1. UNITED NATIONS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS AND SPIRITUALITY
Purpose: To identify and advocate for national and international policy priorities derived from the common ground of diverse ethical and spiritual perspectives, particularly in the context of Agenda 2030, and to mobilize religious and spiritual organizations to assist in the implementation of Agenda 2030.
Background: Since 2013, Forum 21 has been convening workshops to help shape the targets and indicators of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These workshops have involved representatives of religious and spiritual organizations (NGOs) involved in the UN, as well as UN agency members and other civil society leaders. These meetings have taken place before and during the High Level Political Forum (HLPF)-the annual review of progress on Agenda 2030’s SDGs.
Forum 21 has prepared various policy papers as outcomes and background for these workshops (see here), and is assisting in the editing of a book titled “Ethics, Spiritual Values and the New UN Development Agenda".
- Convening bimonthly meetings of the Spirituality and Sustainable Development working group leading to the July 2018 HLPF, cosponsored by Center for Earth Ethics of Union Theological Seminary and UNFPA.
- Convening a yearly conference during the HLPF involving religious and spiritual organizations (UN NGOs), UN agency members and other civil society leaders.
- Preparing policy papers as background for these events.
2. ROME AND ASSISI CONFERENCE ON SPIRITUALITY AND SUSTAINABILITY
Purpose: This Conference brings together visionary people from a range of ecological-spiritual perspectives, centers, and movements. Participants will dialogue about transformative global change based on spirituality and sustainability. They will also identify key recommendations for creatinga spiritual and sustainable global future.
Goal 1 – Visionary Centers And Movements
- To network centers and movements seeking transformative global change based on spirituality and sustainability.
Goal 2 – Visionary Recommendations For The Future
- To identify key recommendations for transformative global change based on spirituality and sustainability.
Goal 3 – Visionary Young Ecological Leaders
- To support young ecological leaders seeking transformative global change based on spirituality and sustainability.
Background: The Conference draws inspiration from eight previous Assisi conferences in the 1990s featuring Thomas Berry. It also draws inspiration from St. Francis and St. Clare, from the papal encyclical on ecology Laudato Si', from the Earth Charter, and from the work of leaders in spirituality and sustainability.
The Conference focuses on worldviews (our guiding stories) grounded in ecological spiritualities, on transformative paths for education, policies, movements, lifestyles, and communities, on current expressions of ecological spirituality and their indigenous roots, and on the great transition toward ecological civilizations with new paradigms of science, economics, and law.
The Conference explores strategies to deepen and implement the United Nations new development agenda, and to protect and nurture sacred places. Finally, the Conference discusses how we can work together on the way forward toward a just, sustainable, and peaceful future that will support human development for all in a flourishing Earth community.
Forum 21 was a major Cosponsor of the 2017 Rome and Assisi Conference on Spirituality and Sustainability (S&S) (June 27-July 4, 2017) that brought together 60 lead organizations and individuals.
- Forum 21 will Co-convene the 2018 Rome and Assisi Conference on Spirituality and Sustainability with St. Thomas University (the Archdiocesan Catholic University of Florida).
- Forum 21 plans to Co-convene these conferences through 2020.
3. SACRED SITES PROGRAM
Purpose: Partnering with UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and the Center for Earth Ethics of Union Theological Seminary, this program aims to recover and preserve sacred sites throughout the world. It is also the realization of a vision of the Otomi-Toltec elders of Meso-America, shared by all indigenous cultures to Heal and Restore Mother Earth.
Background: Given the continuous deterioration of life systems of our Mother Nature, it is urgent to restore the most affected places in the world. The Ancestral Sacred Sites play a key role in the restoration of those affected places because Ancestral Sacred Sites are energetic points that elevate the capacity of Mother Earth to restore systemic balance. Worldwide, Ancestral Sacred Sites are interconnected. This means that they work together energetically and potentiate the capacity of a single place to restore the balance of a nearby affected place.
It is through reciprocity and specifically through ancestral rituals by offerings and payments how we as ancestral spiritual leaders can accelerate and assure the healing process. Indigenous spiritual leaders from Mesoamerica and La Sierra Nevada, Colombia have been tasked to carry out this mission, and it has been underway since since 2013.
The first trip of the first phase started with work in Fukushima, and Mount Fuji of Japan, and was carried out in June 2017 (link to event). The work needs to continue with Mount Etna (Italy) and the Four Corners (USA). These three places are three equidistant energetic points along the same belt of our Mother Earth and are directly interconnected.
Forum 21 is collaborating with the Center for Earth Ethics of Union Theological Seminary to carry out the Sacred Sites Program.
- A follow up trip to Australia will be made in November 2017 (the actual work was carried out in January 2015)
- A research trip will be made to Mount Etna (Italy) in June 2018
- The work (ancestral rituals of offerings) for the Four Corners (USA) will be carried out in September 2018 (the research trip was carried out in July 2017)
- Phase two and Phase three will be carried out.