Tuesday, 7 June 2022

Environment Boss Charges FBOs On Advocacy For Behavioural Change To Mitigate Climate Change

Daniel Bebia | 7th June 2023

Cross River State Commissioner for Environment, Mr Mfon Bassey has called on Faith-based Organizations to institutionalize environmental education for Behavioural Change in its community to mitigate global warming.

The Commissioner made the call during the 2022 World Environment Day celebration with the theme "Only One Earth" and the launching of Dreams Project held at the Apostolic Church, Edgerly Road, Calabar.

The Commissioner, represented by the Director Environmental Multilateral Support and Cooperation, Mr Sonigitu Ekpe identified faith, values and ethics as instrumental in influencing Behaviour Change to prevent or reverse environmental issues.

According to Mr Bassey, FBOs as original community organizers, providers of human care and counsellors of human destiny, are in many cases the longest or even the only first responding development and humanitarian-focused organizations present in remote communities or areas.

Highlighting the efficacy of FBOs in society, the Commissioner said FBOs and religious groups are key in providing public services such as education, welfare and healthcare services in developing countries, adding that more than fifty per cent of educational institutions around the world are owned by faith institutions.

The Environment Boss asserted that religion is a Paramount social institution enmeshed within the daily activities of most populations.

He maintained that spiritual values derived from religion do not only influence people's behaviour but also affect social inclusion, political engagement and economic prosperity.

Demonstration of Tree Planting 

Speaking further, the Commissioner stated that the convincing power relies on the sacred scripts of religions that speak to the hearts of faith followers hinting that the far-reaching social network, as well as the moral concepts and doctrines practised and preached by religious actors,s are powerfully influential on environmental attitudes and behaviours.

He added that climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution and a global pandemic are jeopardizing economic well-being and progress, pointing out that: "To secure a sustainable future not only for followers and communities but for the whole of humanity and nature, religious leaders should consider employing the strategy of reinterpreting sacred text considering present environmental challenges to provide a value-based platform to translate and advocate eco-activism and biodiversity conservation to inspire shift towards pro-environmental behaviour.

High points of the event were tree planting and launching.