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New commitments from Windsor

November 26, 2009:

As well as the 30 plus long-term plans formally launched at Windsor by nine of the world’s major faiths – the Baha’i faith, Buddhism, Christianity, Daoism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Shintoism and Sikhism – dozens of further proposals or partnerships were developed during the event.

The new plans included announcements from the Russian Orthodox Church, Mongolian Buddhists (through Gandan monastery), Cambodian Buddhists, CAFOD, Lebanese Maronite Church and EcoCongregation Scotland, on behalf of the Church of Scotland, that they would be working to create their own long term plan. Other proposals and pledges included:

• The British Council – through David Viner, head of its Climate Change programme, pledging the British Council’s support in working with religious programmes on the environment and climate change, throughout its 165+ offices in more than 100 countries worldwide;

• Dr Azza Karam, of the United Nations Family Planning Association, pledged to expand further the work the UNFPA is undertaking with faith-based NGOs throughout its 120 country offices and five regional offices.

• The Shinto, through Jinja Honjo, announced that their commitment to develop a religious forestry standard had received backing from several of the faiths; an executive committee is be established with the Maronites, the World Council of Churches and ARC represented alongside the Shinto;

• Building on their eco-twinning partnership formally launched on Monday, the All Africa Conference of Churches and US-based Interfaith Power and Light announced a new commitment of co-operation to support new environmental projects run by the churches in Africa.

• British Muslims announced that 1,500 mosques, with the first 100 eco-friendly mosques by 2010, and some 115 Islamic schools in the UK would go green; they had also, overnight, bought a plot of land in London to develop a community wood;

• The Montana, US-based Tributary Fund pledged to increase its work with religious communities worldwide; projects include working with rural clergy in Montana, monks in Mongolia, and Bhutan;

• Fletcher Harper of US-based GreenFaith announced the establishment of an interfaith internet group to help faith communities develop websites;

• The Hua Shan Management Bureau, supported by the Shaanxi Provincial Government and with the full support of the Chinese government, will provide one million RMB to fund the next meeting of the religious forestry standard to discuss theologies of the land and sacred landscapes, including forests, in Shaanxi in 2010.

• The Hindu, Jewish and Baha’i communities formed a partnership to work on community supported agriculture.

In addition there were discussions about developing networks between pilgrimage cities, faiths continuing to work with the World Bank, Marine Stewardship Council, Soil Association and others, and a great deal of interest in faiths helping each other develop effective communications strategies and presence, in terms of their environmental outreach.

We will announce new commitments and partnerships as they are confirmed: and if you know of any more, then please let us know at


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