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Faith’s Role in Planetary Health

Faith For Our Planet and the Planetary Health Summit organizing committee co-hosted a workshop on the sidelines of the Planetary Health Annual Meeting in Kuala Lumpur on April 16th and 17th, 2024, at Sunway University in Malaysia. Led by Dr. Jemilah Mahmood, Executive Director of the Sunway Centre for Planetary Health, this was the first time the Summit was hosted in Asia in a Muslim-majority country.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

16th – 17th April, 2024

Planetary Health, an interdisciplinary domain, was at the forefront of discussions, aimed at meticulously examining and mitigating the ramifications of human interventions on Earth’s ecosystems, thereby safeguarding human well-being and the broader spectrum of life on our planet.

Recognizing the moral and spiritual influence of faith communities, and the engagement of religious leaders and organizations in climate action. Faith for Our Planet (FFOP) partnered with the Planetary Health Alliance organizing committee to bring this conversation to the forefront of environmental action. The aim was to elevate the planetary health crisis as a priority within faith communities, integrate faith leaders into global climate action platforms to strengthen and catalyze grassroots behavior change initiatives.

The workshop worked to enhance knowledge sharing on planetary health and its relevance to faith communities. The empowerment of faith leaders for collaborative climate action, and the development of a charter of commitments to implementing planetary health and environmental action in faith communities. Additionally, the structure for a toolkit containing messaging strategies, stories and storytelling techniques, and materials for sermons was worked on by participants.

Speakers and Panelists

Amjad Saleem (Moderator)

Political Scientist, Manager of the Inclusion, Engagement, and Protection (IPE) Research Fellow, Faculty of Education, Universiti of Malaya

Michelle Chew Shi Jie (Moderator)

Youth Leader Red Cross, Red

Tan Sri Dr. Jemilah Mahmood

Executive Director, Sunway Centre for Planetary Health at Sunway University; Former Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia Muhyiddin Yassin on Public Health

Dr. Osman Bakar

Professor of Philosophy at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, and Deputy CEO of the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies-Malaysia

Dr. Azizan Baharuddin

Professor of Science and Technology, Universiti of Malaya

Rev. Evenezer Joseph

Minister, Methodist Church of Sri Lanka

Ven. Napan Thawornbanjob

Assistant Abbot, The Golden Mount Temple, Bangkok, Thailand; Director, Institute of Buddhist Management for Happiness and Peace (IBHAP)

Sethu Pathy Cumarasamy

Sri Subramaniar Swamy Temple Secretary, Batu Caves

Dr. Omnia El Omrani

Climate Change and Health
Policy Fellow at Imperial College