TNC and St. Thomas University Host International Conference on Climate, Nature, and Society
Vatican representative and Archbishop join faith leaders to discuss religious communities’ role in addressing climate change.
The Nature Conservancy and St. Thomas University are hosting the The International Conference on Climate, Nature, and Society, a two-day forum that will bring together a diverse group of religious leaders, sustainability-focused organizations, and elected officials to discuss how communities of faith can take action to address climate challenges. The Conference is free and open to the public, and will take place Thursday, April 4, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday, April 5, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., at St. Thomas University’s Miami Gardens campus in the Law School Moot Court. This is the second time the conference is being held at the University, with the first edition held in February 2016 on the heels of Pope Francis’ encyclical calling on Catholics to join the fight against Climate Change.
“Addressing climate change requires education and collaborative action from individuals and their communities,” said Temperince Morgan, executive director of The Nature Conservancy in Florida. “The International Conference on Climate, Nature, and Society recognizes the importance of faith leaders in amplifying this education and the significant difference it makes for congregants to hear their leaders stress the importance of environmental stewardship.”
Representatives from numerous faiths and respected institutions will participate in the event including the Vatican, Archdiocese of Miami, Temple Solel, Presbyterian Church USA, United Church of Christ, City of Miami Beach, Miami-Dade County, and Florida International University. Panelists will discuss the different ways the warming climate affects our community today, the importance of protecting the earth from the perspective of different faiths, and efforts underway across South Florida to engage the community in action to address climate change.
“St. Thomas University is proud to host The International Conference on Climate, Nature, and Society, building on the success of our first conference in 2016. This year, we are excited to welcome a representative from the Vatican, Archdiocese of Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski, and a diverse cross-section of South Florida faith leaders,” said St. Thomas University President David A. Armstrong. “We invite the entire community to join us for a conversation about how to address one of the greatest challenges of our time.”
Faith leaders already work to educate their congregations and engage with the broader community through mission work, including deploying solar panels on sanctuaries and temples, creating community carbon funds to finance clean energy, and serving residents who are displaced by flooding streets and hurricanes. The Conference will provide an opportunity to highlight this work and discuss how to enhance these efforts.
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries and territories: 38 by direct conservation impact and 34 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.