People and Planet: Faith in the 2030 Agenda

The Earth’s clock is ticking, and alarm bells are ringing as we enter the United Nations declared ‘Decade of Action’ to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Faith-based development partners and indigenous communities are essential partners in the SDG Agenda and are, in many cases, leading the way. To reach the SDGs, there is an urgent need for an ‘all hands on deck’ approach to ensure inclusive, resilient, and innovative joint action.

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Faith and spirituality are foundational sources and drivers of behaviour; shaping and inspiring individual and com­munity worldviews, priorities, daily rituals, and commu­nity structures – including the relationship to and value of natural resources.

In March 2020, Sida, UNEP, SIWI, and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency convened actors from around the world in a digital, flight-free conference entitled People and Planet: Faith in the 2030 Agenda. The event sought to elevate and enrich partnerships towards achiev­ing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a focus on strengthening linkages and collaborations with faith-based and indigenous knowledge, networks, and resources. This policy brief discusses the role of faith communities in environmental action and highlights the way forward as direct results of the discussions of the themes of this important event.

This policy brief has been authored by: Elizabeth A. Yaari, Senior Programme Manager, SIWI; Kristina Johansson, Programme Officer, SIWI; Dr. Josephine Sundqvist, Programme Manager Specialist, Sida; Dr. Iyad Abu Moghli, Director, Faith for Earth Initiative, UNEP; and Bengt Littorin, Naturvårdsverket.