JavaScript must be enabled in order for you to use the Site in standard view. However, it seems JavaScript is either disabled or not supported by your browser. To use standard view, enable JavaScript by changing your browser options.

| Last Updated:: 21/06/2016

The International Seminar on Science and Religions for environmental conservation









The International Seminar on Science and Religion for the Environment (ISSREC) was inaugurated today in Spain at the Catholic shrine of Torreciudad (Huesca), located in close proximity to the Pyrenees natural enclave and is undergoing a process of ecological commitment which plans to finish achieving environmental excellence in 2025.  The seminar brings together scientists and religious leaders from 15 countries and 8 faiths to discuss how to bring about cooperation between science and major religions in the conservation of Environment. This congress shall refer the encyclical of Pope Francisco Laudato If on the care of creation.



In the press conference speakers include:



  • Emilio Chuvieco , Director of the Seminar and the Chair of Environmental Ethics Tatiana Perez de Guzmán el Bueno Foundation-University of Alcalá


  • Thomas Stocker, coordinator of the group on Physical Basis of Climate Change's latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the UN


  • Yonatan Neril, rabbi of Jerusalem, founder of the Interfaith Center for Development


  • Hilary Marlow, director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion and professor at the University of Cambridge


  • Nanditha Krishna, president and founder of the Center of excellence in environmental education of the Government of India




Archbishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, president of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, stressed that this seminar "is a meeting point not only for interreligious dialogue but for the common work of the different religions in the protection of the environment”. He also stressed the importance of comprehensive understanding of the ecology because "the problems of climate change are worsening social problems, especially new forms of slavery". Sanchez Sorondo concluded that " it is important that science and religions understand that the environmental crisis as a cry of the earth and a clamor of men".



Peter H. Raven, an expert scientist in botany from the University of Washington in St. Louis highlighted that "science explains the importance of the environmental problem, but the ethical visions of religious traditions have the power to influence our opinions to create a sustainable and peaceful world”. Professor Raven, a leading advocate of biodiversity conservation, explained that "most people are not sensitized by statistics or the fear of disaster, but instead it can react if you understand the human values ​​of what we lose and through religious traditions, they learn to celebrate life with each other, to love each other, to care nature together ".



The president of the Foundation Social Promotion of Culture, Jumana Trad noted the importance of this seminar and stated that religious leaders are aware of the scientific evidence of environmental problems and that scientists’ value the importance of different religious traditions to encourage change the action of man in nature.



In addition, during the first day of the seminar, the speakers analyzed the contribution of science to the diagnosis of environmental problems. Professor Stocker, co-director of Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Group of the United Nations on Climate Change (IPCC), spoke about the scientific evidence on climate change. 



Anny Cazenave Director Professor of Earth Sciences at the International Space Science Institute (ISSI, Bern, Switzerland) provided the point of view of the impact on the water cycle and Dr. Settele professor of ecology at the University Martin Luther Halle-Wittenberg, emphasized on the impact of the expansion of agriculture in ecosystems.



This afternoon, Celia Dean-Drummond, Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame (USA), will speak on the Ecological and Environmental Justice; Hillary Professor Marlow, Director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, and Associate Professor of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Cambridge, will present the ethical values ​​of the Bible for environmental conservation in the Christian tradition. Professor Wael Farouq, president of Tawasul Cultural Center for Inter-civilizations dialogue, will explain the environmental values ​​of Islamic societies.



Among the religious participants in the seminar, they are also the rabbi of Jerusalem, Yonatan Neril, founder and director of the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development; Buddhist nun Karma Tsunma Chimey Lhatso; Hindu Swamini Umananda; Bulgarian Orthodox archdeacon, Petar Gramatikov and the Attorney General of the Cistercian Order P. LLuc Torcal.




A joint statement, which is being developed during the seminar to promote cooperation between science and religion in the care of the environment, will be presented at the end of the summit.