Interreligious and environmental civil forum of Eastern Europe (IRCEF) created by 36 representatives of secular and religious institutions in Eastern Europe as a result of the international scientific conference “The Church and Society for the preservation of the environment in Eastern Europe: the protection of creation” (07-09.10.2016 Uzhgorod). The purpose of the forum is the exchange of information, experiences and joint actions in the environmental field between the churches and environmental organizations for the benefit and assistance to care for God’s creation. Forum aims to promote the development of environmental programs and church projects, religious organizations and civil society on the basis of biblical, theological and other spiritual starting points for finding and applying the principles of sustainability in relation to one’s neighbor, taking into account our responsibility for future generations and for all of God’s creation – nature.
The primary objective of the Forum is to create an informational high quality network/portal for the dissemination of news and information exchange in churches, among the interested Christian environmental organizations and all people of good will, finding a common vision to solve urgent environmental problems; the development of cooperation and exchange of information with institutions and organizations dealing with the long-term protection of animate and inanimate nature.
Alexander Bokotey, Secretary of IRCEF
After graduating from the Biological Faculty of Uzhhorod State University, worked as a teacher of biology and valeology at the secondary school in Zolotarevo village, Khust district, Transcarpathian region. After working at school, graduated from the postgraduate study at the Department of Entomology of the Biological Faculty of Uzhhorod State University and defended his dissertation on animal ecology. Worked as Head of Zoological Museum, and on a part-time taught ecological orientation disciplines at the Biological and Geographical Faculties of Uzhhorod National University and Uzhhorod Theological Academy named after Blessed Theodore Romzha. Since 2001, Alexander is consultant on environmental issues and sustainable development of the Commission on Ecology, Migrants and Tourism of the Conference of the Roman Catholic Bishops of Ukraine (Chairman of the Commission – Bishop Majnek Antal).
Since 2004, Alexander is Secretary of the Commission on Ecology of Mukachevo Greek Catholic Eparchy (Chairman of the Commission – Bishop Milan Sasik). In 2012 Alexander joined to the establishment of the Institute of Ecological and Religious Studies http://www.ie-rs.org/about.html, which main task is to study the ecological views of various religious traditions. The Institute was created in cooperation with Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) and financial support of Renovabis (action of solidarity of German Catholics).
During few years, joined different initiatives: Charitable Foundation “Church and Environment”, Information Centre on Environmental Education at UzhNU; initiated the implementation of an important project “Tolerance on the European frontiers”, and many other projects.
In 2016, on the base of the Institute of Ecological and Religious Studies on the initiative of the Nature Biodiversity Conservation Union (initiator Boris Tichomirow) with the financial support of Federal Foreign Office of Germany (AA) was set up ambitious Interreligious Civil Environmental Forum of Eastern Europe (IRCEF). IRCEF took on an important role in promoting the consolidation of society in the post-Soviet space through the cooperation of the Church and NGOs on responsibility for Creation – Nature.
The main range of interests: Theology of Creation, education for sustainable development, ecological theology, climate protection, modern interdisciplinary research in the field of environmental protection, environmental protection and sustainable development in general.
Alexander is responsible for the coordinated work of all partners of the international team of IRCEF.