The Global Forum of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders on Human Survival is a worldwide organization of scientists, leaders of world religions, and parliamentarians who are attempting to change environmental and developmental values in their countries. Members include local, national, and international leaders in the arts, business, community action, education, faith, government, media, and youth sectors.
Historically, lawmakers and spiritual leaders have differed in their views toward stewardship of the earth. A conference held in Oxford, England, in 1988, and attended by 200 spiritual and legislative leaders brought these groups together with scientists to discuss solutions to worldwide environmental problems. Speakers included the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, who conferred with experts such as Carl Sagan, Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai, and Gaia hypothesis scientist James Lovelock. As a result of the Oxford conference, the Soviet Union invited the Global Forum to convene an international meeting on critical survival issues. The Moscow conference, called the Global Forum on Environment and Development, took place in January 1990. Over 1,000 spiritual and parliamentary leaders, scientists, artists, journalists, businessmen, and young people from eighty-three countries attended the Moscow Forum. One initiative of the Moscow Forum was a joint commitment by scientists and religious leaders to preserve and cherish the earth.
The Global Forum tries not to duplicate the activities of other environmental groups but works to relate global issues to local environments. For example, participants at the first U.S.-based Global Forum conference in Atlanta in May 1992, learned about the local effects of global problems such as tropical rain forest destruction, global warming, and waste management . The Global Forum has initiated seminars worldwide on ethical implications of the environmental crisis. Artists learn about the role of the arts in communicating global survival issues. Business leaders promote sustainable development at the highest levels of business and industry. Young people petition their schools to include curriculum on environmental issues as required subjects.
[Linda Rehkopf ]
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