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ARC enters exciting partnership with United Nations Environment Programme

November 30, 2014:

ARC's Alison Hilliard signs the MOU witnessed by UNEP's David Ombisi

ARC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for joint co-operation working with key religions on environment management in Africa.

"This is the beginning of an exciting new partnership - not only between UNEP and ARC but more importantly with UNEP and the faiths in Africa, on helping Africa be greener," said ARC’s deputy Secretary General Alison Hilliard. The details were agreed last month at an international workshop on Faith-based Sustainable Land Management at Ankrah Foundation in Mukono, Uganda.

ARC's signature was witnessed by David Ombisi of UNEP’s Regional Office for Africa, and then the memorandum was later signed formallyin Nairobi by UNEP’s Director and Regional Representative for Africa, Mounkaila Goumandakoye.

’Potentially transformative’

This new programme and agreement follows Mr Goumandakoye’s attendance at the launch of the 27 long-term plans on environment care in September 2012.

ARC is working with local faith leaders promoting the environmental message in subSaharan Africa
There, he promised that working with the faiths would go to the top of UNEP’s agenda in Africa. He described the faith plans launched on that day as ‘potentially transformative’. "I realised coming here today we could be more successful, we could be more relevant to the needs and aspirations of the Continent, we could have more impact in all African countries if we can work with you, the faiths, hand in hand," he said .

A further meeting to discuss the MOU was held in January 2013 in Nairobi where Mr Goumandakoye committed UNEP to engage meaningfully with faith-based organisations undertaking that it would now be a policy decision to involve faith groups in all UNEP Africa regional activities.

Priorities for the future

UNEP Director and Regional Representative, Mounkaila Goumandakoye at the Nairobi launch of faith plans to protect the African environment in 2012
The two parties agreed the following priorities:

  • Promoting environmental awareness on sustainable environmental management and conservation in faith communities for climate change adaptation, mitigation and environmental care.
  • Training in sustainable land management to conserve the environment and enhance livelihoods.
  • Enhancing the capacity for environmental management and conservation through lifelong learning and community education in faith communities using the faiths networks.
  • Capacity building and networking to empower faith groups to have a voice in policy decisions on environmental issues and climate change strategies, locally nationally and regionally in Africa.

Useful links

Report on the Mokono workshop

African faith organisations long-term commitments

Faiths for Green Africa website

Nairobi workshop

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