7 March 2024, Geneva, Switzerland: Kevin Maina pictured in connection with an inaugural Joint Meeting of the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA), the Commission on Health and Healing (CHH), and the Commission on Climate Justice and Sustainable Development (CCJSD) of the World Council of Churches.


Reflecting on the UNEA-6 opening day, could you share the significance of the opening plenary and Faith for Earth session, and how they set the stage for the assemblys focus on environmental stewardship?

Maina: The opening plenary was a powerful start to UNEA-6, truly setting a strong foundation for the week's discussions. It brought to light the critical state of our environment, emphasizing the urgency of the triple planetary crisis. The calls for innovative solutions and bold leadership were clear and inspiring, marking a collective determination to tackle these interconnected challenges head-on. The afternoons Faith for Earth session enriched this narrative by highlighting the unique position of faith-based communities. Their moral and spiritual commitments to the planet offer a deeply motivating perspective, underscoring the essential role of faith in driving environmental action. Both sessions collectively underscored a global readiness to embrace sustainable practices and foster international cooperation for a healthier planet.

Across the discussions on civil societys involvement, the importance of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and the multi-faith roundtable, how were the themes of inclusivity, sustainability, and collective action woven into the solutions for environmental challenges?

Maina: The emphasis on civil society and the critical examination of NDCs revealed a shared understanding of inclusivity and sustainability as pillars for meaningful environmental progress. Civil society's role was acknowledged as essential in voicing community concerns and pushing for transformative change, particularly through the lens of a "one health" approach that connects human, animal, and environmental wellbeing.

The conversation around NDCs highlighted the global need for clear, actionable strategies that not only mitigate environmental risks but also adapt to them, especially in vulnerable regions. This requires a concerted effort to ensure that sustainability is woven into the fabric of our actions and policies. The multi-faith roundtable reinforced this by showcasing the collective power and responsibility of faith leaders to advocate for climate justice and sustainability. It was a testament to the strength found in unity and the diverse ways through which different communities can contribute to global environmental goals.

As UNEA-6 concluded, what outcomes and resolutions stood out to you, especially regarding the role of faith-based organizations like the WCC in addressing the triple planetary crisis?

Maina: The final day of UNEA-6 marked a significant milestone with several resolutions that signify a collective leap towards sustainability. I believe faith-based organizations have a unique reach and moral authority that can inspire and mobilize communities worldwide, a fact that was acknowledged through our collaborative efforts during the assembly.

The resolutions that emerged, such as those promoting sustainable lifestyles and combating environmental degradation, reflect a comprehensive approach to the crisis at hand. They underscore the necessity of inclusive dialogue and the invaluable role of faith communities in fostering a deeper connection to the planet. The WCCs involvement, along with other faith-based partners, in pushing for these sustainable resolutions exemplifies our dedication to ecological stewardship and social justice. Its a testament to the power of faith in catalysing global change, demonstrating that when we unite in our efforts, regardless of creed or culture, we can forge a path to a more resilient and equitable world.

Care for creation and climate justice