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ARC Home > News and Resources > News archive:

ARC celebrates coming of age with lunch at the Palace

December 2, 2014:

HRH Prince Philip (right) with Martin Palmer in Buckingham Palace

ARC will be marking a special coming of age with a celebratory reception and lunch at Buckingham Palace hosted by HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh on December 4, 2014.

It was in 1995 that the Prince and Martin Palmer planned to establish a new NGO to promote the engagement of the world’s religions with environmental issues and at the outset they decide it should initially last for 19 years, the time it would take for the particular conjunction of the sun and moon to recur.

“We had both seen too many NGOs simply carrying on for the sake of carrying on, “ recalls Martin Palmer. “We thought there should come a point where we could sit down and judge whether it was still needed, if it needed to change or should just be wound up altogether.”

Martin Palmer outside Buckingham Palace
Now in its 20th year ARC is indeed going through changes, with four autonomous new environmental movements being launched to take the cause of faith-based environmentalism forward. These include Faithful Farming - a conservation agriculture project in Africa; EcoSikh - an international Sikh environmental network; WASH in Faith Schools - a programme to promote the availability of fresh water and good hygiene practices in schools worldwide, and a new ARC partnership with The Nature Conservancy. Alongside this ARC’s well-established China programme will continue in partnership with The Valley Foundation, a Dutch NGO.

Celebrating partnerships new and old

All of these initiatives are going to be represented at the Buckingham Palace event when Prince Philip and Martin Palmer will be joined by selected ARC staff and important partners, including:
  • Brian Pilkington (Chair of ARC’s Board of Trustees since 1996)
  • Raffaello Cervigni (lead environmental economist for the Africa region of the World Bank)
  • Yuan Fan (Deputy General Manager of China Daily UK )
  • Master GE Huifang (Daoist nun from the Logan Daoist Temple)
  • Pierre L. van Hedel (Managing Director of the Rabobank Foundation, the social fund of the large Dutch bank)
  • Jean-Pierre Sweerts (Former Head of Sustainable Development, Rabobank; currently Chairman of the Board of DOB Foundation)
  • Olav Kjørven (Director of the Public Partnerships Division at UNICEF)
  • Gateenkumar Dahyabhai Patel (Director of The Bhumi Project, an initiative that works with the international Hindu community to raise awareness about environmental concerns)
  • Allerd Stikker (ARC trustee and former CEO of the Ecological Management Foundation)
  • Bishop Walter S. Thomas, Sr. (Pastor of the New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland)
  • Dr Rajwant Singh (Founder and Chairman of the Sikh Council on Religion and Education (SCORE) who helped launch Ecosikh in 2009)
  • Suneet Singh Tuli (CEO of Datawind who co-founded the Aakash tablet and has worked with NGOs in India and Africa to provide the tablet to millions of students)
  • Peter Wheeler (Executive Vice President of The Nature Conservancy)

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