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Faith and Climate Change wins national Award

26/11/2009

Faith and Climate Change, a project co-ordinated by Friends of the Earth Birmingham and part funded by Be Birmingham’s Working Neighbourhoods Fund, has received national recognition for its innovative approach to dealing with climate change.

The Birmingham based project has won the Guardian’s Green Community Heroes awards, in the Best Urban Community Project category. Be Birmingham’s Environmental Partnership who have supported the project since its beginning nominated it for this prestigious award.

The Faith and Climate Change project was established in 2006 after the successful multi-faith and climate change conference, which saw over 100 attendees from nine different faiths draw up a joint declaration on their commitment to tackling climate change.

To date, the project supports 19 different places of worship and a diverse range of faith communities in Birmingham and the West Midlands by taking practical action to cut carbon emissions.

The project has a vast and varied network of members and stakeholders including representatives from the Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu and Jewish faith, as well as organisations such as the Environment Agency, Groundwork West Midlands.

Participants have benefited from this project in a variety of ways, from receiving advice on how to improve the energy efficiency of their place of worship, to how to live a more sustainable life at home. Some have taken ownership of the project, becoming Faith Ambassadors, willing to champion environmental sustainability and in particular CO2 reduction projects within their faith communities.

As well as achieving measurable carbon reductions in Birmingham’s faith communities, the project has been a valuable way of improving relationships between communities in the city.

A particularly popular event has been the recent multi-faith organic Iftar. Women of all faiths break the fast of Ramadan together by tasting local and seasonal dishes- a perfect way to share the Islamic culture with other faiths, focusing on eating food that has come from sustainable sources.

Maud Grainger, manager of the Faith and Climate Change project said: “For three years the Organic Iftar has been reaching women of all faiths. Women bring dishes from their cultures and share the importance of their food, discuss the challenges of local/seasonal food and how it links back to their faith. Women have applied the message of sustainability to their lives, others have taken it with them as they move away but most importantly, friendships have been made across faiths, neighbourhoods and cultures.  These friendships will continue to build bridges for years to come.”

Keith Budden, manager of the Birmingham Environmental Partnership said: “Tackling climate change is a global and local issue providing people of different backgrounds and faiths a unique opportunity to work together for a common goal. Faith and Climate Change is a shining example of Birmingham’s innovation and leadership in this area.”

This achievement is excellent news for Birmingham, boosting its already strong reputation as a leader on climate change in the run up to the climate change summit in Copenhagen this December.

For more information on Faith and Climate Change, go to http://www.faithandclimatechange.org

Ends

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One Comment leave one →
  1. 09/12/2009 11:40 am

    Congratulations!
    Good to know you are close-by and doing such good work.

    You may also want to link with Transition Birmingham (http://transition-brum.wikispot.org/Home) if you haven’t already.
    also of interest perhaps:
    http://www.transitionstourbridge.wordpress.com
    http://www.hubstourbridge.wordpress.com

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