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ARC Home > Projects > Faiths for Green Africa :
Faiths for Green Africa | Commitments by country

Faiths for Green Africa

Important: new website launched

Please note that, since October 2014, this project has a new website Faiths for Green Africa. All new information and updates relating to the project will be found on the new site.

ARC has a long history of working in Africa, where 90 percent of people describe themselves as Christian or Muslim. We are excited to play our part in helping develop a growing movement of faith groups promoting environmental protection as a religious responsibility because it is about caring for God’s Creation.

As a result, faith communities are increasingly getting involved in community awareness raising, sustainable land and water management, tree planting, environmental education and sustainable agriculture.

Read more about our African faith partners are doing in our current initiatives, listed below along with some of our historic projects.

1. Long-term African Faith Commitments

In September 2012, 27 Christian, Muslim and Hindu faith groups launched long-term environmental African Faith Commitments to protect the living planet at a celebration in Nairobi, cohosted by ARC and the All Africa Conference of Churches.

The commitments are hugely inspirational and ambitious. They include plans to:

  • plant millions of trees across Africa;
  • launch major awareness campaigns about the need to protect the environment and mitigate against global warming;
  • engage in extensive formal environmental education through the faith schools, (which are more than half of all schools in Africa), and informally through community groups, women's groups and youth networks;
  • engage in sustainable farming; and
  • mobilise their communities to protect water catchments and soil health.

    ARC has produced two books: Many Heavens One Earth Our Continent is a 120-page book outlining all these plans. And Many Heavens One Earth in Action is a 144-page book (shown on the right) packed with photographs and inspiring stories of faith action to protect the environment in sub-Saharan Africa.

    The project is funded by the World Bank and Norway's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    Faithful Farming

    Agriculture is in crisis throughout Africa with soil erosion rising, crop yields falling and erratic rains due to climate change leaving farmers confused and despairing.

    ARC is working with Christian and Muslim communities on faith-based approaches to agriculture that have enormous potential to transform farming across Africa while also helping to protect the natural environment and biodiversity, grow more food and improve livelihoods.

    We are helping Christian communities to learn more about Farming God's Way.

    And in March 2014 we launched Islamic Farming, the first faith-based curriculum for conservation agriculture for Muslim farmers.

    Education on the environment and Faith Schools

    ARC is involved in supporting the development of environmental education programmes in sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on issues surrounding water and hygiene.

    In Kenya in 2013 we launched the first teacher's toolkit integrating faith values into teaching on the environment as part of an education for sustainable development (ESD) approach. ESD is a global movement to transform teaching by equipping people with the skills to lead healthy, productive lifestyles in harmony with nature.

    Read more here.

    Country by Country projects

    ARC is working with more than 25 faith partners in 11 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. These include Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

    Some of ARC's historical work in Africa

    Muslim Projects

    * The Africa Muslim Environment Network (AMEN) was set up in 2006 to link those Muslim leaders in sub-Saharan Africa who care about the environment. Link here for AMEN's brochure.

    * ARC has worked with Tanzanian Muslim communities on the problems of dynamite fishing along the coast.

    Christian projects

    * Organic farming with Ethiopian churches

    * South African eco-coffins project and brochure.

    * ARC's African Church Leaders meeting London, November 2004.

    * Queen's 2004 Christmas Broadcast which featured the African Church Leaders meeting.

    Notes on Faiths in Africa

    More than 90 percent of the population of Africa describe themselves as either Christian or Muslim. Christian or Muslim groups provide 60 percent of all health and education in Zambia. From Idi Amin to apartheid, the major social forces that have withstood tyranny in Africa have come from faith groups. Perhaps nowhere else in the world is religion so strong, so visible, and frankly so necessary as in Africa. Although it can lie at the roots of major conflict, as in the Sudan or in Nigeria, in many places religion is the only social glue holding peoples and cultures together.

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    Related information

    March 14, 2011:
    ARC begins major new programme in sub-Saharan Africa
    ARC is embarking upon a major new programme in sub-Saharan Africa, working alongside key Muslim and Christian leaders who have committed to develop long-term environmental action plans to protect the living planet.
    February 17, 2012:
    ARC and Tree Aid hold an agroforestry workshop in Ghana
    ARC is collaborating with British NGO Tree Aid to provide training in agroforestry and tree nursery management to faith groups in Ghana. The workshop is aimed at helping them fulfil their aim of planting millions of trees in the next seven years.
    January 23, 2012:
    Environmentalists recognised in '500 Most Influential Muslims' list
    Muslim environmentalists - including the 'Green Grand Mufti of Egypt' Sheikh Dr Ali Goma'a, who attended ARC's Windsor Celebration - are included in a list of the 500 most prominent Muslims of the past year.