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ARC Home > Projects > Long-term plans :
Guidance on preparing a Seven-Year Plan | The Seven-Year Plan: Use of Assets | Long Term Commitments: FAQ | The Seven-Year Plan: Education | The Seven-Year Plan: Theology, wisdom and guidance | The Seven-Year Plan: Media and Advocacy | The Seven-Year Plan: Lifestyles | The Seven-Year Plan: Partnerships | The Seven-Year Plan: Celebrations

Long Term Commitments: FAQ

"Seven" is a shorthand for generational change: it accomodates looking back, living in the present and planning for the future.

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

Frequently Asked Questions about the UN/ARC Seven Year Programme for Generational Change.

Is there money available from the United Nations and ARC?

No. Projects are funded by the faiths themselves. This Seven Year Programme stems from requests by the faiths for help in thinking through their own plans for how to help combat climate change and protect the natural environment. Responsibility for enacting them rests with the faiths themselves. We can supply you with the most uptodate environmental information, ideas for practical actions, resource groups, commercial organisations working in supplying practical answers to environmental problems, and a network where you can learn from what other traditions have successfully achieved.

Why the Faiths?

Increasing destruction of the natural environment and climate change are probably the biggest global challenges to human development and to the welfare of all life on earth. In particular, they both threaten developing communities’ economic, social and physical well being and put at risk the diversity and wonder of nature itself – through destruction of forests, pollution of the waters and loss of habitats. For many, this has created fear and anxiety about the future. We believe it is therefore a time when the major religions of the world must take a lead - sharing their wisdom, their insights and their hopes, and working through their faithful to address these issues in a holistic and comprehensive way.

In all faiths, the notion of passing on wisdom from the past instils a respect for both tradition and heritage. This understanding is then used to comprehend both the present and the potential for the future. Such awareness of our heritage also helps illustrate that we have been through ecological crises like this before. And that we have come through them firstly by adapting what we already have, secondly by recovering original insights and teachings which have be forgotten or neglected, and thirdly by evolving and learning new ways of tackling the problems.

What do we mean by ‘generational change’?

Human behaviour takes generations to change. There are, of course, some examples of sudden and massive shifts but on the whole, throughout history, change has been gradual and incremental and very often has been inspired, guided and enabled by the work and courage of the faiths. Many secular groups focus upon the idea of ethics as being the means by which changes in human behaviour can be affected. However faiths tend to seek the creation of an ethos, within which ethical choices are made because they arise from the ethos. And such an ethos is only created through the interaction of many different factors and forces - ranging from storytelling to science; from sacred spaces and their rituals to the market place; and from the work of spiritual teachers to that of novelists and playwrights.

Why Seven Years?

Seven is a powerful and auspicious number in almost every faith tradition, and it takes us beyond the usual horizons such as the Millennium Development Goals of 2015 and the Kyoto Protocol which ends in 2011. It is also a shorthand for generational change, so it accommodates looking back, living in the present and planning for the future. The human body regenerates itself over a seven year cycle so it also symbolises a natural process of change.

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Related information
Vision and Strategy
ARC's vision is of people, through their beliefs, treading more gently upon the earth. Link here to find out how we achieve this.
1 July 2008:
Religious leaders remind G8 summit that the eco crisis is a crisis of the heart
The real environmental issue for our generation is the issue of the heart and mind. This was the conclusion of a major meeting of some 150 religious leaders, foreign delegates and scholars in Japan prior to the G8 Leaders Summit.