On World Environment Day on June 5, Muslim Aid has called upon governments to redouble their efforts to tackle the wider consequences of environmental change and deliver on their commitment to help reverse the adverse effects of climate change.
Commenting on the significance of the day, a Muslim Aid spokesperson said: “Adapting to climate change is a major element of the global agenda for sustainable development. Droughts, floods and landslides have devastated the livelihoods and economies of millions of families in countries that are vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters. Muslim Aid’s disaster risk reduction programmes in Indonesia and Bangladesh are aimed at reducing loss of life and protecting infrastructure and livelihoods by increasing the resilience of communities in vulnerable regions affected by extreme weather patterns”.
“Forests play an important role in reducing carbon emissions and addressing other economic and environmental challenges. Governments can help their communities by regulating deforestation and ensuring that their economic policies are eco friendly and support their national sustainable development plans, helped by protecting valuable natural resources and training their people to become environment friendly”, added the spokesperson.
Over the years, Muslim Aid’s work in disaster recovery has made a small contribution to protecting the environment. In March 2011, Muslim Aid launched a tree planting campaign in Lamroh, Indonesia to raise awareness of the importance of trees to help with flood prevention. Muslim Aid has also imparted disaster risk reduction and climate change training to school teachers in Padang. The teachers will then train over 1600 students who will go on to share their knowledge with their families and the wider community.
In Koyra Upazila, in the Khulna district of Bangladesh, Muslim Aid is implementing a project for community based climate change adaptation in coastal areas. The project includes tree plantation to help repair and raise the levels of embankments to protect schools from flooding. It also involves training and orientation for coastal communities and local NGOs to increase their capacity and ensure communities are better prepared for disasters.