University of Winchester

Keynote Speakers 2006

John Smith, from the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC)

ARC is a secular body which works with faith communities from eleven of the world’s religions on environmental and development programmes and projects. ARC has worked in all the regions of the world and currently has large programmes in Africa, South East and Central Asia. Specifically ARC assists faith communities in the development of their environmental projects and programmes by bringing together partnerships between faith and secular bodies, fund raising and promoting these projects and partnerships to the wider community. On occasions ARC has brought together representatives of the religions and their secular partners to celebrate both the success of the outcomes of these partnerships as a means to generate new initiatives and efforts.

ARC works at every level of society and is as comfortable in creating programmes involving intergovernmental co-operation through to localised projects based in a single community. Currently for example it is assisting with a feasibility study to create an environmentally sustainable church here in the UK while also working with the Norwegian Government as the lead partner in creating a framework for better faith/secular co-operation and understanding as a tool for development and environmental agencies. In our work ARC will draw upon the theological traditions of a faith to create the framework, materials and if necessary adjustments of both faith and secular structures in order to address jointly recognised issues such as climate change, toxins and other environmental concerns. As this work, if of lasting value, needs to be placed into a sustainable practice it looks at the developmental issues this will involve. For further information on both the rationale and examples of ARC work please take a look at our website on

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Fazlun M. Khalid, Founder Director of the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Enviromental Sciences (IFEES)

Our home planet Earth is undergoing rapid and sustained destruction of its eco-systems. This is giving rise to unacceptable levels of pollution, increasing damage to human habitations and ultimately threatening worldwide population disruption. Muslims comprise at least one fifth of the human community and they can contribute much to the thinking that is vital to re-evaluate the future direction of the human community and save its home for itself.

From tentative beginnings in the mid 1980’s IFEES has established itself as perhaps the only internationally recognised body articulating the Islamic position on these matters and at the same time attempting to give practical manifestation to this.
IFEES is a multi-dimensional organisation and its objectives include -

  • Research and the dissemination of information
  • Producing teaching materials, books and journals
  • Training on practical and theoretical subjects
  • The setting up of an experimental centre focusing on land use and organic farming and also the development
    of alternative technology
  • International project development

IFEES networks world-wide with NGOs, international organisations, academic bodies and grass roots organisations and invites collaboration from organisations and individuals from all persuasions who are also dedicated to the maintenance of the Earth as a healthy habitat for future generations of humankind as well as other living beings.

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