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25th Annual International Society of Tropical Foresters Conference, Examining Tropical Changes: Resilience in the Context of Disturbance and Transgression

  • Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (map)

“Building Eco-spiritual resilience with traditional environmental knowledge” 

In June 2017, religious and indigenous leaders from around the world came together in an unprecedented joint effort to bring spiritual attention and commitment to tropical forest protection. At the first summit of the Interfaith Rainforest Initiative in Norway, the Minister of Climate and Environment said, “There is a dimension to [stopping deforestation] that will require a global, tectonic shift in values. It is not the realm of policy, commerce or science, but of spirit, faith and moral conviction.” Many spiritual communities around the world also advance an understanding of interconnectedness and a profound respect for life. And leaders of major world religions are waking up to the ways they can leverage their tremendous moral authority and spiritual influence for good, to stand behind communities that are leading the path forward on forest protection. The Pope’s environmental encyclical — Laudato si’ -- is just one example of this. By inspiring people in new ways, appealing to their core values, and making the ethical case for rainforest protection, spirituality may be a key element for building resilient communities and ecosystems, and promoting environmental justice. Here is a link to the flyer.