Dinesh Suna, coordinator of the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Water Network, spoke at the G20 Interfaith Forum, held 7-9 June in Tokyo. This year’s theme was “Peace, People, Planet: Pathways Forward.” About 2,000 participants attend the gathering, which precedes the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan. The interfaith forum submitted recommendations for G20 leaders.
The G20 Interfaith Forum offers an annual platform through which a network of religiously linked institutions and initiatives engage on global agendas such as the Sustainable Development Goals.
The G20 Interfaith Forum builds on the vital roles that religious institutions and beliefs play in world affairs, reflecting their rich diversity of institutions, ideas, and values.
Beginning in Australia in 2014, the G20 Interfaith Forum has convened annually in the G20 host country. The forums have considered wide-ranging agendas, including economic models and systems, the environment, women, families, children, work, humanitarian aid, health, education, freedom of religion or belief, global security, governance, human rights, and the rule of law.
Suna spoke as part of a panel on “Food and Water: Resources of Life.” He emphasised two good practices of the Ecumenical Water Network: promoting the concept of Blue Communities and the “10 Commandments of Food.”
Suna attributed the loss of forests the size of 30 football fields every minute, to meat industries, encouraging participants to eat locally-sourced food to reduce the water footprint. “Given that 70% of fresh water is used for agriculture and food production and only 10% for drinking and sanitation, we can save a lot of water by choosing our food wisely,” he said.
He urged participants to become “Blue Communities” by respecting the human right to water and saying no to the privatisation of water and to the bottled water industries.