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Islamic wildlife programme launched in Afghanistan

March 28, 2014:

The iconic Snow Leopard is one of the many endangered species still found in Afghanistan

Inspiring news from colleagues in the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) relating to an Islamic environmental education programme that is being rolled out in Afghanistan:

"In Afghanistan, Islamic scholars and teachers are respected community leaders and looked to for advice on a wide-range of religious, social and personal matters. Respect for nature and the environment are referred to extensively in both the Holy Qur’an and the ahadith of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).  

Recognizing the clear connection between Islamic teaching and environmental protection, the Wildlife Conservation Society has been working with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) and the Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs to produce an environmental education handbook and associated ‘training of trainers’ program whereby the Ulama of Afghanistan can incorporate conservation messages into their teachings and encourage their congregations to find solutions to their local environmental problems.  

The handbook entitled, “Environmental Education in the Light of Islam” highlights and explains passages and parables from the Holy Qur’an which focus on our relationship with nature and the world we live in. As a result of the training program, 200 mullahs are now equipped to act as master trainers, sharing their knowledge with other religious leaders in 10 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. All those trained will subsequently pass on the knowledge they have gained to local communities at mosques, madrasas, Friday prayers and at special gatherings. Due to the excitement and interest already generated by the pilot program, NEPA is now seeking resources to roll-out the program to Afghanistan’s 24 remaining provinces."

The handbook is written in Dari, the national language of Afghanistan, with quotes from the Qu’ran in Arabic.

Wildlife Conservation Society

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