Dialogue Knowledge Hub

Faith for Earth: Climate Change and Environmental Justice

Online Zoom Application
03:00 pm
4 June 2020
Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs
Harald Egerer
Jorge Eduardo Rios
Kiran Bali
Professor Roberto Carlés
Relevant documents: 
This webinar is hosted in collaboration with the Coalition of Faith-Based Organizations, the UN Evironmental Programme (UNEP) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

Faith-based organizations (FBOs) have been recognized as important players in protecting the environment and working towards climate justice. Their agility is crucial, especially at the local level and with other faith actors. 

In recent years, policymakers have begun to engage FBOs in environmental conservation and natural resources management as representatives of sustainable institutions. Tapping into the spiritual wealth of people and their beliefs stimulates people’s engagement and the organizational drive to contribute.

Leading the way in these efforts, the UNEP launched the Faith for Earth Initiative in November 2017, partnering with FBOs on the acheivement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda. 

KAICIID, the Coalition of Faith-Based Organizations, UNEP and UNODC are hosting a special webinar on the issue of Faith and Environment within the 2030 Agenda, inviting leading experts to discuss climate change action and best practices for environmental justice. 


Learn more about the Coalition of Faith-Based Organizations:

The Coalition of Faith-Based Organizations (FBO Coalition) is a broadly-based multi-faith coalition of leading representatives of the world’s great religious traditions, along with interfaith leaders, academics, and practitioners actively engaged in various areas of criminal justice and crime prevention. The FBO Coalition encourages responsible collaboration with various UN agencies, most notably the UNODC, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Religion and Sustainable Development, and ECOSOC. The FBO Coalition is working in partnership with the Vienna-based NGO Alliance for Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. 



Learn more about the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP):

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system, and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. The Faith for Earth Initiative’s mission is to encourage, empower and engage with faith-based organizations as partners, at all levels, toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and fulfilling the 2030 Agenda.



Learn more about the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC):

For two decades, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has been helping make the world safer from drugs, organized crime, corruption and terrorism. We are committed to achieving health, security and justice for all by tackling these threats and promoting peace and sustainable well-being as deterrents to them.


Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs

Jeffrey D. Sachs is a University Professor and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, where he directed the Earth Institute from 2002 until 2016. He is also Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and a commissioner of the UN Broadband Commission for Development. He has been advisor to three United Nations Secretaries-General, and currently serves as an SDG Advocate under Secretary-General António Guterres. He spent over twenty years as a professor at Harvard University, where he received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees. He has authored numerous bestseller books. His most recent book is Ages of Globalization: Geography, Technology, and Institutions (2020). Sachs was twice named as Time magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders, and was ranked by The Economist among the top three most influential living economists.

Harald Egerer

Mr. Harald Egerer is the Head of the UN Environment Vienna Office and acts as the Secretary of the Carpathian Convention on behalf of the United Nations Environment Programme. Born on 5 June 1968 in Vienna, Austria, Mr. Egerer graduated in Law at the University of Vienna. After studies of international relations and environmental law and sciences, Mr. Egerer worked as an environmental reporter for the Austrian Press Agency. In 1996, Mr. Egerer joined UN Environment with the Secretariat of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (Basel Convention). With UN Environment European Office as of 2001, Mr. Egerer specialized on environmental cooperation in the European region and supported the seven Carpathian countries in the development of the Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians. Since the year 2004, Mr. Egerer has been heading the UN Environment Vienna Office – Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention and represents UN Environment as an environmental focal point for the international Mountain Partnership. The Vienna Office is also UN Environment’s liaison office with the Secretariat of the Alpine Convention and the ICPDR and assists UN Environment in its contacts and collaboration with the Regional Environment Centre for Central and Eastern Europe (REC) and with UN organizations and institutions based in Vienna. UN Environment Vienna Office - SCC promotes cooperation on the protection and sustainable development among countries in South-Eastern Europe and Caucasus, including UN Environment activities in the ENVSEC initiative, is also the Environmental Reference Centre of the Mountain Partnership and hosts the Eastern Europe Hub of the Mountain Partnership.

Jorge Eduardo Rios

Mr. Rios is the Chief of the Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime and the Chief of the Sustainable Livelihoods Unit at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).  He is based at UNODC headquarters in Vienna, Austria. Mr. Rios has been working on the issues of drugs and crime for over 27 years.  He started his career at the Organization of American States in the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (OAS/CICAD) in 1993 and in 2005 joined UNODC.

Mr. Rios leads the delivery of both normative work and technical assistance on wildlife, forest and fisheries crime and supervises the implementation of UNODC’s alternative development support to member states to address the illicit cultivation of coca, opium poppy and cannabis. Mr. Rios is the Senior Expert from UNODC to the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) - a partnership formed in 2010 comprised of the CITES Secretariat, INTERPOL, UNODC, the World Bank and the World Customs Organization to combat wildlife trafficking.  Mr. Rios is fluent in English and Spanish. 

The UNODC Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime works to improve the criminal justice and preventive response of member states.  The Programme focuses on policy guidance and technical assistance in several areas such as strengthening national legislation, building up States’ scientific, investigative, prosecutorial and judicial capacities, and establishing internal mechanisms to undertake financial investigations and anti-corruption programmes.


Kiran Bali

Kiran Bali, MBE JP a remarkable global organizational leader and spokesperson in areas of interfaith understanding, environmental justice, women’s empowerment, and peacebuilding through selfless service and multidisciplinary approaches. She is the Global Chair of the world's largest interfaith grassroots network, the United Religions Initiative, Kiran was honored by HM Queen Elizabeth II with the Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) accolade in 2008 and has received a number of international awards for her achievements. Tackling climate change through advocacy and empowering grassroots communities with knowledge, she launched the Hindu declaration on climate change and continues to inspire action.

As a UK magistrate, Kiran underpins all her initiatives with the principles of social justice, compassion and equity towards creating safer, healthier and stronger inclusive communities.

Professor Roberto Carlés

Professor (int.) of Criminal Law at the University of Buenos Aires. Lawyer graduated with honors from the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina). Ph.D. in Comparative Law and History of Law (University of Ferrara, Italy).  Ph.D. in Criminal Sciences (University of San Carlos de Guatemala). Deputy Secretary and Founding Member of the Latin American Association of Criminal Law and Criminology (since 2011).  President of the Young Penalists Committee of the International Association of Criminal Law (2014-2019). Member of the Editorial Board of the International Association of Criminal Law (since 2019).  Member of the Board of Directors of the International Society of Social Defense and Humane Criminal Policy, with consultative status before the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (since 2020).  Director of the Critical Legal Studies Working Group of the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (2016-2019). Member of the Latin American Council of Justice and Democracy (CLAJUD), in the Puebla Group (since 2019).  Founding Member of the Global Interreligious Commission on LGBT + Lives (GIC +).  Advisor to the International Commission Against Death Penalty (since 2015).  Member of the Editorial Board of the Criminal Law and Criminology Review of Editorial La Ley (since 2011).  Coordinator of the Commission for the Elaboration of the Draft Law of Reform of the Penal Code of the Nation (2012-2015). Nominated by the President Dr. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner as Supreme Court Justice with a favorable opinion of the Commission on Appointments of the H. Senate of the Nation (2015). Fundación Bolsa de Comercio Award (2000). Fulbright-FURP Fellow (2006). Fulbright Scholar (2007). Scholar of the Research Doctorate of the University of Ferrara (2009-2012). Fellow of the Latin American Council of Social Sciences, CLACSO (2011). Visiting researcher at the Max-Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law (2010, 2019). Since 2016, he has worked as Secretary of the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation.


Michael Platzer

Dr. Michael Platzer is Co-Chair of the Coalition of Faith-based Organizations for Justice.  He held many senior positions  in the United Nations Secretariat for 34 years, in the Office of the Secretary-General, in Human Rights, Development, Habitat, Centre for Social Development, and Office of Drugs and Crime   Dr Platzer  studied Theology at Union Theological Seminary and Law at Cornell University.  He  has taught at several universities and instituted a number of youth organizations dedicated to the study of United Nations.  Dr. Platzer has advised the International Commission of Catholic Prison Pastoral Care and worked with foreign prisoners in Austria and the Caribbean. He  helped with the integration of Syrian refugees into Austrian society and now helps his wife part-time in her garden.