The Alliance of Religions and Conservation, United Kingdom
The Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) is a secular body that helps the major religions of the world to develop their own environmental programmes, based on their own core teachings, beliefs and practices.
We help the religions link with key environmental organisations – creating powerful alliances between faith communities and conservation groups.
More and more secular agencies now recognise the importance of working with religions, and the significant work of faith groups on environmental issues is growing rapidly.
Current programmes range from assisting Christian, Muslim and Hindu groups in sub-Saharan Africa to develop long-term environmental action plans; helping the faiths make their sacred places more sustainable through the world's first Green Pilgrimage Network; working with Daoists and Buddhists in Asia (particularly China) to make their teachings on protecting nature more relevant to today's generations; and harnessing the faiths’ authority to end the illegal wildlife trade.
ARC was founded in 1995 by HRH Prince Philip. We now work with 11 major faiths through the key traditions within each faith. We are not funded by any faith group.
Why work with the religions?
- The faiths are the largest sector of civil society; 85% of the world’s people describe themselves as belonging to a faith.
- The faiths own 7-8% of the habitable land surface of the planet, including 5% of forests worldwide. They also have influence over 15% of forests considered sacred.
- They are involved in more than half of schools worldwide.
- They are among the largest investment blocks on the global stock market.
- They produce more newspapers than the whole of the European Union.
- More important, they are trusted as a source – often the leading source – of wisdom, information and authority in many parts of the world.