Religious leaders’ input key to tackling threat of climate change

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Zubair Qureshi

Speakers at a press conference called for involving religious leaders to take an active approach to tackle the crisis of climate change that is threatening livelihoods of people.

The press conference was organized by

Faith For Our Planet (FFOP) in collaboration with the Rural Support Programme Network (RSPN), International Islamic University (IIU) and Iqbal International Institute gor Research & Development (IRD).

The FFOP hosted its first-ever workshop involving cross-sectarian and minority religious leaders.

The press conference was led by prominent interfaith leaders and climate experts like Haroon Sarab Diyal – Hindu Pakistani Pandit and community leader, Dr. Mehmod Syed Nasir – Former Inspector General Forests, Ministry of Climate Change, Afia Saleem – Climate journalist, Dr Mohsin Naqvi – Islamic Scholar, and Shiraz Ahmed – International Coordinator for FFOP.

Major takeaway of the workshop was of bringing together leaders representing different religious denominations.

Haroon Sarab Diyal, Hindu Pakistani Pandit, highlighted the significance of taking on board different stakeholders while involving academia and practitioners to prepare young people for working around climate vulnerability. Several committees will be created at provincial level. In addition to that, we are running out of time and our priority is to conduct engagement with government and all the relevant authorities resultantly leading us towards achieving greater mobilization.

Dr. Mohsin Naqvi stressed the practicality of the workshop as it not only discussed the challenges and the hurdles that await us and provided solutions of addressing the crisis both individually and collectively.

To create a grass root culture – involving religious leaders in such conversations is a priority. That effort could not have been possible without taking religious leaders on board. Most of the religious leaders understand that there is a scriptural commitment to environmental conservation, but the lack of urgency is what lacks at the moment. FFOP’s aim is to expand the network of religious and climate experts in Pakistan and creating a cyclical change locally and globally.

 

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