Editor's Note: The online forum "FEAST" will offer new packets of reporting posted every Monday throughout Eastertide 2005, and continue with breaking news and occasional features thereafter. FEAST seeks to widen coverage of intersections of faith and the sciences as well as highlighting environmental protection and sustainability. The forum can be found online at: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/3577_59978_ENG_HTM.htm.
[ENS] World Environment Day (WED), established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 to stimulate awareness of the environment and enhance political attention and public action, will be held in San Francisco June 1-5, 2005 and will include special events focusing on urban environmental issues.
Each day of the five-day event will focus on a specific theme: urban power (energy, renewables and energy conservation), cities on the move (transportation), redesigning metropolis (waste diversion and the built environment), pure elements (food, water and air) and "flower power" (open space, biodiversity and greening the urban environment).
A special event at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, "Oil on Ice: Don't be misinformed on what oil drilling in the ANWR means for us," will be offered at 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 5, the closing day of WED.
Oil on Ice is "a vivid, compelling and comprehensive documentary connecting the fate of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to decisions America makes about energy policy, transportation choices, and other seemingly unrelated matters. Caught in the balance are the culture and livelihood of the Gwich'in people and the migratory wildlife in this fragile ecosystem."
WED will offer workshops, tours, seminars, an environmental film festival, arts programming, experiential educational activities, eco-tours, and other events which will be attended by Bay Area governments, businesses, non-profits, residents, as well as many of the 16 million tourists who annually visit San Francisco.
Klaus Toepfer, executive director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), said, "With careful planning our cities can become places where the hopes of the millions of people who flock to them can be realized. Places where people can live in a clean and healthy environment, where they can find work and where children can get a good education."
The Episcopal Church's Peace and Justice Ministries Office focuses on Environmental Stewardship through its active participation in the ecumenical Eco-Justice Working Group of the National Council of Churches and by providing liaison support to the Episcopal Ecological Network, a grassroots network which helps the Church advocate and articulate protection of the environment and preserving the sanctity of creation.
The U.N. was established in 1945 at the Fairmont Hotel near Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, where Episcopal Bishop William Swing of California also founded the United Religions Initiative (URI), a global community committed to promoting enduring, daily interfaith cooperation and to ending religiously motivated violence.
Further information about World Environment Day 2005 can be found online at: http://www.wed2005.org/.
Further information about Environmental Stewardship in the Episcopal Church can be found online at: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/1829_ENG_HTM.htm.