Climate change to get spotlight in October conference

On the heels of the ABS conference, another major Canadian conference is scheduled for the second half of 2007, this one focusing on society’s response to global climate change.

The 11th annual conference of the International Environment Forum, a Bahá’í-inspired organization, takes place in Ottawa, Ontario, on the weekend of 12 to 14 October 2007.

Adopting the theme “Responding to Climate Change: Scientific Realities, Spiritual Imperatives,” the conference will explore the relationship of ethical and spiritual principles to the practical actions of individuals and communities facing global environmental change.

Program content will build on the Bahá’í International Community’s previous initiatives to explore the ethical dimensions of climate change. Additional information about these initiatives can be found on the BIC website.

Speakers and participants this year will include decision and policy makers from the private and public sector, academics and university students, leaders from faith-based, environmental, and other non-governmental organizations, and the general public.

Presenters include:

Peter Adriance, NGO Liaison and representative to the U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development, National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States.

Arthur Dahl, Coordinator of the UNEP/University of Geneva Environmental Diplomacy Programme; President of the International Environment Forum.

Heather Eaton, Associate Professor, Feminist Theology; Ecology; Contemporary Theology and Spirituality, St. Paul University.

Michael Gerbis, CEO of the Delphi Group.

Sylvia Karlsson, Finland Futures Research Institute, University of Turku, Tampere, Finland; Associate Member of the Club of Rome; and Secretary-General of the International Environment Forum.

Tahirih Naylor, Representative, Bahá’í International Community’s United Nations Office, New York.

Beatrice Olivastri, CEO of Friends of the Earth Canada.

Victoria Thoresen, Associate Professor, Education, Hedmark University College, Norway, Project Manager, Consumer Citizenship Network.

Diana Cartwright, Advisor on sustainable development, Bahá’í Community of Canada.

Marty Quinn, Founder and researcher, Design Rhythmic Sonification Research Lab; software creator, Climate Symphony.

Of special interest this year, and in recognition of 2007 being the International Polar Year, the conference will include learning from Inuit presenters on their efforts to respond to the growing environmental crisis.

For program updates and conference registration information, please visit the International Environment Forum website, at

A simultaneous online conference is planned for participants around the world who cannot attend the conference or choose to reduce their environmental impact by not travelling to Ottawa.