With regret, FaithInvest has cancelled its planned CelebrationEarth! event at St Albans Cathedral, UK, on Saturday September 19 due to Covid restrictions.
The festival of music, poetry, prayers and drama was due to launch a major international programme of practical action on the environment by faith groups as well as a wider movement bringing together hundreds of local organisations working to protect biodiversity and tackle climate change. It was cancelled following the tighter UK regulations on gatherings introduced to combat coronavirus.
However, the CelebrationEarth! film by award-winning filmmakers Off the Fence Productions will be released on22 September as part of the exciting new programming line-up for EarthX TV. Most of the hour-long production has already been recorded, with the St Albans event intended to provide additional material.
CelebrationEarth!, which is supported by WWF-UK and FaithInvest is a new global campaign highlighting the special contribution that religious groups, artists and local environmental organisations bring to the protection of nature. It is supported by WWF UK and FaithInvest.
Martin Palmer, Chief Executive of FaithInvest, an international NGO that helps faith groups invest in line with their values, said: 'While we are disappointed that the CelebrationEarth! event at St Albans could not go ahead, what it was intended to celebrate – the amazing work being done by so many individuals and small environmental organisations within local communities – is forming the basis of the film and the start of building a mass movement on the environment.
'This movement is called CelebrationEarth! because if something is worth celebrating, it's worth saving. We want to celebrate stories from around the world that give us the vision for our collective future.;
Tanya Steele, Chief Executive of WWF-UK, said: 'WWF is delighted to be part of CelebrationEarth! The latest research published in our 2020 Living Planet Report last week showed that that global wildlife populations have declined by a staggering 68% since 1970.
'We have no hope of turning these declines around, tackling climate change and building a better future without the involvement of people all over the world. So we’re really excited to see the commitments being made by faith groups and local communities. This coming together of so many groups in a wider movement will be critical in driving the case for ambition both at next year’s Climate COP26 and in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.'
Find out more
Martin Palmer discussed CelebrationEarth! on BBC Radio 4's Sunday programme on Sunday September 13. You can listen to him here – fast forward to minute 18 to hear the interview begin with a Hindu opera which was due to feature at the CelebrationEarth!
The Living Planet Report 2020: For more information on WWF's 2020 Living Planet report, visit: www.wwf.org.uk/living-planet-report
EarthX uses the power of film and emerging media to raise awareness of environmental and social global issues. More information: earthx.org
CelebrationEarth! website: www.celebrationearth.org