Monday, October 13, 2008

Spirituality and Conservation


I did not have the opportunity to tell you about the Spirituality and Conservation Dialogues we had in Barcelona. I was held on Thursday morning and I spoke along with 6 other panelists about the importance of integrating the religious perspective in dealing with conservation issues. I spoke on global environmental leadership and the spiritual deficit , with emphasis on Islamic perspectives.Human excesses greed and a totally materialistic approach to life has perpetuated an aggression against nature in addition to the wars waged against humans. I spoke of Quranic perspectives that see the earth as a cradle and human beings as caretakers or viceroys of God on earth. Concerning Islamic views on the value of natural resources I mentioned the importance attached to water as the source of life and to the tree as the connection between the heavens as the earth. A major cause of the ongoing destructive policies , I stressed was the lack of integrity and sound leadership. The global leaders, I noted, are deprived of inner peace and therefore make decisions based on aggression, control and dominion . You can see the brochure http://cmsdata.iucn.org/downloads/sd_spirituality.pdf and the panel here http://www.iucn.org/news_events/events/congress/live/streaming_sessions.cfm?uNewsID=1874 . We had some slides from Iran as well as Iranian music in the background before the session started. Professors Grim and Tucker also did a great job. We had a press conference and a session in the Futures Pavilion after the panel.

I think it was a positive start for IUCN dealing with religion and conservation. I hope they will continue to work on this important issue. Abrahamic religions have an immense wealth of wisdom on our relations with creation and nature, they might help humanity out of the quagmire it is currently stuck in.

There is an important international meeting underway in Tehran now. I will come back on that shortly.

4 comments:

kathy said...

i just watched the video of IUCN panel discussion which you provided here, and it was very inspiring! now, all the world needs is HOPEFULLY some good, ethical, rational, smart, conscientious and GENUINE leaders like Barack Obama, Stephane Dion, Mohammad Khatami, and ... who could and WOULD do what's needed to lead the billions of uneducated, unaware, uninspired and nonspiritual astray masses of egocentric, anthropocentric and wealth-centric people!

Go Left! Go Green! Go Reform!

Anna said...

I just read your latest post on GreenEbtekar about the conference in Tehran! I wish we had an email address for Mr. Khatami b/c I wanted to send him a birthday ecard!!!! I hope they (Ahmadinejad government) let the Yazd organizers celebrate this great leader's birthday the way the people of Yazd wanted to! please tell him I said "Happy Birthday!", thanks!
Viva Khatami!

Anna said...

Dear Dr. Ebtekar,
I'm back, and I have just modified something I had written on my own weblog a couple of weeks ago, and I hope you read it, like it, and put this link here so that your readers might like to read it as well! (as you were kind enough to do it before)

http://mrs-immanuel-kant.blogspot.com/

The reason I modified it, is that I just recently read the news of Mr. Rafsanjani's speech at Tehran University, in which he was talking about the 3 slogan's of the 1979 revolution, and I thought I should elaborate what I had written about that in my blog. I'm glad people are talking about those 3 slogans again and hopefully reminding today's youth (who weren't even born in 1979) of the reason there was a popular revolution against the despotic regime of the Pahlavi monarchy in the first place!
The Reform movement should remind people of the glory of 1979's "Spring of Freedom" and correct the path of a revolution gone wrong! Having just ONE year of victory (1979-1980) was not what those "shaheed" martyrs had in mind!
You, i.e., Iran's reformists, from Khatami to Yazdi, from Karroubi to Nouri, and some conservative clerics like Rafsanjani and Rowhani, and even some of your right wing yet rational and fair-minded rivals like Haddad-Adel and Larijani, are the only ones who can make sure the TRUE principles of that revolution are upheld!!!! not the twisted and unfair version of what fundamentalists like Ahmadinejad and Jannati and ... and their IRIB agents remember about it and want to push down people's throats as if that's the TRUE version of what happened 30 years ago!!! please don't let people who look and sound like the members of Forghan to now tell people what Dr. Beheshti and Ostad Motahari and Dr. Shariati and Mohandess Bazargan and Ayatollah Taleghani and Dr. Chamran and ... had in mind when they gave their lives for it!

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Ebtekar
I have to tell you I am in love with Iranian Islamic Democracy. I wish I had all the Rights and Respect that Iranian women are experiencing in Iran. In my country I cannot even drive or vote. I hear some Iranian women want more Rights from that wonderful government of yours. Maybe Iranian Government should arrange a tour for Iranian women to go to places like Darfur or Somalia and see how these women are getting raped and murdered. Iranian women are very ungrateful for what they have. Iranian women should count their blessing everyday for what this wonderful government has given them. What other country allows their women to go to universities, vote, hold a job or even drive. I wish I could move to Iran and experience all these Freedoms.

Dumgal