Environment and Sustainable Development
Nature as a Divine Trust
For over 20 years, the Bahá'ís of the United States have worked with others to advance environmental awareness and sustainable development. Much of the inspiration for doing so comes from the Bahá'í sacred writings, which are imbued with a deep respect for the natural world and for the interconnectedness of all things.
For Bahá'ís, nature is seen as a divine trust that reflects the qualities and attributes of God and, as such, should be cherished. Like the adherents of other faith traditions, Bahá'ís are called upon to be stewards of the environment.
Bahá'í teachings also stress that sustainable development depends on humanity’s acceptance of ethical and spiritual principles that foster economic, social and environmental well-being. Pivotal among these principles is the oneness of humanity, which is the fundamental spiritual and social truth shaping our age. Such a comprehensive vision of a global society is necessary, Bahá'ís believe, to inspire individuals to assume responsibility for our common future.
For Bahá'ís, part of building this unifying vision is to apply Bahá'í principles to their work at local, national, and international levels. Check the links below for more information on these initiatives and to see how the Bahá'ís are engaging with diverse faith communities to foster environmental stewardship and justice.
Conserving the environment requires a deeper look at notions of prosperity, eradicating poverty, adopting a global ethic, and valuing the role of spirituality in development. Connect to Baha’i websites, articles, and white papers on these critical—but often overlooked—themes.
The Baha’i International Community has worked for more than two decades to contribute to discourses on sustainable development at the global level. But, in local communities too, Baha’is are taking initiative to raise awareness about caring for our common planetary home.
The Baha’is believe that religion and faith have very important roles to play in promoting preservation of the earth’s fragile ecosystems. We are proud to join a number of other faith communities in working toward these goals.
Education is fundamental to learning about the changes in values, behavior, and lifestyles needed to ensure a sustainable future. Review our relationship with the U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development and resources for teachers and others.
“The profound and far-reaching changes, the unity and unprecedented cooperation, required to reorient the world toward an environmentally sustainable and just future, will only be possible by touching the human spirit, by appealing to those universal values which alone can empower individuals and peoples to act in accordance with the long- term interests of the planet and humanity as a whole.”— Baha'i International Community
“Every man of discernment, while walking upon the earth, feeleth indeed abashed, inasmuch as he is fully aware that the thing which is the source of his prosperity, his wealth, his might, his exaltation, his advancement and power is, as ordained by God, the very earth which is trodden beneath the feet of all men. There can be no doubt that whoever is cognizant of this truth, is cleansed and sanctified from all pride, arrogance, and vainglory.”— Bahá'í Writings