Wednesday, April 20, 2011

EPA Launches Faith-based Neighborhood Partnerships Initiative

EPA’s coordination with White House effort will support environmental education and healthier families

Administrator Lisa P. Jackson today announced the formation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships (FBNP) initiative. This announcement reflects EPA’s commitment to the goals of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, a priority of President Obama’s. Strong relationships with faith and neighborhood organizations will help promote environmental stewardship that will lead to cleaner communities, encourage healthier families and build a stronger America. These relationships will also help EPA assist communities during times of environmental crisis.

On February 9, 2010, President Barack Obama signed executive order 13498 establishing the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and created an advisory council, which is composed of 25 religious, secular leaders and scholars, and 12 federal faith-based and neighborhood partnerships centers to assess and strengthen partnerships between the U.S. government and community-serving organizations. EPA joined the partnership in October 2010.

Through this initiative, EPA will focus on four areas: establishing a center to work with faith-based and neighborhood groups to increase awareness of environmental issues in communities throughout the country, developing a national plan of action to foster strong relationships between faith and neighborhood organizations, building partnerships between those organizations and government, and developing a website that will house environmental education tool kits and resources.

EPA has pledged to work to expand the environmental conversation and continue the fight for environmental justice to relieve the burdens of pollution in poor and minority communities. In addition, EPA will work with participating institutions to bring green jobs to these communities, increase energy efficiency through EPA’s Energy Star for Congregations program, and improve environmental education and communications. (EPA)

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