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ARC Home > Faiths and Ecology > Islam > Islamic eco-news :

Islamic eco-news

The endangered Sumatran tiger will hopefully benefit from the Indonesian fatwa. (Photo: Moet Hasyim, for WWF 2013)


March 28, 2014: Islamic environmental education programme launched in Afghanistan US environmental NGO Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) have announced a partnership with religious authorities and Afghanistan government agencies to produce an environmental educational handbook and associated 'training of the trainers' programme whereby the Ulama of Afghanistan can incorporate conservation messages into their teachings. The handbook, entitled “Environmental Education in the Light of Islam”, highlights and explains passages and parables from the Holy Qur’an which focus on humanity's relationship with nature and the world we live in. The programme is initially being launched in 10 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces but it is hoped will eventually be rolled out to the other 24 once funding has been identified.

March 5, 2014, Indonesian Islamic authorities announce fatwa for wildlife Following consultations with environmental activists and academics and after a WWF/ARC supported field trip to Sumatra the Indonesian Council of Ulama (MUI) issued a fatwa (edict) requiring the country's 200 million Muslim population to take an active role in protecting threatened species including tigers, rhinos, elephants and orang-utans.

Apart from a 1992 fatwa in Yemen forbidding the use of illegal rhino horn in ceremonial daggers it is thought that this is the first time a fatwa has asserted Islamic theology to protect wildlife.

January, 2014, new Green Award scheme announced for Islamic groups in UK The Muslim Agency for Development Education (aka MADE in Europe) has launched Green Up! an award scheme to encourage mosques and Islamic groups to address their environmental impact. The scheme is supported by a strikingly designed toolkit that provides an inspirational mix of environmental information, Qur'anic quotes and practical suggestions to get people started on the road to greening up. Most encouraging are the descriptions of purpose built 'eco-mosques' from around the UK, like the Cambridge New Mosque, with designed in features including ground water heating, solar panels, use of natural light and plentiful bike racks.


September 4-5, 2013, Green Guide distributed to departing pilgrims in Sumatra A new edition of 1000 copies of Haji Ramah Lingkugan, the Bahasi Indonesian Guide to Hajj, was prepared to be distributed through a special exhibition about Green Pilgrimage in Binjai, North Sumatra. The event was timed for the departure of 263 pilgrims setting out on the Hajj and each was presented with a copy by the Mayor of Binjai before leaving for Makkah. Muslim organisations in South East Asia were already planning for the 2014 pilgrimage by meeting with the Hajj authorities and looking at the Green Pilgrimage agenda.


July 17, 2012, Islamic Water Conservation Manual distributed in Bangladesh

The UK-based Islamic NGO Faith Regen are distributing a Water Conservation Manual through special events in schools and medical clinics across Bangladesh. The publication represents a partnership between Faith Regen, ARC and the Global One 2015 organisation. The manual is written in Bengali and based on Islamic traditions and teachings, connecting people's faith and spiritual responsibilities to the practical issues of water conservation, protection and sanitation. For more information on the manual click here. To download a copy click here

June 6, 2012, Bahasa Indonesian version of the Green Guide To Hajj to be launched Haji Ramah Lingkugan, a version of the Green Guide to Hajj in the Indonesian Bahasa language, will belaunched later this month. There are some 220 million Indonesian Muslims, who each year fulfil the quota, set by Saudi Arabia, of 220,000 Indonesian places on Hajj with some having to wait as long as 11 years for their turn to make the journey.

With the full title: "Haji Ramah Lingkungan: Bagaimana Peserta Haji dan Umrah Dapat Berkontribusi Melestarikan Lingkungan?" the Bahasa version will be launched on June 14 at the National University Campus, in Jakarta.

To download a PDF copy of Haji Ramah Lingkungan click here.


November 2, 2011, Green Guide to Hajj launched at Assisi, Italy The 'Green Guide for Hajj' and accompanying supplement "Islam and Water" were launched at the Green Pilgrimage Network's 'Sacred Land' event in Assisi. The Green Guide offers practical advice and inspiration both to pilgrims and to the governments and institutions involved in Hajj sites, while Islam and Water uses the story of Hajjar to emphasise both the integral role of water in Islam and the important role that Muslim women play. To download both of these inspiring books link here. Click here for more.

March 30, 2011, Inspiring stories of faith action from Africa In Nigeria, children attending schools run by the Qadiriyyah Sufi Movement receive half their marks upon graduation from how well they have looked after tree seedlings. Click here for more.

News before 2011

***** June 2010: The Muslims have made a seven year plan to help protect the living planet, which was launched at the Windsor Celebration in November last year. To view this (and other) long term commitments link here.

***** May 2010: Bogor, W Java, April 10 (ANTARA) A two-day international Muslim conference on climate change ended here on Saturday (April 9) with the issuance of a Bogor Declaration, stressing the need to prevent climate change through education. For full story link here.

***** July 2009: The two-day conference on Islam and the environment that was held in Istanbul, Turkey, between 6 and 7 July, 2009, concluded by declaring a Muslim seven-year-action plan on climate change. The plan was culminated by the establishment of MACCA, the Muslim Associations for Climate Change Action, which will act as an umbrella organization to monitor the action plan and follow up with its implementation. The conference was attended by a galaxy of Muslim scholars, experts, and representatives of Islamic civil society organizations, as well as representatives of ministries of environment and Awqaf endowment of many Islamic countries. Link to ARC's news story about the historic declaration.

***** April 2009: The forthcoming Conference for the Muslim 7 Year Plan Declaration will take place in Istanbul on 6 and 7 July 2009. As part of the ARC-UN Generational Action Plan for the Environment, ARC is delighted to announce it will be co-sponsoring the event which will bring together between 60 and 80 Muslim Scholars. The Muslim Seven Year Plan is being created through Earthmates Dialogue Center in partnership with ARC. It is hoped these key scholars from across the spectrum of the Islamic faith will endorse the plan and declare it to be the Muslim 7 Year Action Plan to respond to climate change. Draft version of the Muslim 7 year plan.

***** April 2009 : Malaysia's Muslim preachers have been enlisted in the fight for wildlife conservation, using passages from the Qur'an to raise awareness and help protect some of the world's most endangered species, WWF reports. After a campaign last year in which more than 400 mosques in the state of Terengganu held sermons focusing on turtle conservation issues, WWF decided to extend the project to support efforts to tackle poaching. “There are several passages within the Qur'an which talk about the responsibility of humans in protecting our environment and wildlife,” said Umi A’ Zuhrah from the Tiger Conservation Programme at WWF-Malaysia. .

***** February 2009: ARC is pleased to announce a memorandum of understanding with environmental NGO Earth Mates Dialogue Centre with whom - in association with a wide range of Muslim bodies, countries and organisations - we are now helping bring into being a Muslim Seven Year Plan (M7YP) - a long-term plan to encourage Muslims to take action on the environment within their communities for many generations to come. For further details of the M7YP, link here.

***** January 2009: The origins of the DC Green Muslims lie in an organic vegetarian potluck dinner in October of 2007 in which 15 people had gathered to celebrate a “green Iftar,” putting an environmental spin on the meal that breaks the fast during the holy month of Ramadan. DC Green Muslims has grown rapidly, attracting as many as 150 people at a time. The group’s energy and enthusiasm has helped make the Washington area home to one of the most environmentally active Muslim communities in the United States. Link here for the full story.

***** November 2008: A small but expanding group of eco villages have formed around local traditional Achinese religious schools in the beleaguered Indonesian province of Aceh, formerly best known internationally for its civil war and for the devastation caused by the tsunami on December 26, 2006. These newly founded Pesantren, as the Muslim schools are called, are being established in the interior of Aceh one by one, undertaking operations to replant forest land devastated during the 30 year war between the army and Achinese freedom fighters. Link here for more details.

***** October 2008: Over 20 key participants from Islamic NGOs, academics, government figures and Muslim environmental activists and specialists from 14 countries met in Kuwait from 28-30 October 2008 to discuss drawing up a Seven Year Plan for Muslim Action on the Environment. It was agreed that the action plan would be focused on Islamic states as well as Muslim communities all over the world. Link here for more details.

***** September 2008: The Climate Institute has reported on a visit to Australia by Pacific Church representatives in August 2008. The visit coincided with 39 leaders from multi-faith groups who signed an open letter calling for action to address the destruction caused by climate change. The open letter was signed in a collaboration with the research organisation, the Climate Institute, and representatives from the Baha’i, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist faiths. Link here for more details.

***** "Of course, not everybody will automatically turn into an environmentalist if they understand a little ecology or learn that caring for the environment is a religious duty. However, if environmental conservation is publicly understood to be a religious duty, it will be much easier for conservation workers to do their job." Link here for a column in the Jakarta Post, August 2008, urging religious leaders to get more involved in the environment.

***** Link here for news of a multi-faith walk which took place in July 2008 across Clifton Suspension Bridge with a Jewish Rabbi, a Christian Bishop and a Muslim Imam.

**** Lincolnshire hosts the Living Islam Camp 2008. In July 2008 the Living Islam Camp received almost 5,000 visitors including 1,000 children. Workshops were organised by IFEES and the RSPB and children experienced tree walks and made wind-powered toys. Link here for more news of the event.

**** Kuala Lumpur - July 2008: Malaysian Muslim clerics from the north-eastern Terengganu state will soon begin spreading the message of turtle conservation through their sermons as part of efforts to stop locals from egg-poaching, a news report said Wednesday. The local WWF recently conducted workshops for the clerics on conservation efforts for the endangered Leatherback turtles, which have recently returned to nest at the state's sandy beaches. The clerics will soon touch on the importance of preventing the extinction of the turtles during their weekly sermons at local mosques, said WWF turtle programme head Rahayu Zulkifli. The initiative stems from programmes done with ARC and our sister Muslim organisation IFEES in the past. Link here for more information.

**** An Eco-Mosque opened in Levenshulme Manchester in June 2008. It has been built with recycled materials and generates part of its energy from solar panels. It is the latest in a long tradition of environmentally aware measures in mosques, tracing back at least to the Istanbul Suleimaniye Mosque, built in 1550 by Sinan, where  the smoke form the 1000s of candles and oil lamps was channelled  aerodynamically onto a filter room before it left the building to the atmosphere. The soot was then collected from the filter to convert it into ink. Link here for a column in the New Statesman by Ziauddin Sardar, one of ARC's long term advisors.

***** Young British Muslims in Birmingham are joining together on a “people action” to make their city greener. Dubbed the “clean medina campaign” – named after the Arabic word for old city – the 2007 event include rappers, film crews, coffee, music, jingles, and a lot of brushes and dustbin bags. Link here to read an interview with founder and inspirator for the programme Ayman Ahwal, explaining what is being planned – and why.

***** The Africa Muslim Environment Network (AMEN) published its official mission statement in early 2007, including a powerful statement of its vision as: “African Muslims helping African Muslims helping the earth.” Link here for more information.

***** The Prince of Wales began his five-day visit to Egypt with a visit to the Al-Azhar park in Cairo, built on the site of a 500-year-old rubbish tip - and one of the Sacred Gifts presented at the WWF/ARC Kathmandu meeting in 2000. The choice of the park reflects Prince Charles’ long term commitment both to ecology and to improving public spaces. Link here for more information.

***** Meetings with Muslim and Christian groups in Africa have led to plans to increase in-depth environmental training for practicing and trainee clergy in both faiths. Link here for more information.

***** ARC organised a unique gathering in Mombassa, Kenya in 2005 drawing together Muslim organisations from around East Africa, together with the World Bank and the Muslim Civic Education Trust (MCET). Link here for more information.

***** The Qur'an is not widely known as a source of guidance on environmental and conservation issues, but that has not stopped one development organisation in Tanzania from using it to help conserve an island marine park. Link here for more information.

***** One of the world’s best kept secrets about Africa... Link here for more information.

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