists and development experts argue is a lynchpin for global efforts to address climate change, poverty, food insecurity and violations of human rights. It also heralds the first time that religious leaders from a broad spectrum of faiths will work hand-in-hand with indigenous peoples, the historical guardians of rainforests, on an action agenda to end deforestation.
Host: His Excellency Vidar Helgesen, Minister of Climate and Environment (Norway)
Partners: The meeting is being convened by Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI), Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in cooperation 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.
Where: Nobel Peace Center, Oslo, Norway
When: Monday, 19 June 2017 - Detailed schedule to come
Indigenous Peoples Leaders
Academics and Experts
Among the questions to be addressed at the event:
About Norway's International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI)
Since its launch in 2007, the Government of Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) has cooperated with international partners, governments in forest and donor countries and a broad range of non-governmental organizations to reduce tropical deforestation and forest degradation.
Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN) is one of the world's leading organizations in the field of rights-based rainforest protection. We support Indigenous Peoples and traditional populations in the three main rainforest regions of the world: the Amazon, the Congo basin and Southeast Asia. We work to counter drivers of deforestation, influence political, legal and economic framework conditions for rainforest management, and support rights-based sustainable forest management by forest-dependent local communities.
To attend, or request interviews and press materials, please contact:
Ellen Wilson at [email protected] or +1 301 466 3205, or
Coimbra Sirica at [email protected] or +1 301 943 3287, or
Susan Tonassi at [email protected] or +49 160 9327 9327
Learn more about the Interfaith Rainforest Initiative.