In a groundbreaking move at this year's COP28 climate summit, a unique Faith Pavilion was introduced. With a clean and bright exterior, Faith Pavilion highlights the influence that different faiths have on fighting climate change. (Photo provided by Tzu Chi Foundation | Dubai, UAE | 2023/12/01)

On December 1st, during the second day of COP28, its exhibition pavilions officially opened. The representatives of Tzu Chi participated in the opening of the Faith Pavilion, with the Foundation serving as one of the Buddhist representatives in this unique space. The Foundation aims to inspire a collective global resolve to address climate change through interfaith collaboration and foster a commitment to concrete action.

Building Bridges of Faith for a Durable Planet

Throughout the entire conference, the Faith Pavilion is set to become a groundbreaking space. It will provide a unique opportunity for dialogue among representatives of diverse faiths, indigenous communities, scientists, young people, and political leaders to accelerate climate action. The Foundation expects that,  during the event, over 300 delegates of various faiths, as well as representatives from 70 faith organizations, will visit the pavilion to engage in dialogue and exchange ideas.

Internationally renowned spiritual leader Sadhguru kicked off the opening of the Faith Pavilion with a message of spirituality and climate action. (Photo provided by Tzu Chi Foundation | Dubai, UAE | 2023/12/01)

During the opening ceremony of the Faith Pavilion, the internationally renowned, spiritual leader Sadhguru, kicked off with a message of spirituality and climate action. He said that humanity's current impact on the Earth is like constructing additional floors on a house without reinforcing its foundation. In his analogy, the Earth is represented by the precarious state of a structure facing imminent collapse, like the vulnerability we confront in our current environmental crisis.

Interfaith dialogue session with representatives from different faiths, including Catholicism, Hinduism, Judaism, Brahma Kumaris, and many more. Steve Chiu (front right), spoke on behalf of Tzu Chi, sharing our initiatives in environmental protection, including recycling, DA.AI Technology, and our green philosophy to reduce people’s reliance on plastic. (Photo provided by Tzu Chi Foundation | Dubai, UAE | 2023/12/01)

Bridging Generations Through Faith

In the afternoon, the Tzu Chi delegation actively engaged in an intergenerational dialogue on faith. They joined 40 representatives from various religious organizations to discuss climate-related issues and share their actions and beliefs. Steve Chiu, representing Tzu Chi's Global Partnerships and Youth Development Department (GPYD), took the stage to discuss strategies on establishing a food security system, and address the impact of climate change on food supplies.

Chiu emphasized the urgency of advocating Earth-friendly values and frameworks. He outlined how, facing food crises caused by climate change, implementing a food security system has become critical. At this crucial moment, it is imperative that we collectively work to create a kinder, more transformative world—one where we cherish and safeguard our planet and all of humanity.

The interfaith representatives show solidarity in working wholeheartedly for the well-being of the Earth. (Photo provided by Tzu Chi Foundation | Dubai, UAE | 2023/12/01)

According to research, faith, as shown through beliefs and values, plays a pivotal role in influencing individual actions and community impact. The power of faith fosters a profound connection between individuals and their surroundings, deepening the resonance between people and the environment. This heightened sense of connection inspires a greater willingness to contribute selflessly to the well-being of the Earth.