International workshop on faith-based SLM and faithful farming
In October 2014 ARC convened a major regional gathering in Mukono, Uganda to look at faith responses to sustainable land management, particularly climate-smart agriculture.
The International Workshop on Faith-based Sustainable Land Management was attended by 90 faith leaders, agriculturalists, environmentalists and education experts from eight countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Its theme was: ‘Working with faith communities on sustainable land management and climate-smart agriculture to reduce hunger, tackle poverty and protect the environment.’
As well as looking at what the faiths were doing in this area, the workshop established a clear mandate for future action in the shape of the Mukono Declaration. Issued by participants to mark World Food Day 2014, the Mukono Declaration calls for a major scaling up of faith action on agriculture and SLM, and asks governments, secular groups and national and regional bodies to support them in doing so.
In particular, the Declaration mandates ARC to establish an Alliance for Faithful Food and Farming to lead this movement of faith-based action on climate-smart agriculture and food justice.
The Mukono Declaration marks a significant step in the development of Faithful Farming and will shape the future direction of ARC’s Faiths for Green Africa programme.
Quotes from participants
‘This is the beginning of waking up a giant – connecting a farmer with his Creator and a unique opportunity to apply faith in practice to reduce poverty.’
– Saif Ahmad, Chief Executive Officer, Islamic Help
‘We saw what the faiths did in education and in health. Now when I see the faiths coming to the agriculture sector, I get excited. People believe what you say. And you have made a good start here.’
– Beatrice Byarugaba, Commissioner for Crop Production and Marketing,
Uganda Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries.
‘Neither the faiths nor the secular world can do this alone. All of us have a responsibility to govern in an ethical manner. This means partnership and collaboration.’
– Dr Dorcas Otieno, Executive Director, Kenya Organisation of Environmental Education
‘For a long time we’ve been talking about spiritual issues; taking people to heaven. We think this is the time for us, as faith leaders, to begin to talk about how we mobilise our resources – our spiritual, moral and economic assets – to ensure we have sustainable development to improve the livelihoods of our people.’
– Joshua Kitakule, Secretary General, Inter Religious Council of Uganda