The Strong Relationship between Religion and Natural Environment

08 May 2014 | Article

Specialists in Islam and other faiths, ecologists, ecosystem managers, scholars from botanic gardens were gathered in the Islamic Perspectives on Ecosystem Management Forum, which was organized by the Qur’anic Botanic Garden in collaboration with Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and sponsored by Qatar Petroleum on the 22nd April, 2014 in Doha, Qatar. 

IUCN ROWA participated in the forum, which aimed at exchanging ideas and experiences about future programs to serve the objectives of the Qur’anic Botanic Garden and the CEM. It highlighted Islamic principles, values and ethics that promote the conservation of plants, cultural traditions and ecosystems.

The CEM contribution to the Forum explored broader relationships between faith and spirituality and the natural environment and how this relationship can provide a basis for healing and conservation.

The Qur’anic Botanic Garden and the CEM sought guidance on how to build on the linkages and synergies between knowledge-based traditions and environmental management and to discuss how Islam and other religious teachings might be incorporated into conservation initiatives.

The forum came out with different outcomes, which include:

1. Communicating the importance of faith, spirituality and ethics based on divine religions in the responsible stewardship of the world’s ecosystems.
2. Putting the guidelines for the QBG management plan from botanic prospective.
3. Developing guidance for policy makers.
4. Publishing papers and case studies that were presented in the forum.
5. Providing guidance/input regarding faith and spirituality in the development of the first World Congress on Ecosystems to be held in Kazan, Russia in fall of 2015.

For more information, kindly contact:
Hany El Shaer – Hany.elshaer@iucn.org
Protected Areas, World Heritage and Biodiversity Programme Manager