Is­lamic Re­lief In­dia con­trib­utes to In­dia’s com­mit­ment to UN frame­work on Climate Change

Down to Earth - - COVER STORY -

IS­LAMIC RE­LIEF IN­DIA is a hu­man­i­tar­ian or­ga­ni­za­tion work­ing to al­le­vi­ate suf­fer­ing, hunger, il­lit­er­acy and dis­ease through an in­clu­sive ap­proach. It is part of the world's big­gest Is­lamic faith in­spired or­ga­ni­za­tions, work­ing in more than 40 coun­tries. Is­lamic Re­lief glob­ally is a leader in pro­mot­ing Climate Change adap­ta­tion and was the main force be­hind the Is­lamic Dec­la­ra­tion on Climate Change signed in Turkey in 2015 by rep­re­sen­ta­tives from 25 Mus­lim coun­tries. The Dec­la­ra­tion calls for all na­tions and Is­lamic Lead­ers to lead the way in tack­ling climate change. As part of its com­mit­ment to the UN frame­work on Climate Change, Is­lamic Re­lief glob­ally is im­ple­ment­ing sev­eral projects on Climate Change adap­ta­tion. In In­dia, Is­lamic Re­lief is im­ple­ment­ing a unique project called Ac­tion on Climate Change and Con­sump­tion (ACC) fo­cus­ing on pro­mot­ing com­mu­nity per­spec­tive and be­hav­iour change on sus­tain­able con­sump­tion and pro­duc­tion through the teach­ings of Is­lamic faith. The project tar­gets to en­hance the ca­pac­ity of com­mu­nity lead­ers, youth and home­mak­ers as they rep­re­sent the largest global con­sumer group. A two-month long cam­paign ,' Hi fazat' ,w as launched dur­ing the month of Ra­madan with ini­tia­tives aimed at large-scale aware­ness gen­er­a­tion and sen­si­ti­za­tion at a com­mu­nity level. An eco-cent re was setup in amos que ina small ru­ral ham­let in Bi har.T he mosque is uti­liz­ing re­new­able so­lar en­ergy and pro­duc­ing veg­eta­bles for its own con­sump­tion and has also be­come the cen­tre for dis­sem­i­nat­ing knowl­edge on re­new­able en­ergy and sus­tain­able con­sump­tion of re­sources.To ed­u­cate the youth, an on­line and off­line three-hour­course has been de­vel­oped on sus­tain­able con­sump­tion and pro­duc­tion. In the last one year, IRI's larger ad­vo­cacy ef­forts saw fo­cused so­cial me­dia cam­paigns, work­shops, wall paint­ing cam­paigns, train­ings and part­ner­ships with agen­cies and in­sti­tu­tions like CERT (Cen­tre for Ed­u­ca­tional Re­search and Train­ing), re­li­gious schol­ars and home­mak­ers. A dis­cus­sion within the frame­work of Talanoa Di­a­logue to con­trib­ute to the United Na­tions Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Climate Change was or­ga­nized on World En­vi­ron­ment Day i.e. 5th June zo3.8 in Delhi. The di­a­logue was fol­lowed by a plas­tic-free Green If­tar. An in­ter­faith di­a­logue on Climate Change was also or­ga­nized on zoth July 2018 at the In­dia Is­lamic Cul­tural Cen­tre in New Delhi with em­i­nent speak­ers like Magsaysay Award and Stock­holm Wa­ter Prize win­ner Dr Ra­jen­dra Singh; Fa­ther Paul Moon­jely, Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­to­rofCar­i­tas In­dia; Mr Kul­mo­han Singh, Chief Ad­vi­sor of Delhi Sikh Gu­rud­wara Pra­band­hak Com­mit­tee; Pro­fes­sor Maulana Saud Alam Qasmi, Ex Dean of Fac­ulty of The­ol­ogy at AMU; and Swamini Adityananda Saraswati, Di­rec­tor of Global In­ter­faith WASH Al­liance at Par­marth Nike­tan. All speak­ers high­lighted how en­vi­ron­ment pro­tec­tion was in­te­gral to the teach­ings of all faiths and the ur­gen­cy­for im­me­di­ate ac­tion. "The project is a pi­lot ini­tia­tive of Is­lamic Re­lief in In­dia and we hopeto repli­cate and scale up the project in other parts of In­dia as well as for­mu­late strate­gic part­ner­ships, es­pe­cially fo­cused at har­ness­ing in­flu­ence of faith to in­cul­cate a sus­tain­able life­style and fight climate change," said Ak­mal Sha­reef, Coun­try Di­rec­tor of Is­lamic Re­lief In­dia. The ini­tia­tives un­der­taken have had a pos­i­tive im­pact. Af­ter the meet­ing with var­i­ous re­li­gious lead­ers in Bi­har re­gard­ing the eco cen­tre, many mosques are mo­ti­vated to in­clude the is­sue of en­vi­ron­ment and climate change in the Fri­day ser­mons (Juma Khutba). The con­sul­ta­tions and meet­ings have also

from left to right- Dr Ra­jen­dra Singh, Prof Maulana Saud Alam Qasmi, Mr Kul­mo­han Singh and Swamini Adityananda Saraswati

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