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November 24, 2019

Religion offers best way to check climate change, protect environment, moot told

Karachi

November 24, 2019

As climate change has become a global threat, the world is readily admonishing itself for its own collective selfishness and advocating the protection of environment for its own good. And religion seems the best way to do it.

This observation was made at a two-day conference, titled “Eco-Islam For Peace: Love Humans – Love Nature”, which was organised by German state-owned broadcaster Deutsche Welle and cultural NGO T2F at a hotel in Karachi on Saturday.

The event hosted intellectuals, experts, activists and people from religions organisations, varsities, media and government to hold a discussion on how things can be put on the right track to save the world from destruction at its own hands.

Setting the pace of the event, the German consul general in Karachi, Eugen Wollfarth, said that in the reference of the religion, the Creator meant us to be the caretakers of the planet, including the nature.

He said that it was from the nature that we got our agriculture, fisheries and essentials for life and keeping it in good order would definitely help create better lives for us and the coming generations.

Citing a reference from an event in an eastern European country, He said, “It is the same God that [all] the religions point towards and only their ways may differ so there is no reason to fight.”

Then he made a point that the religious texts and sermons have a large say in public, maybe the largest in the context of the Pew Research Center’s figures that show 84 per cent of the population of the world identifies with a religious group.

Wollfarth asserted that peace and development had a deep connection and that you either adored the planet or you destroyed it. He added that it was an obligation not just for Germany or Pakistan but the world needed it to exist.

DW Asia director Debarati Guha spoke about how media could take part in the protection of the environment. “We have to take seriously the gift of nature and protect it. Failing to do so will threaten the entire ecosystem and our own existence.”

She said that the protection of the environment should be a core value for everyone. “We must do it. We have to reverse the course of environmental degradation and pass on a greener future to our next generations.”

The event followed a documentary by DW on Karachi’s water woes and later Sindh government’s representatives, adviser on law to the chief minister Murtaza Wahab and information minister Saeed Ghani, responded to questions regarding the issue.

Other speakers at the event included Tofiq Pasha Mooraj (environmentalist), Dr Mohsin Naqvi (religious scholar), Dr Khalid Iraqi (acting vice chancellor of Karachi University), Dr Omm-e-Hany (KU), Dr Muhammad Akmal (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Agriculture University), Dr Waqar Yousuf Azeemi (Editor Roohani Digest), Ahmad Shabbar (waste management entrepreneur), Afia Salam (environmental expert and journalist), Raj Kumar (social activist), Peter Jacob (human rights professional), Dr Ammar Khan Nasir (religious scholar), Krishna Kumari Kohli (senator), Dr Babar Khan (WWF Pakistan), Farahnaz Zahidi (journalist) and Prof Saeed Ahmed (Punjabi Sufi poetry expert). The event ended with a performance by Arieb Azhar Ensemble.

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