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Working with the film production company Off the Fence, CelebrationEarth! is delighted to present this series of short films bringing together faith groups, artists and conservationists. These films explore issues around faith, creativity and conservation through conversation, creativity and celebration. They are a reminder of what we can do when we work together

They have featured on the newly launched EarthX TV platform

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Martin Palmer, FaithInvest and

Miranda Krestovnikoff, Broadcaster/President, RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds).

Martin and Miranda discuss the urgent need for a new, celebratory approach between Faith Groups, the Arts, and Conservationists. We join Martin Palmer – also an Anglican lay preacher-- in his own church in North Stoke, England, where he holds a funeral for the 160 species that have been declared extinct in the past decade.

What is the role of ritual in caring for our common home? How do we overcome our feelings of anxiety and paralysis over environmental destruction? Martin shows us one example of how Faith and Ritual can help us come to grips with our responsibilities as members of our common home.

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Martin Palmer, FaithInvest and 

Miranda Krestovnikoff, Broadcaster/ President RSPB

In Ethiopia, Church grounds protect what little remains of Ethiopia’s highland forests. The ideas of “sacred” and “protection” are explored in a lively discussion between Miranda and Martin. Are Faith Groups acting too passively in their protection of nature? And are conservation organisations too scientific and dry in their conservation work? Does nature exist solely to serve humanity? Or does nature have its own right to exist, independent of humankind?

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Gordon MacLellan, Storyteller Creeping Toad and 

Miranda Krestovnikoff, Broadcaster/ President RSPB

The third pillar of Celebration Earth! is Art—poetry, music, dance and theatre. As Arts director for Celebration Earth, Gordon exposes a flaw in current environmental messaging. Shouting doom-laden, finger waving commands that tell us how to travel, recycle, and generally order us around, Gordon offers a different approach.

The arts encourage us to find our own connection to nature, one that can be deep-rooted inside our own personalities. He encourages stillness, and listening, and even playful creative activities. He argues that people are more likely to change their behaviours once their hearts have been moved to change.

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Sangita Lakhanpal, Artist 

Chantal Elkin, Beliefs and Values Programme, WWF

Sangita recently completed her opera based on the traditional Hindu myth of the Divine Goddess, Durga. Performed with audience participation, a short film version of the Opera allows viewers to experience some of the powerful emotions that participants feel as they sing and dance. The Durga Opera is rooted in traditional Hindu song-cycles and uses ancient Sanskrit mantras. The dance utilises yoga positions that anyone can learn.

Sangita explains how singing mantras can reattune the singer’s relationship with their body and with the natural world. Sangita wants us all to reconnect to a feminine divine force that has been overlooked in recent years, but whose presence she believes is vital if we are to save our planet.

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Chantal Elkin, Beliefs and Values WWF 

Martin Palmer, Faithinvest

In Cambodia and Thailand, forests are being cut down at a faster rate than even in Brazil’s rainforest. In order to combat the deforestation, Buddhist monks “ordain” trees as living monks. This prevents loggers from cutting the trees down, as no Buddhist logger wishes to risk the disapproval of their community or indeed their own karmic security. As a conservationist, Chantal worked closely with the Cambodian monks and was deeply moved by their philosophy.

Buddhist belief in the inter-connectedness of all life means that care and compassion for the natural world is at the heart of every action and every thought.

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Tanya Steele, Chief Executive WWF Martin Palmer, Faithinvest

As the Chief Executive of WWF in the United Kingdom, Tanya believes passionately in hope. Throughout her deep and thoughtful discussion with Martin, Tanya explores how it is possible to find hope even when the future looks more bleak than ever.

Tanya launches a new WWF-backed project, Eight Billion, that aims to build an online mass-movement of Faith Groups, Conservationists, Artists and Nature Enthusiasts. By coming together, and sharing their stories and films online, they will inspire change. The Environment is after all, the greatest untold story of our time. Eight Billion offers a new opportunity to tell that story in all its range and variety.

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Dr. Husna Ahmad OBE

Miranda Krestovnikoff, Broadcaster/ President RSPB

Beginning with a reading from the Qur’an by Faisal, Dr. Ahmad's son, this discussion explores how Muslims care for “creation”. Muslims believe that we are all being tested during our time on Earth, and taking care of creation forms an essential part of our duties. She explains initiatives such as taking a “Green Hajj”, and also explains how Politicians often benefit from divisions but Faith Groups and the Environment often benefit from unity. Dr. Ahmad provides viewers with a powerful perspective that is not heard often enough from one of the world’s most philosophical religions.  

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Alison Prout INCR 

Martin Palmer, FaithInvest

“Is this beautiful relationship between Faith, the Environment and the Arts just a one-night stand?” Martin and Alison explore how many groups see time differently. Politicians think in election cycles, and Faith Groups think in generations. How can we be sure that we all commit to action in the long term? Allison (International Network for Conservation and Religion) announces the Faith Groups commitment to develop Faith Long-term Plans to manage their assets and resources, from their investments, schools and hospitals to their land, purchasing power and influence—to help create an environmentally sustainable future.

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