Restoring a healthy climate: Plastic Pollution & Solutions with a special focus on the health of children and adults


Raise awareness about the extent of plastic pollution and its effects on the health of children and adults.

Encourage recycling and stopping the production of plastic goods altogether.

Support the UN environment programme.

Date: Saturday 23 September 2023

Time: 16:00 hrs-18:00 hrs

For many years, the UN Environment Programme has been raising awareness among governments and corporations about the harmful effects of plastic pollution on our oceans, rivers, agriculture, the ecosystem and human health, and promoting discussion of the ways these challenges can be tackled - especially in the context of the UN World Environment Day every year which is in June. The importance of this topic remains high throughout the year. We are particularly fortunate that a team of health professionals from Bangladesh, led by Professor Dr  Mohammad Shahidullah FCPS, Chair of the Department of Neonatology and former Pro Vice Chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University have kindly agreed to speak from their medical experience and research about the impact of Plastic Pollution on the health of children and adults and some solutions that can be adopted.


Councillor Yaqub Hanif, Mayor of Luton:  Welcome to Luton

Dr Nazia Khanum OBE DL, Chair, United Nations Association-Luton: UNA-Luton’s mission on global issues
Professor Dr Mohammad Shahidullah FCPS and 3 medical professionals and researchers, Bangladesh: Impact of Plastic Pollution on human health and some solutions
Dr David Cheesman, Secretary, UNA-Luton:  Introduction to interactive session: issues raised in the presentations
Interactive session: questions, answers, comments: facilitated Dr David Cheesman

Dr Nazia Khanum: Concluding remarks and way forward

International webinar on Climate Crisis: Faith in the environment

Zoom event, 23 October 2021, 16:00 - 18:00 (BST)

Learning lessons from diverse faiths to preserve, protect and promote
Nature and a thriving Environment

Partners: UNA-Luton, Luton Council of Faiths, Grassroots & Near Neighbours


Welcome address

Dr Nazia Khanum OBE DL, Chair, United Nations Association-Luton (UNA-Luton)

Professor Zafar Khan, Chair, Luton Council of Faiths (LCoF)


Helen Nellis, Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire; Mahmood Hussain, Mayor of Luton; Lord Bill McKenzie; Right Reverend Richard Atkinson OBE, Bishop of Bedford; Sarah Owen MP (Luton North); Rachel Hopkins MP (Luton South)


Abu Shama (author): The Blue Moon: Why is the Moon so blue? : A mystical story relating to the Climate Crisis

Reflections on Nature/Environment from Luton’s diverse faith communities

Right Reverend Richard Atkinson OBE, Bishop of Bedford (Christianity),  Dr Mohammad Alramahi (Islam), Colin Hall (Quakerism), Yogesh Mistry (Hinduism), Sanjeev Kumar MBE (Sikhism), Richard Groom (Bahaism), Sarita Jain (Jainism), ), Hilary Fox (Judaism), Stephen Dynako (Humanism), Dr Rokhsana Reza (Humanism), Sister Marie Hayes (Christianity)

Interactive session: questions, answers and comments

Facilitated by David Jonathan, Director, LCoF, Grassroots and Near Neighbours

Concluding remarks and way forward

Dr David Cheesman, Secretary, UNA-Luton

Climate crisis faith in the environment

Conference review

Climate awareness should become an everyday habit, part of our personal belief system, so that we automatically do what is right for the environment without even having to think about it. That was the answer our international Zoom webinar gave to the question posed by a young climate activist: ‘Why are you burning our future?’

The conference reviewed an unexplored area - nature and the environment from the perspectives of different religious faiths and non-religious belief systems. The participants were from the United Kingdom, the United States, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Helen Nellis, HM Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire and Rachel Hopkins, MP for Luton South, were unable to attend personally but their messages of support were read out.

The discussion was opened by Abu Shama, with a mystical interpretation of the evolution of our planet and the impact of the climate crisis from his book, The blue moon: why is the moon so blue?, accompanied by some spectacular images from it. Many participants commented that his book should be available in schools.

The speakers approached the subject from the perspective of their particular faiths. Sister Marie Hayes was unable to attend but submitted a reflection on Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’, on the care of our common home. 

 It was striking that all faith and belief systems shared a spiritual vision of humanity’s relationship with the environment and put particular emphasis on the importance of individual action. We have been given custodianship of the planet. We are responsible for ourselves and the world around us. This can give us strength when we feel overwhelmed by the scale of the climate crisis and the lack of political will to resolve it. Whatever happens at the COP26 Conference in Glasgow at the end of this month, we can have faith that our personal decisions at a local level do make a difference – decisions about our heating, our lighting, our shopping, our diet, our cars, our plants and trees,  and everything else.  

Actions taken by individuals add up. A mass movement for change is composed of innumerable individual actions and the human spirit has the power to put matters right when mistakes have been made. We have had a massive negative impact on the environment. We can and will turn that into a massive positive impact.

International webinar on Climate Change - challenges and solutions

Zoom event, 22 May 2021, 16:00 - 18:00 (BST)

Please join our important virtual webinar on Climate Change. It will focus on solutions. We are fortunate to have two specialist speakers – one from the USA and the other from the UK - to raise our knowledge to a higher level and inspire us to take appropriate action, individually and collectively.



Dr Nazia Khanum OBE DL, Chair, UNA-Luton


Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire

Lord Bill McKenzie of Luton

Sarah Owen MP, Luton North

Rachel Hopkins MP, Luton South


Andrew Cameron Bailey

Colin Hall


Click on the links below to see the recordings of the presentations

Andrew Cameron Bailey: Climate change - challenges and solutions

USA-based founder of Sacred Earth Enterprises – a company which is developing economically-viable climate solutions. Among many other things, he is also a film maker, photographer, inventor, author, designer/builder, entrepreneur and a visionary thinker in the realms of climate restoration and the evolutionary potential of humanity.

Colin Hall: Making a difference

UK-based Teacher, Environmentalist and Quaker. His passion for the restoration of the environment has transformed him into an enterprising beekeeper and honey producer. He is a living manifestation of the slogan “Make Everyday Earth Day”

Programme - Climate change, challenges and solutions, 22 May 2021.pdf

Climate crisis: our ocean, our future
Zoom event, 30 January 2021, 15:30 - 17:30 (GMT)

Organised in partnership with the United Nations Association Climate and Oceans, to raise awareness about the importance of our ocean for climate and the need for urgent action and international cooperation to stop devastating climate change. Left alone to run its course, the climate crisis is likely to make our planet uninhabitable by humans and most other life forms.

Programme re Climate Crisis Our Ocean Our Future 30 Jan 2021(6).pdf

Main speakers

Dr Nazia Khanum OBE DL

Chair of United Nations Association - Luton Branch: Introduction

Susan Lousada

High Sheriff of Bedfordshire: Message of support

Maria Lovell

Mayor of Luton: Welcome to Luton

Gonzalo Alvarez

Chairman, United Nations Association Climate and Oceans, marine biologist and oceanographer: Main presentation on Climate crisis - our ocean, our future

Dr David Cheesman FRSA FRSS

Secretary of United Nations Association - Luton Branch: Facilitation of question and answer session

Faatiha Aayat

9-year old child rights activist and climate campaigner in New York: Call for action, with special emphasis on impact on Bangladesh, her country of origin and one of the most vulnerable front-line states. Click on her picture above to see her statement.

The complete recording of the Zoom conference is now available on YouTube

Climate crisis: our ocean, our future Part 1

Presentations by Dr Nazia Khanum OBE DL, Chair of UNA-Luton; Susan Lousada, High Sheriff of Bedfordshire; Councillor Maria Lovell, Mayor of Luton; Gonzalo Alvarez, Chair of UNA Climate and Oceans

Climate crisis: our ocean, our future Part 2

Statement by Faatiha Aayat, 9-year old climate campaigner from New York; Question and Answer session facilitated by Dr David Cheesman, Secretary of UNA-Luton

The Ocean and Us

Sir David Attenborough's message to the United Nations Ocean Conference

A brief report of the conference will be posted soon, with an action plan. 83 delegates participated. They came from all parts of the world - from Tierra del Fuego to the Philippines - and brought a wealth of local experience and expertise to the discussion. It was agreed that the meeting should be followed up by action, as a basis for developing an international campaign, working with other climate change organisations to tackle the critical issues raised in Gonzalo Alvarez's sobering presentation.

There was particular concern about the failure of governments around the world to meet their international commitments. Those of us based in the United Kingdom were invited to contact their MPs and encourage them to support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill which is being presented to Parliament by 96 MPs from all parties.

Conference on Climate change: negotiations, actions and movements University of Bedfordshire and UNA-Luton, 6 November 2017

The event started with the raising of the UN flag to celebrate UN Day and was opened by Bill Rammell, Vice Chancellor of the University of Bedfordshire and Honorary President of UNA-Luton

This all-day multi-disciplinary event involved simulated and participatory activities to generate effective learning and networking opportunities. An innovative feature of the day was the role-play 'World Climate Negotiations.' This was set up as an international conference on climate change to negotiate carbon emission targets. Participants were assigned to specific countries, fossil fuel lobby groups or environmental NGO groups and given the appropriate negotiating brief. They were not allowed to choose countries or groups of their own preference and no prior understanding of climate change or sustainable development was needed. Participants reported that they had learned from the experience and found it an exciting approach to the issues.