By Kim Carfore November 21, 2015

Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion Program Chair Elizabeth Allison, along with key figures in the field of religion and ecology, gathered at the medieval Palace of the Archbishops of Canterbury, Lambeth Palace in England for a summit to discuss how environmental and religious organizations can work more effectively together on some of the most important issues of our time to help shape the future.

At the meeting held on November 17-18, scholars, religious leaders, and environmental practitioners from six continents  shared lessons learned over the past 30 years of faith and conservation work and discussed how to best move forward collectively as concerned partners in an inter-religious and multidisciplinary dialogue.

"The world's faiths offer many teachings that can help humanity navigate the environmental challenges we currently face," says Allison. "I was thrilled to participate in this historic gathering, opened by His Royal Highness Prince Philip, to discuss the current and potential contributions of the world's faiths in environmental conservation."

The summit was developed by The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the world's largest nonprofit conservation organization, and funded in part by the Science for Nature and People (SNAP) partnership. In 2013, TNC began to explore how it could work with religions and contacted the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC), founded by Prince Philip 20 years ago. ARC has been the main organization brokering partnerships between faiths, governments, and secular environmental groups, ARC said in a release.

Items discussed included: why conservation goals are not being met to address escalating global threats, why climate change talks fail, why religious-based strategies to environmental issues are often effective and sustainable, the Pope's encyclical: Laudate Si, and the rise of religious extremism.

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