Christians-Muslims Meet to Address Global Warming

On September 8, 2010, a former Philippine senator and environmental activist revealed plans to organize an interfaith dialogue among religious leaders to address global warming.

Former senator Heherson Alvarez, vice chairman of the government’s Climate Change Commission, said he will enlist the help of different religious organizations in the country in the fight against effects of climate change, ucanews.com reports.

He announced his plan during a press conference held after a roundtable discussion among Muslim leaders and environmental activists in Quezon City.

The Muslim Association for Climate Change Action (MACCA) was also launched during the conference. MACCA, according to organizers, was an offshoot of the Muslim Seven-Year Action Plan on Climate Change crafted in Istanbul, Turkey in June 2009.

Amina Rasul, lead convenor of the Philippine Council for Islam and Democracy (PCID), said more than 20 Muslim intellectuals, scientists and environmentalists joined the discussion organized by her group in coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Peace and Equity Foundation.

The participants expressed concern over the impact of environmental destruction, particularly in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which is most vulnerable to the rise in sea level.

“The Muslim community is speaking out,” said Rasul. She added that 70 percent of the 1.4 billion Muslims across the globe live in places that are vulnerable to climate change like Pakistan, which is now experiencing the worst floods in years. India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines are other threatened countries where Muslims live.

“When I was still DENR secretary I gave 10 Catholic bishops mountains to protect. They planted trees and improved the environment, and they were successful,” Alvarez told ucanews.com.

He mentioned mountains in Agusan province in Mindanao and in Antipolo city east of Manila. “Only Bishop Julio Labayen encountered a problem with people who burned some trees for charcoal. But he was able to solve it.”

Retired Carmelite Bishop Labayen at that time headed Infanta prelature comprising the northern part of Quezon Province, Polillo archipelago, Jomalig Island, Patnanungan town and Aurora Province in northern Philippines.

“Now these Muslims can nurture and protect the watershed of Marawi which is a source of clean water and hydroelectric power,” Alvarez said.

“Because the public sector failed we need the religious sector and the NGOs to protect the environment.”

This piece is taken from the website of CathNews Asia.

See on-line at: http://www.cathnewsasia.com/2010/09/08/religions-to-address-global-warming/

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One Response to “Christians-Muslims Meet to Address Global Warming”

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