Faith and Water
It is increasingly recognised that faith leaders and faith-based organizations (FBOs) are essential contributors towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and addressing environmental and climatic crises. Acknowledging this, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) launched the Faith for Earth Initiative to strategically engage with FBOs, mobilise greater faith-inspired environmental action, scale-up faith actors’ capacities and catalyse greater synergies between them and other stakeholders. This short, self-paced, e-learning course, focusing on global water challenges, forms part of this commitment.
Water is universally acknowledged as one of the most precious resources on earth, not just for humans, but all life that we share the planet with. This importance is reflected in the SDG framework as the achievement of all goals ultimately relies upon safe, secure and reliable water supplies. Water issues are not just environmental in nature, but connected to basic human rights and overall human well-being, fundamentally supporting all sectors of socioeconomic activity. Addressing global water issues requires the engagement of all sectors of global society, with this course focusing on the role of faith actors, drawing on the particular qualities and comparative advantages they have.
KAICIID launched the FAITH4SDGS Project. More information and material can be found here: https://www.kaiciid.org/content/sustainable-development-goals-sdgs
This course is designed for religious leaders, faith-based organizations, civil society and non-governmental organizations, UN agencies, other multilateral institutions, government officials, policy and decision-makers and individuals interested in this subject. Whilst the focus is on faith actors, faith perspectives and faith-led action, this course seeks to contribute to building synergies amongst different stakeholders, highlighting the value of engaging with faith actors in addressing this challenge.
The goals of this course are to:
- Show how faith organizations and leaders can contribute towards improving our relationship with water resources and aquatic environments.
- Raise awareness of the importance of water, the degradation of water resources due to various human activities and highlight that many people still don't have access to adequate and safe water supplies.
- Demonstrate how faith actors can be a part of the solution and contribute to the SDGs, particularly Goals 6 and 14 that most closely relate to water challenges, while also underpinning the achievement of all other goals.
At the end of this course, participants will:
- Understand the major environmental challenges of water security and scarcity, water-related natural disasters, water source pollution and marine and freshwater ecosystem degradation.
- Recognise how religions relate to water in their sacred teachings and spiritual practices, offering an opportunity to reflect on the great degree of interfaith overlap.
- Have knowledge of how FBOs are taking steps and implementing initiatives to alleviate the current global water crisis.
- Have guidelines and resources to engage with in order to more effectively address different water issues.
Since its inception in 1972, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has been the global authority that sets the 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. UNEP’s mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnerships in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. UNEP works closely with its 193 Member States and representatives from civil society, businesses and other major groups and stakeholders to address environmental challenges through the UN Environment Assembly, the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment.
This interactive digital course is specifically designed for busy professionals who do not have time to take the longer, moderated eight-module course on ‘Faith, Environment and Climate Change’. They can now select the relevant thematic topics and modules and learn on the go. Administered through a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platform, this short course takes around two hours to complete and can be taken anywhere, anytime, at a pace that suits and from a phone or a computer.
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A Certificate of Completion will be issued to participants who achieve a minimum total score of 70%.