About IEF


Information about the IEF, its organization and activities

The International Environment Forum, as a Bahá'í-inspired professional organization for environment and sustainability, shares and upholds the principles and ideals of the Bahá'í Faith and supports its efforts to establish and promote peace, the unity of the human race, and an ever-advancing world civilization that preserves the ecological balance of the planet.

The Bahá'í Writings warn of the dangers of material civilization carried to excess, enjoin moderation, emphasize the oneness of humankind, and support ecological principles such as the interrelatedness of all things, unity in diversity, and the fundamental reality of increasing levels of cooperation, complexity and reciprocity across the vast extent of creation. The Bahá'í Faith considers the preservation of the ecological balance at all levels in the world to be of vital concern to all humanity, and urges action for the environment and sustainable development from the local to the global level in ways that are in harmony with the rhythm of life in the community. Our inner life cannot be separated from the environment around us, the two being intimately interrelated, requiring that environmental and sustainable development issues also be addressed at the level of fundamental ethical and moral values and principles.


One of the major activities of the IEF is its annual conferences, which are often held in partnership with other organizations and events, and frequently rotate between continents to give more members a chance to participate. For members who cannot attend, some form of e-conference is organized over the Internet so that everyone can contribute.

Next Conference

To be decided, since the Summit on the Future has been moved to September 2024

Reports of Past Conferences

Events in association with the UN Stockholm+50 International Meeting in Sweden 1-5 June 2022

A virtual and hybrid conference in association with the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, 1-5 November 2021

A virtual conference from India, 11-12 July 2020

Rotorua, New Zealand, 7-11 April 2019

New York, USA, 9-18 July 2018

de Poort, The Netherlands, 14-17 April 2017

Santa Cruz, Bolivia, 7-9 October 2016

UNESCO, Paris, France, 10-11 March 2015

Toronto, Canada, 7-10 August 2014

Barcelona, Spain, 3-6 October 2013

At Rio+20 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 13-22 June 2012

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 10-11 December 2011

Brighton, United Kingdom, 15-18 December 2010

Washington, D.C., USA, 13-16 August 2009

dePoort, The Netherlands, 18-21 September 2008

Ottawa, Canada, 12-14 October 2007

Oxford, England, 15-17 September 2006

Orlando, Florida, USA, 14-15 December 2005

Thessaloniki, Greece, 15-17 October 2004

Orlando, Florida, USA, 17-21 December 2003

At WSSD in Johannesburg, South Africa, 27 August-3 September 2002

Czech Republic, 19-21 October 2001

USA, 12-14 December 2000

 England, 15-18 August 1999

 Netherlands, November 1998

 Netherlands, October 1997

Reports of other IEF-organized meetings

IEF Seminar, Orlando, Florida, December 2004

Association for Baha'i Studies (North America) - 2004 Conference Workshop

IEF Seminar, Orlando, Florida, 12 December 2001

Environmental Interest Group Networking Session
at the Baha'i Conference on Social and Economic Development for the Americas
Orlando, Florida - December 1999


see the Activities page for details




Activities on environment and sustainable development in which members may wish to participate


As a Bahá'í-inspired professional organization, membership in the IEF is open to those who carry out environment or sustainable development activities, or who have a special interest in these areas, and who are also familiar with the ethical and social principles in the Bahá'í Writings, who want to deepen their appreciation and understanding of the guidance enshrined in those Writings, and who commit to exploring the ways and means of implementing these principles in the practice of such activities.

IEF members generate and promote a discourse on how the Bahá'í teachings can be applied to the environmental challenges facing the world; encourage or participate in projects and initiatives in accord with those principles, in collaboration with organizations and individuals who are active in areas of environment and sustainable development, while being sensitive to the capacity of projects to receive such help; advise governments, non-governmental organizations, businesses and communities in promoting the sustainable use of resources and protecting the environment; promote a greater awareness of environmental issues, and stimulate environmental education amongst children, youth and adults, so that they can contribute more effectively to practical actions; increase awareness within communities of the need for sustainable and environmentally sound development; support networking among individuals and groups at the local, national, regional and international levels on issues of environment and sustainable development; and encourage and advise young people who plan to study or work in the fields of environment or sustainable development in the spirit of the Bahá'í teachings.

Associates support and participate in all of the above activities, but without voting membership. To apply, complete the user application form on the website. The Governing Board may accept Associates as Members after they demonstrate their direct involvement in some IEF activities.

For those simply interested in learning more about the environment and sustainability, all the results of IEF activities are made available on the IEF website. It is possible to apply to become a Registered User by completing the user application form on the website. It is also possible to request a free subscription to the monthly IEF newsletter LEAVES.

See the requirements on the Joining the IEF page.

Membership Statistics

Directory of Members
accessible to members only


While the IEF is a "virtual" organization without legal status, it does operate according to statutes that define its purpose and organization, and applies Bahá'í principles of administration. A Governing Board elected at an Annual General Assembly guides the IEF, decides on membership, and organizes its activities.


The annual General Assembly is the opportunity for the membership to elect the Governing Board of the IEF, review the activities of the past year as described in the Annual Report, consult on future activities and make recommendations to the Governing Board. Members can participate in person, over e-mail, or by an Internet connection when conditions permit.


The Governing Board is elected each year by the world-wide membership without nominations or campaigning by e-voting and during the General Assembly.

Arthur Dahl (Switzerland) - President

Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen (Netherlands)

Laurent Mesbah (Bosnia-Herzegovina)

Wendi Momen (United Kingdom)

Christine Muller (USA) - General Secretary

Victoria Thoresen (Norway)

Halldor Thorgeirsson (Iceland)

While the IEF is open to members of all faiths and no faith, it is inspired by the principles and values of the Bahá'í Faith, and works to apply these principles to the practical problems of sustainable development and the environment facing the world today.

Last updated 26 September 2022