Bahá'is launch new document aiming to 'recast our relationship with the natural world'


Daniel Perel of the Baha'i International Community with Faith Plans programme manager Catherine Devitt
Daniel Perell of the Bahá'i International Community with Faith Plans programme manager Catherine Devitt

The Bahá'í International Community has launched a new document, One Planet, One Habitation, which seeks to 'apply a faith lens to the challenges humanity is facing today' and to recast humanity's relationship with the natural world.


The Faith Plans team caught up with Daniel Perell, the representative to the United Nations for the Bahá'í International Community, in Stockholm where he shared what One Planet, One Habitation is all about and explained that it is the first of three documents being prepared by Bahá'ís.


'This first document focuses on the values, underlying objectives and principles that can guide a community to act,' he said. 'If I had to summarise what this document is articulating, it's more the 'how' than the 'what' of the process of sustainable development.'


The second document will focus on how those principles are being put into practice, and the third document is a Faith Plan, which builds on the 2009 Faith Plan we submitted when Faith Plans was an ARC initiative. Daniel said the 2009 Plan served as 'a nice tool for us to measure our approach to international development, climate change and the environment'.


He added: 'Now we're hoping that with this document and with the activities that the Bahá'í community is engaged in the world over, we can derive some lessons.


'We've learned that communities are able to deliberate, consult and explore opportunities to advance certain initiatives. Though they may look very different in different contexts, the process by which it is determined that a project is undertaken is actually very similar. It's a process where people are detached from preconceived notions, where they have the best interests of the community at heart, where they seek to build consensus with others.


These principles can inform anyone's approach to development, he said – and in fact these principles are where religion has quite a lot to offer to the development space.


'We have the science, we have the technology, we have the material resources, it's a matter of galvanising people, communities, corporations, governments, to take the necessary action and that act of volition, of galvanising, is something that faiths have been doing for thousands of years and I believe we can offer the international community as a distinct contribution.' – Daniel Perell

'For thousands of years, religious leaders have inspired tremendous action in their followers, have convinced people to do things that run contrary to preconceived notions of success or progress, and it is that that we need to learn about over the course of the next 50 years,' said Daniel.


'We have the science, we have the technology, we have the material resources, it's a matter of galvanising people, communities, corporations, governments, to take the necessary action and that act of volition, of galvanising, is something that faiths have been doing for thousands of years and I believe we can offer the international community as a distinct contribution.'


You can listen to Daniel talking about One Planet, One Habitation below:






Download One Planet, One Habitation


The title is taken from a quotation by Bahá’u’lláh, the Prophet-Founder of the Bahá'í Faith:

'This span of earth is but one homeland and one habitation. It behooveth you to abandon vainglory which causeth alienation and to set your hearts on whatever will ensure harmony' – Bahá’u’lláh