The faiths are embraced by billions of people from all societies around the globe. In partnership with ARC, this initiative also represents a further development of WWF's relationship with the world's major religions initiated at Assisi, Italy in 1986 to commemorate WWF's 25th anniversary.
The faiths are already committed and actively engaged with conservation projects. The challenge to religious communities now is to examine and further expand their environmental influence and actions, and to focus on conservation priorities.
This initiative will honour what is already happening and through specific Gifts indicates significant new commitments. A Gift will:
Address a recognized environmental need in ways that will support good environmental practice.
- Use the resources of a faith community to reach, affect and encourage response in as many people as possible.
- Have the potential to grow and spread in effectiveness beyond its initial introduction.
- Show a cohesiveness and continuity across diverse aspects of a faith's work.
- Be seen by participants as part of a wider process across the faith community.
- Address key areas in which the faiths have considerable environmental significance and in which most, if not all, faiths are active: land and assets; education; media; health; lifestyle; and advocacy.
The commitment must address WWF's conservation priorities, especially protection of biodiversity e.g. in the Global 200 Ecoregions and by helping achieve the targets of WWF's six thematic programmes (Forests for Life
, Living Water
, Endangered Seas
, Climate Change
). In November 2000, representatives of the world's major faiths and conservationists made the 'Journey to Kathmandu' to celebrate conservation achievements and commitments from different faiths around the world.