Faith groups are the largest organised sector of civil society, especially in Africa where 90% of people describe themselves as Christian or Muslim. Working through the faiths ensures greater attitudinal and behaviour change due to their high levels of trust and outreach. The faiths have unparalleled access to and influence with rural grassroots communities which are otherwise largely unavailable to secular organisations, as well as the structures to scale up action.
Through ARC's work, faith groups in Africa were invited to develop long-term environmental plans. A total of 27 faith groups responded to this call, a large group which between them reach out to 184 million people.
27 faith groups, reaching out to 184 million people
At a groundbreaking event in Nairobi, Kenya in 2012, these groups announced long-term plans to care for the environment, including commitments to sustainable and climate-smart agriculture, tree planting, renewable energy, water conservation, environmental education and awareness raising.
The plans were labelled as ‘potentially transformative’ by Mounkaila Goumandakoye, UNEP Director and Regional Representative for Africa, and ‘a new awakening that will help shape the beliefs, behaviour and actions for a greener and better Africa…’ by Dr Ali Mohamed, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources, Kenya.
Click on a country to the right to read more about these long-term plans in each country.