“Legally registered international faith-based development and humanitarian NGOs, Religious leaders, religious institutions such as Mosques, Churches and their affiliated NGOs; and independent local community entities inspired by faith principles.”
UN Environment strategy on faith-based organizations is in line with the UN Task Force on Religion and Development definition, which in turn is informed by more than a decade of experience among different UN organizations. The objectives of the task force are:
- Provide a resource pool on partnerships with faith-based organizations for colleagues within the United Nations as well as other developmental counterparts.
- Strengthen the integration of faith-based organizations partnerships within broader civil society outreach and provide informed policy guidance upon request.
- Local access through FBOs is unprecedented:
The main mission of religious organizations working on humanitarian issues is to reach local communities. It is not only an obligation for religious leaders to reach out to local communities, but a spiritual fulfillment and an unprecedented decentralization of governance. No other organization can have such an access making it the best communications and outreach channel to convey messages based on relevant spiritual values.
- Houses of worship:
It is argued that every corner of the world, there is a house of worship, either a church, a mosque, a synagogue, a temple, or even a tent for the spiritual leader. These houses are connected to a wider network of their own religion which provide teachings, instructions, funding or simply a point of reference. The interconnectedness of these houses of worship is unmatchable.
- These already exist, we need to tap into them:
Environmental faith-based organizations are proliferating around the globe. Some with specific focus on climate change or water issues, others on wider care for the creation principles. Major and huge projects and initiatives have already been mobilized that can support consolidated international efforts.
Consult the table on Environmental Faith-based Organizations and Resources for the complete list.