The development of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)’s Medium-Term Strategy (MTS) for the period 2022-2025 has come to a critical juncture. UNEP’s next MTS is being developed against an unprecedented opportunity: to ensure that, as nations invest in building back a better world from the current COVID-19 pandemic, their efforts do not merely recover the unsustainable economic models of yesterday, but help us build a healthier, greener and more resilient economy that is centered on human and planetary wellbeing. UNEP recognizes that the Major Groups and Stakeholders (MGS) have a critical role to play in this transition and, more broadly, in achieving UNEP’s emerging vision. Engagement with Faith-based organizations (FBOs) and faith communities have been gaining momentum over the past few years as they introduce different value-based perspective to environmental sustainability. The planetary challenges of climate change, nature loss and pollution – the centerfold of such vision – will require broad systemic shifts, particularly in our global consumption and production patterns, coupled with sound policy changes that will create the necessary structure and enabling conditions to support it. Some of the most prominent sectors where these systemic shifts must occur include energy production and consumption, food systems, infrastructure and the built environment and the extractive sectors. However, broader shifts must also be expected in the form of conducive changes to our financing, market and legal systems, as well as our digital and technological ecosystems. In this context, UNEP’s Faith for Earth Initiative with the support of Policy and Programme Division, wishes to organize a ‘Discovery session’ to engage the FBOs around the thinking towards UNEP’s emerging vision for its next MTS. Similar sessions have been conducted with the Committee of Permanent Representatives (CPR) and the Multilateral Environment Agreements (MEA), and other major groups and stakeholders which have proved very successful for UNEP to outline its emerging vision and gather feedback and thoughts on the broad transformational changes that must happen, within and outside UNEP, to pave the way towards achieving that vision. The session is envisaged as an opportunity for UNEP to reach out to transformative partners from the FBOs that have an important role to play under the current global climate; to engage them in an exchange of views over their role as change agents to achieve the systemic transformations that 3 support UNEP’s emerging vision for the planet, including in a post-pandemic context, their related needs and enabling conditions; and ultimately feed the resulting inputs into the development of the MTS.
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