The Interfaith Partnership for the Environment (IPE) was founded in late 1986 as a UNEP project to inform North American congregations about the serious environmental problems facing life on Earth. It has since evolved into a global network of faith traditions and organizations working to bring together the forces of religion and ecology.
Since its inception, the IPE has organized numerous seminars and conferences, as well as produced several books and related materials. Among events held at UN Headquarters were a Symposium on Our Environmental Future: Ethical and Spiritual Perspectives and the culminating Conference for the Harvard Project on Religion and Ecology .
Information and resource materials produced by the Partnership have included:
-- "Only One Earth", a 1990 book filled with examples of ceremonies, rituals and prayers designed to inspire anew our shared responsibility to care for the soil, water and air which sustain all life. A children's version entitled "Our Children, Their Earth" was also produced.
-- "Ethics and Agenda 21", a 1993 book of essays from leading environmental philosophers, theologians and scientists to address the ethical issues posed by Agenda 21, the global plan of action for sustainable development adopted at the 1992 Earth Summit. Copies are available from the UNEP New York Office.
-- "Earth and Faith: A Book of Reflection for Action", which highlights the critical environmental issues confronting humankind as it enters a new millennium and UN efforts to address them. It also presents, through the use of primary texts of various faith traditions, the theme of human responsibility to protect the natural world and the urgency of increasing the ecological awareness of religious adherents and congregations. Scattered throughout the book are examples of how ordinary people, inspired by their beliefs, have made a difference to the environment in their part of the world. Advance copies of the book were made available to participants at the August 2000 Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders, and was formally launched during Earth Day 2001 observances at UN Headquarters .