What makes a project successful?
An effective faith project does one or more of the following:
. Addresses a recognised environmental need in ways that supports good environmental practice. For example, the Al-Azhar park in Cairo, which was built on the site of a municipal dump, to provide the city with a much-needed green space. The motivation arose from the Islamic belief that we are all trustees of God's creation and must seek to leave the world a better place than it was when we came into it.
. Uses the resources of a faith community to reach, affect and encourage responses in as many people as possible. For example, the Columbia River project in Canada and the US involved working with scientists, policy-makers, environmentalists, indigenous peoples, theologians and others to develop a strategy to tackle major problems along the river, including pollution, spread of alien species and destruction of wildlife habitats.
. Has the potential to grow and spread in effectiveness beyond its initial introduction. For example, the work in China with the Daoists and Buddhists on Sacred Mountains has led to projects on sacred sites being established in other Asian countries and this is forming part of the preparation for the Asian Buddhist Network.
. Shows a cohesiveness and continuity across diverse aspects of a faith's work. For example, major Jewish groups in the UK have united to produce environmental audit materials for their synagogues, covering everything from travel and heating to sermons and books and educational materials. The pack is designed to encourage their congregations to assess their own uses of resources in their homes and workplaces. This project has the potential to be extended to any Jewish communities around the world.
. Is seen by participants as part of a wider process across the faith community. The United Methodists have developed a socially responsible investment policy for their pension fund, which is now being extended across the tradition into all aspects of Church life. This has inspired the creation of the International Interfaith Investment Group 3iG and has already led to the Church of England Diocese of Manchester planning a similar programme in all aspects of its life.