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“Religious bodies key in fight against climate change”

Religious bodies are strategic in driving the campaign against climate change and protection of biodiversity, Secretary General of Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC), Mr. Martin Palmer, has said.

He was guest speaker at the 17th Chief Shafi Lawal Edu Memorial Lecture organized by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation.

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Speaking on the topic, ‘A Quiet Revolution, Faith and the Environment’, he said plants and animals are gifts from God which need to be preserved from the onslaught of man.

“Faith communities will protect natural and spiritual landscapes because those actions come from within their own belief system, arising through their own values and ethos and making sense of the world they see,” he said.

He stressed that the inclusion of faith-based educational sustainable development programmes will help pass the message to their faithful about threat posed by climate change.

However, he expressed worry that conservative groups have put the religious bodies, which are integral part of the effort, to the back seat.

“For centuries, Egypt provided all the grain necessary to maintain the city of Rome. But through over-exploitation, these lands turned into desert and the waters dried up. The soil erosion and felling of the forests was widespread across the Roman Empire. It was the rise of the Christian monasteries especially the Benedictine Order that halted the decline and restored the land.

President of NCF, Chief Izoma Asiodu, explained that the annual lecture was one of the foundation’s advocacy tools, saying late Chief S.L Edu was committed to the cause of conservation which was an obscure subject at the time.

Chairman of the National Executive Council of NCF, Chief Ede Dafinone, appealed to adherents of all religions to propagate the need to conserve the environment “as our lives largely depend on it for survival.”

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