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Far-reaching new eco-pledges by African faith leaders

March 11, 2010:

The Christian Council of Ghana has agreed to educate all its pastors about climate change at their AGM next month:

The United Church of Zimbabwe is establishing awareness campaigns and tree planting exercises starting from churchyards.

The Muslim Hisbah board in Kano has a chief executive who has promised to make contact with islamiyyah schools to share his personal experience of learning about the importance of protecting the environment.

A Muslim leader from Uganda has pledged to create a document on the do’s and don’ts of the environment, to be used as a tool in mosques and women’s networks...

And those are just the first four overwhelmingly positive results that have emerged this week from the British Council’s successful Abuja Conference in Nigeria in February.

The lengthy list on this page (sent in by participants in the conference after they had time to reflect on what they had heard) shows the impact that faiths – when engaged on this issue – can have. They are not only powerful in protecting the environment, but also in showing others why it is of critical importance, and putting climate change and the destruction of the natural world on their regional and national agendas.

ARC is delighted to be associated with this initiative and to report that many African faith leaders are already engaged in creating 'long term plans' for the environment. See, for example, the long term plans from Cameroon, Tanzania or Ghana.

Christian Council of Ghana

  • To educate pastors in the Council about climate change by our AGM in April 2010.
  • To link with eco-bodies on developing a Green Campus for our church.
  • To plant trees around our church by December 2010.
- Rev. Dr Fred Deegbe

United Church of Christ in Zimbabwe

  • I will begin addressing climate change by mounting ministers retreat meetings mainly to impact knowledge acquired at this interfaith forum.
  • Then establish structures that would carry out awareness campaigns, and then carry out tree planting exercise starting from churchyards.
- Rev. Edward M. Matuvhunye

Hisbah Board Kano

  • I promise to disseminate this information among my people and to share the knowledge I acquired from this meeting with other religious leaders, Imams and Ulama.
  • I promise to command Hisbah Corps throughout my state to embark upon a programme of tree-planting, or what I will call “Make Your Command Green”.
  • I promise to co-operate with some of our incentives and legislative to see if that government’s policy on this issue is influenced.
  • I will make a personal contact with both islamiyyah schools and primary schools in order to share this experience with them.
  • I pray to Allah to help me and guide me in carrying out these promises.
- Dr. Ibrahim Mu’azzam Maibushira, Chief Executive

Sudan Sammaniya

I, Mohamed Hassan Gariballa committed to the following:
  • I will put the information I shared with other religious leaders into practice.
  • I will convey the message about climate change to my faith followers, to raise awareness about this topic.
  • I will use my group website to reach others.
  • I will work with the neighbouring schools to plant trees.
  • We will plant trees into the neighbourhood.
  • We will use energy saving lamps into our mosque.
- Mohamed Hassan Gariballa, Secretary


  • I shall read all the literature from this conference and do more research on climate change and develop a document on the do’s and don’t’s towards the environment, by the end of March 2010.
  • This can be used as a tool thereafter in mosques and through imams’ and womens’ networks.
- Hajjat Aphwa Kaawaase Sebyala

Bayero University, Kano

  • I plan to organise a seminar on climate change for Bayero University Community by the first Semester of 2010, i.e. July.
- Prof Abdul Audu, Department of Chemistry

South African Faith Communities Environment Institute

  • We will work to expand the reach and influence of SAFCEI, amongst both faith communities, and policy makers.
- David La Page

Water Safety Initiative Foundation (WASIF)

  • As a civil organisation, we would form links with other interested parties across Nigeria as we have done in some regions like Calabar, Cross River State and Akwa Ibom State, to continue to create awareness and understanding of climate change issues among Nigerian citizens.
  • I personally will to the best of my ability take up the campaign to my friends and family members and also to my community as regards best practices and sustainable lifestyles to reduce the climate change crisis.
- Adeoye O. Adeola

Anglican Church, Tanzania

Archbishop Valentine Mokiwa (right) outside Windsor Castle for the ARC/UNDP Celebration, November 2009
Here is what am pleading:
  • I will encourage my congregations in the Diocese to plant 18 millions tress across the diocese
  • I will spend the next 5 years beginning from 2011 on climate change issues and will use the time period to create awareness
  • I will work with City Authority of Dar es salaam to green the City and the Coastal Region area
  • I will preach and encourage my clergy and congregations to use energy saving bulbs for their home and work use
  • I will engage the Dar es salaam City Authority to plan and clean the City, and the polluted Msimbazi river which crosses/cross the city
- Archbishop Valentine Mokiwa of the Anglican Church in Tanzania, and Bishop of Dar es salaam

Uganda Muslim Youth Assembly

  • I will dedicate one Friday sermon every month on the subject of climate change and the danger humanity is likely to suffer. And cause my people to plant at least one tree every month
- Immam Kasozi

Church of Uganda

  • Make a presentation to the house of Bishops – there are 32 Bishops, May 2010
  • Train all the Parish Priests 95 in number about climate change issues, April 2010
  • Talk Shows on the local radios (we have three) to create awareness among the masses- audience of 1 million immediately
  • Organise training for all church schools head teachers to train them about climate change issues, August 2010
  • Use my sermons to talk about climate change, February 2010 Plant 20,000 trees this year.
- Rt. Rev. Nathan Kyamanywa, Representative of Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi

Kano State Television

  • I will organize a round table programme in my station on the A) Impact of the climate change B) Danger of cutting trees
  • I will involve religious leaders, professional in this programme
  • As federation of environmental journalist, will also embarked on advocacy visit to all District, Village and Ward Head.
  • And finally a one day workshop on danger of cutting trees to traditional rules in Kano and later to some states in the North.
- Yusuf Wakili Yola

Gaskiya Ta Fi Kwabo New Nigerian Newspapers

  • I will use my newspaper Gaskiya Ta Fi Kwabo which is published in Hausa Language to create awareness on the danger of climate change for the readers of our newspaper.
- Abubakar Yusuf

Inter-Faith Action For Peace In Africa And Murid Community In Senegal

  • I will disseminate the outcome of this meeting across the faith leaders and communities involved in our work
  • I will sensitize everyone in my immediate surrounding and location on the issue of climate change
  • I will try and push for climate change projects and action plans in strategic planning of my organization and religious community for the coming 3 years.
- Saliou Mbacké

Bayero University, Kano

As Immam:
  • I will use Friday sermons in order to encourage people to engage themselves in climate change tasks.
  • Being a university lecturer I will use my lectures/ classes to bring awareness about climate change to the students.
  • Being a member in different organisations I will try my best to draw their attention to set an action plan on climate change.
- Dr Ahmad Murtala

Channels Television News

  • I will write television reports once or more every quarter on issues of climate change.
- Doris Okenwa, Environment Correspondent

Federal Islamic Affairs, Supreme Council of Ethiopia

  • I will work with my council on re greening around the mosques (40,000) and sensitise the Muslim Community through training imams to get full awareness about climate to save planet starting from his village, Thank you.
- Hajj Aman Hussien Kabato

Plateau State, Nigeria

  • As a producer of a programme, I will invite stakeholders to a round table discussion to en lighten the public on the need to take the issue of climate change seriously.
  • To ensure that PRTVC include in our programme the issue of climate change as it affects the society
  • Religious and community leaders are well informed to carry the message of climate change to their followers.
- Iliya Amos .P, Journalist

Niger Resources Limited

  • Together we shall persuade the government to introduce incentives and award for any individual or group of people who successfully establish at least 300 trees per annum.
- Bala Abdullah Kwatu

Ilemi Okoka

  • I will start a radio programme, 15 minutes duration and in Pidgin English, on the little things people can do to save the environment. It would be in drama format.
- Radio Nigeria


  • I plant in my farm 3 million of trees, eucalyptus and athern, it is good for climate and we like to do a manufacture of paper.
- Rev. Dr Filotheos Farag


  • By the end of March 2010 I shall encourage the Mufti of Uganda to direct all Imams to have a Green Friday once a quarter.
- Hajjat Sebyala Aphwa

Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN)

  • Will encourage use of energy-saving bulbs in mosques in South West Nigeria
  • Will encourage tree planting on Mosque premises in the zone
  • Using texts from the Qur’an and hadith will encourage learning about climate change and commitment to implementation as religious duty.
  • Write periodic articles on Islam and climate change, as well as newsletters
  • Will encourage Muslims an my zone to use better alternatives to excessive use of firewood cooking
- Prof Dawud Noidi

Riruwai Abdullah Kabiru

  • The three tiers of government should allocate 5% of their budgets to tree planting and maintenance, this will no doubt help in this great task of saving of the African continent
  • In our little way we set up a small club “the climate awareness forum” this we do in clearing blocked drainages, and proper disposal of trash with special focus on radio active materials
- Riruwai Abdullah Kabiru

University of Khartoum, Sudan

  • As a regular writer in newspapers, I shall write my next column (Sunday 14.2.2010) on this conference and its environmental message.
  • I shall convey the message on climate change for 2 or 3 NGOs working on protection of the environment within 2 months.
  • I shall speak about the subject in my university.
  • I will try to write a paper from Islamic point of view about climate change
- Prof Al-Tayib Zain Al-Abdin

Ethiopian Orthodox Church

  • I am going to create a good awareness about climate change in the community.
  • I will teach and publish a book about climate change
  • I will make a good relationship with other groups, in order to discuss on climate change.
- Abu Serekebirhan Woldesamuel

Eco Congregation

  • I will put voluntary carbon offset funders in contact with religious leaders with good potential project.
- David Hughes


  • I will start a nursery in my area and plant indigenous trees. I will also gather faith leaders together in Abuja to launch a Green Belt programme to cover West Africa. Usman
- Isa Mobido

Christian Association of Nigeria, Aduna State, Nigeria

  • I will, by God’s grace, include climate change in all that I am engaged in to raise awareness of its effects and what to do to minimize it.
- Rev. Dr. Samuel K. Kujiyot

MEWA, Mombasa Kenya

  • We will begin from immediate effect to advocate climate change topics and related issues using our own monthly Newsletter and website.
  • Will link up with other like minded organisations in the country to promote aggressive programmes related to climate change issues.
- Shāfkāt Pervāiz

Channels TV

  • I will film or report once or more every quarter on issues of climate change.
- Taiye Sasona, Environment Correspondent (Cameraman)

Osune State University, Osogbo, Nigeria

  • I will change all bulbs to more efficient bulbs
  • I will use my speeches to climate change
  • Dedicate a day to climate change
  • I will contribute to climate change Adaptation fund
  • I will write a source on climate change to enlighten my people.
- Prof Temi Ologunorisa

National Chief Imam of Ghana

  • I will attempt to create awareness of the dangers of climate change to Ghana and humanity at large by preaching to the congregations at the Friday mosque prayers.
  • I will also endeavour to mount a project geared towards creating awareness by guiding the youth through awareness creation programme through the media.
- Mamah Gado Mohamed, spokesman

Ethiopian Evangelical Church, Mekane Yesus

  • I will use sermons to climate change to build awareness.
  • We delegates set together and renew our understanding and carry strategies.
  • Report to our joint senior leaders.
  • Carry strategy of awareness building.
  • Plant 500 trees by September 2010.
  • I will encourage and strengthen the implementation of existing projects addressing environmental changes like tree planting, less firewood consuming stoves, biogas, water powered mills being introduced by the church.
  • I will orient ministers of the church about the issue of climate change and encourage men to respond to the challenge.
- Rev/Dr Berhano Ofgaa

Al-Manar Centre for Islamic Education

  • My name is Ahmed Mohamed from Al-Manar Centre for Islamic Education. As usual, I will continue planting trees.
- Ahmed Mohamed

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18 February, 2010:
African leaders pledge eco action
Muslim and Christian religious leaders from all over Africa met this month in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, to talk about the environment and how they can adapt to climate change.
November 03, 2009:
Faiths “occupy a unique position” in discussions on the planet – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon acknowledged religion’s vital role in protecting the environment in his keynote address at the Windsor Celebration. In a heartfelt speech at Windsor Castle in front of HRH The Prince Philip and faith and secular leaders, Mr Ban said the world’s faith communities occupied “a unique position in discussions on the fate of our planet".
March 11, 2010:
Far-reaching new eco-pledges by African faith leaders, post-Abuja
A large number of wonderfully positive pledges by faith leaders to protect nature have emerged this week from the British Council's far-sighted Abuja conference in Abuja about religions and the environment in Africa.