Climate change has become a concern for all nations, governments, state and religious leaders. Because of its strategic role in societies and communities the involvement of religious leaders will be very important, in that they can direct the people’s behavioral changes in responding to the changing climate conditions.
COP-21 in Paris will be the latest event in the global agenda, the UN-sponsored climate negotiations consisting of over 190 member countries, and spanning the last 25 years. However we see that mobilization efforts still need to be improved in order to involve the entire community for tackling the threat of climate change. The involvement of religious leaders is crucial to this mobilization, and critically able to attract the attention of world leaders since the climate issues are not just a matters of policy, but related moreover to the moral and ethical foundations of society.
Pope Francis’ Encyclical, Laudato Si’ issued earlier this year, inspired many religious leaders to become more actively involved in mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Following its issuance, on 17-18 August in Istanbul, Turkey, many environmental and climate scientists along with leading Islamic scholars from 20 nations gathered at the International Islamic Climate Change Symposium. The participants agreed to issue the Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change, which shows the world that the Islamic faith and Muslims everywhere can and must help provide serious solutions to the climate crisis now. The Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change can be read and downloaded at http://islamicclimatedeclaration.org/
Visit: Deklarasi Islam untuk Perubahan Iklim (Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change)
Indonesia has taken important steps to involve religious leaders in the issues of climate change. At COP-13, which took place in Bali, Indonesia in 2007, religious leaders issued a statement took part in support for activities aimed at encouraging their followers to become more active. In early September 2015, there was a gathering of religious leaders in Indonesia – Islamic, Catholic, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Konghocu – along with leaders of the major Islamic organizations, Muhammadiyah and NU, to launch the forum Indonesia Moves to Save the Earth (Siaga Bumi). This forum will carry on stimulating awareness of religious followers to take part in climate change mitigation and adaptation activities.
Purpose of Interfaith Dialogue at COP-21
The goals of this Interfaith Dialogue are:
- Explaining to the public about the position and support of Indonesian religious leaders on climate change issues, as well as to share publicly the efforts of leaders from many religions in Indonesia, a culturally and religiously diverse nation, in supporting climate-related programs.
- To share actions and knowledge of religious leaders from other countries in complementary activities on addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation.
- Opening collaboration and partnership opportunities between religions (interfaith) and other forms of co-operation and potential partnerships in supporting the activities of religions for addressing climate change.
Panel Discussion Participants
Dr. Din Syamsuddin, Advisory Board of the Indonesian Council of Ulama (MUI), renowned Indonesian Islamic scholar.
Archbishop Serafim Kykotis, Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of the Greek Orthodox Church.
Bishop Marc Andrus, Bishop of California, USA
Ciara Shannon, Regional Asia Coordinator for OurVoices and a co-founder of the Global Catholic Climate Movement
Moderator – Dr. Hassan Wirajuda, Former Minister of Foreign Affair RI
Indonesia Pavilion, COP 21, Paris (Paris Le Bourget Exhibition Center Paris – France Hall 2B, Country Pavilion Area COP21 UN Compound)
Indonesia Pavilion COP 21 Paris