PS Calls On Faith Leaders to Be In the Forefront in Fighting Against Climate Change

The Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources, Mr. Alieu Njie has called on Faith leaders to be in the forefront in addressing environment and climate issues in the country.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Faith For Our Planet’s Regional Workshop, on behalf of the Hon. Minister, Mrs. Rohey John Manjang, PS Njie highlighted that the world today is faced with an unprecedented environmental crisis because of its effect on the lives of the people. He stated that it must be ensured that environmental issues are humanized and addressed through the common humanity motives and shared values.

This, he said, is the way the threat of climate change should be addressed, by building a broad-based coalition and this again is one of the important reasons why the need to address faith leaders, given the role the faith community plays in setting environmentalist norms and values; anchored in traditions of our country’s various faiths.

‘’Based on the training and valuable insights we have had here, we hope that faith leaders would play a role in citizen engagement and bringing environment and climate issues to the top agenda to create moral and social transformation in our country,’’ he said.

PS Njie noted that environmentalism is present in our religious traditions, and like our faiths, invites us to consider the consequences of our actions on the planet but also the impetus for preservation and protection of the earth.

‘’Today, we will return to our homes and communities, with a renewed understanding of the global. I encourage all of us to pledge our commitment to change, to a sustainable future, one that will be realized through our mosques, churches, and our homes and the virtues, unity, and aspirations of our faith,’’ he said.

In recent times the Gambia has faced both flood and windstorms that have ravaged the country and displaced thousands of citizens. This year in July, the county had the worst floods in 38 years that displaced about 5000 people and destroyed houses, leaving thousands destitute.

PS Njie said the Government of the Gambia like most around the world is committed to playing a key role in the struggle. This, he said, is part of the National Development Plan (NDP) of the country

‘I am proud to note that we Have worked in concert with civil society on all major initiatives. I am proud that it was during that time, the Hon. Minister Rohey John Manjang announced a ban on the export of all timber from The Gambia to preserve our forest and biodiversity,’’ he informed.

Faith For Our Planet (FFOP) is a global interfaith coalition convened by the Muslim World League (MWL) to fight climate change, which aims to unite the world’s leading governmental, political, religious, and civil society actors to protect our planet.

PS Njie registered his heartfelt appreciation for civil society leaders who have led reforestation or coastal initiatives in the country. These, he said, are very visible efforts to support the environmental goals of the country. He also extended his gratitude to the international community for their efforts.