Faith Based Environmental Initiatives in Canada

Joanne Moyer: The King's University 

National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Canada

About: The Bahá’í faith was established in 1844 and has been present in Canada since 1898. The fundamental vision of the Bahá’í faith is to promote oneness among humans regardless of race, faith, ethnicity, gender, or social class.


Environmental Activities:

  • Individual Bahá’ís have been engaged with environmental issues since the 1930s.
  • The Bahá’í International Community participated in the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1972.
  • A large delegation was sent to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992, and delegates have also been sent to United Nations climate change talks.
  • In 1998, the Universal House of Justice opened an Office of Environment at The Bahá’í United Nations office in New York.
  • The International Environmental Forum formed in 1997 and hosts environmental conferences. The most recent conference was hosted in Toronto in 2014.
  • In the early 2000s, The Bahá’í community recognized that much of their work was being duplicated by environmental non-governmental organizations and they changed their approach to a broader education mandate for building human capacity, focusing on the Junior Youth Empowerment program.
  • The Junior Youth Empowerment Program works to develop the capacity in youth to analyze and take action on issues facing global communities, including social, economic, and environmental justice problems, and emphasizing ethical and moral principles. The program encourages action through activities such as park cleanups and anti-littering education in the community.
  • Conferences:
    • Bahá’í Conference on global warming, Ottawa (2007)
    • Conference on environmental and social change, Montreal (2008)
    • Annual Association of Bahá’í Studies Conferences includes environmental break-out sessions.
  • "The Canadian Interfaith Call for Leadership and Action on Climate Change" (2011): Bahá’ís contributed to developing the statement, and the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’í s of Canada signed it.
  • Through the Bahá’í National Centre Property and Stewardship of the Environment program, trees are planted and animal sightings are reported to the Ontario Government.



The Bahá’í International Community has staff with specific responsibilities for environmental work. This includes at least one senior representative with the environment in their portfolio, summer student positions, and the staff in the public affairs office. Community members and volunteers who work in environmental fields also contribute significantly.





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National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Canada