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UN/ARC Seven Year Plan for Generational Change

July 11 2008:

The UN-ARC Seven Year Guide focusses on environmental action, reflection and thought. Above, a picture of the Cryptomeria tree.

After a year of discussions, consultations and drafts, ARC is proud to announce the launch, with the UNDP, of the Guide to Creating Seven Year Plans (Note this is a file of 2MB).

The purpose of this Guide is to help faith communities at every level - local, national and international - to move into a new stage of environmental action, reflection and thought. Many have already done audits; many have searched their scriptures for insights into how we should care for or with nature; many have looked into traditional practices for eco-friendly ways of living. Now, the UN/ARC Guide offers the next level of engagement.

Using the seven key areas in which faiths have power, influence or significance – ranging from investments, through partnerships and media to education and celebration – the Guide offers ideas and ways forward for creating a Seven Year Plan which can reflect the specific strengths of each faith community.

This is an idea that is already being adopted world wide and taken up by many secular environmental agencies as a means of partnership with the faiths. It is also a timely reminder that change takes time and that our response to the environment should be grounded in what is right not just in panic responses to apocalyptic utterances.

The heart of this programme is that over the seven years from 2010 to 2017 the faiths will concentrate on developing ways of living which will result in changes which last generations. This stands in stark contrast to the short term thinking of most activist organisations.

Cambodian Monks examine seedlings. The Assocation of Buddhists for the Environment is one of many faith groups ARC works closely with.
ARC has no interest in controlling the use of the Seven Year Plan idea. We want to hear from faith groups and we are working closely with major national or international religious bodies such as the China Daoist Association, the International Baha’i Community; the World Council of Churches and the Association of Buddhists for the Environment.

But we believe that this idea of a Seven Year Plan for Generational Change is one which many will want to use regardless of any links with us. Already we have an array of websites, partner secular bodies and religious media outlets featuring the idea and the Guide.

The Guide offers ideas and ways forward for creating a Seven Year Plan for different faith communities.
We want this to spread as far and as wide as possible and we invite you to use any networks you have to encourage faith communities to reflect on what they can do now. If you can let us know what feedback you get, wonderful. But more important than that is just getting the idea out.

In November next year - 2009 - we will be celebrating the responses and there will be more on this over the coming months.


Link here to download the latest guidelines document to the full Seven Year Plan (Note this is a file of 2MB).

Link to the Latest News on Seven Year Plans.

Link to download a leaflet on the Seven Year Plan.

Link to the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Link here for eco-audits that others have created.

In 2008 the Sierra Club launched an inspiring document called Faith in Action giving examples from all US states of faith-initiated environmental actitivies. Link here for more information and to download the book.

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Related pages
Long Term Commitments: FAQ
Questions about the ARC/UN Long Term Commitments programme, launched at Windsor in 2009
November 6 2008:
Daoists in China issue an Eight Year Plan for Generational Change on the Environment
The first “Seven Year Plan” in the ARC-UN Programme to work with faiths for Generational Change was created last week by some of Daoism’s most senior leaders. However, since eight is an auspicious number in Daoism, they decided to dub it an Eight Year Plan instead.