Press releases
News archive
Selected books
ARC Home > News and Resources > News archive:

Plans to boost eco-training for clerics in Africa

Nairobi, September 22:

Meetings with Muslim and Christian groups in Africa have led to plans to increase in-depth environmental training for practicing and trainee clergy in both faiths.

Immediate results from the Central and Southern African Muslim Leaders’ Gathering on Environment and Development in Lusaka were the launch of a Zambian branch of AMEN (the Africa Muslim Environment Network), as well as plans for a month-long ecological training workshop for Muslim leaders. This was proposed by the WWF representative, Jonathan Chisaka, and accepted with enthusiasm by the Muslim leaders.

Similarly, in the impressive “Workshop on Ecology and Development” run by the Council of Churches in Zambia at Chibombo, the attendees highlighted a need, from all their communities, to increase people’s awareness of environmental and development issues.

The All-Africa Council of Churches has now decided to revive a former ecumenical and pan-African training centre in Mindolo in the southern provinces in Zambia. ARC has been asked to explore in detail how to formulate environmental and development courses at the centre, in partnership with the World Council of Churches and the All-Africa Council of Churches.

“We were most encouraged by two things: the speed with which the faiths have said ‘yes’ and the speed with which partner bodies such as WWF and the World Bank, have said ‘we will walk with you’.”
“We feel this could be a very significant programme,” said ARC’s project coordinator Paola Triolo. “It is very exciting working with groups who are determined to increase their environmental knowledge: and by working with the clergy we hope to reach out to entire communities.”

“We were most encouraged by two things,” added secretary general of ARC, Martin Palmer. “The speed with which the faiths have said ‘yes’ and also the speed with which the partner bodies, such as WWF and the World Bank, have said ‘we will walk with you’.”

In a meeting in mid-September in Nairobi, following the Lusaka gathering, it was decided that AMEN would move forward by researching and discovering which African Muslim groups are working with the environment, and how. These groups will act as models for other projects.

AMEN will also create a database of members and supporters and will also generate partnerships with secular and/or non-Muslim groups. ARC will help AMEN to look for funding to do this.

The meetings - between ARC staff and key personnel in both the Muslim and Christian faiths in Zambia and Kenya - took place in early September 2005.

< previous 
ARC site map
Related pages
Christian Faith Statement
A formal statement of Christian beliefs about creation and ecology: "Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God."