It should not be surprising that much has been written about Ecology and Religion in recent years, and that the major world religions are committed to an environmental agenda not dissimilar to the Rio and Kyoto Summits. Perhaps most famously, in 1986, at the 25th Anniversary of the WWF, religious leaders from around the world joined together in the Assisi Declarations. The success of Assisi was followed by further conferences: in 1995 at Ohito in Japan, for example, and at Windsor Castle, where the Summit on Religions and Conservation adopted the Ohito Declaration.

Leading participants in the Summit on Religions and Conservation:

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1.Madame Rhyyih Rabbn, leading dignitary


1.His Excellency Sri Kushok Bakula, 20th incarnation of the Arhat Bakula, Indian Ambassador to Mongolia, and acting spiritual head of Mongolian Buddhism

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1.His All Holiness The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

2.Rev. Bernard J. Przewozny, OFM, Pontifical Advisor on Environmental Issues

3.Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia, executive director, Unit III -- Justice, Peace and Creation, World Council of Churches


1.Swami Vibudhesha Teertha, Acharya of the Madhva Sect, Founder of the Purnaprajna Family of Schools

2.Dr. K.L. Sheshagiri Rao, representing Swami Chidananda, and chief editor of the Encyclopedia of Hinduism


1.His Excellency Dr. L.M. Singhvi, High Commissioner for India in the United Kingdom

2.R.P. Chandaria, chairman of the Institute of Jainology


1.Prof. Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, honorary vice president, World Jewish Congress

2.Dr. Gerhart M. Riegner, honorary vice president, World Jewish Congress


1.Dr. Adnan Bakhit, representing HRH, Crown Prince El Hassan bin Talal, president of the University of Al al-Bayt, Jordan

2.Muhammad Hyder, Professor Emeritus, University of Nairobi

3.Dr. Ihsan Mahasneh, University of Al al-Bayt


1.Sri Singh Sahib Jathedar Manjit Singh, Jathedar of Akaal Takhat

2.Prof. Dr. Kehar Singh, Punjabi University

3.Dr. Rajwant Singh, special advisor on ecology to Jathedar Manjit Singh


Xie Zongzing, vice president, China Taoist Association, Beijing

Zhang Ji Yu, vice secretary, China Taoist Association

Other Dignitaries

1.HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh

2.The Most Reverend and Right Honorable Lord Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey

3.Andrew Steer, Director, The World Bank

4.Dr. Arthur Dahl, Earthwatch, United Nations Environment Programme

5.Sam Younger, Managing Director, BBC World Service

6.Samar Singh, secretary general, WWF India

7.Dr. Karan Singh, head of the Auroville Foundation


Most recently the World Bank has recognised the important role played by religions. A meeting of religious leaders from the nine world faiths and the World Bank was held in February 1998 at Lambeth Palace, jointly chaired by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the President of the World Bank, to discuss, amongst other things, responsibility for the environment.

But there still seems to have been little attempt to involve religious followers at large in the discussion and implementation of these principles: the Churches Together in England's "New Start" to the Millennium, for example, addresses world debt, but has no specific environmental component.

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