IRI DRC hosts national conference, engages over 1.000 religious leaders on the protection and restoration of forests

From 22-23 May, IRI DRC hosted a National Conference on Biodiversity, convening two meetings that addressed intersecting themes on biodiversity, forests, and climate change. The gathering was effectively an IRI DRC national conference, designed to increase awareness of the program and its mandate, and to deepen engagement and commitment from religious organizations and faith-based networks across the country.  On the occasion of World Biodiversity Day on 22 May, IRI DRC convened a religious service entitled, Let’s Celebrate Biodiversity: Gift of God, which brought together over 1,000 people of faith and traditional spiritual leaders. Religious leaders from the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO), the Church of Christ in Congo (ECC), the Islamic Community in Congo (COMICO), the Salvation Army on behalf of the Platform of Religious Confessions, the Baha’i Faith Community, and the National Council of the Traditional Authority of Congo (CONATC)) made actionable commitments to ensure the protection and preservation of forests as a priority strategy in conserving biodiversity. On the second day of the conference, IRI DRC facilitated the symposium, Living Forests: Emerging People, a high-level scientific briefing that brought together 380 religious leaders, civil society organizations, delegates from state institutions and the private sector, and researchers and academic scholars. Panel discussions on the role of religious and faith communities in advancing sustainable solutions to climate change, biodiversity loss, and deforestation paved the way for concrete recommendations that will inform an action plan for IRI DRC moving forward. Click here to view a recording of the main ceremony of the National Conference, and here to view a recording of the symposium on the second day of the National Conference. The National Conference was covered by national and local media outlets, including herehere and here.