Message from the Secretary General of the Fellowship of Christian Councils and Churches in West Africa
The International Earth Day is one of the most well-known environmental events in the world. It reminds us of the interdependence that exists between Human beings, other living species and the planet Earth on which we all live.
This Day is an opportunity to raise public awareness of the challenges facing our planet, as well as the lives and systems that feed on it. The term "Mother Earth" is commonly used to refer to our planet in many countries or regions, because most of the food resources come from, or are found on the earth. It is obvious then to affirm that the earth, the gift of God, is a primordial wealth that we must protect and preserve. With this in mind, since 2009, the United Nations General Assembly decided to establish the International Day of Mother Earth (A / RES / 63/278) on 22 April.
This year, commemorated under the theme "Environment and Education for Climate Change", the International Mother Earth Day becomes an opportunity to educate our faithful on the challenges facing the planet, the most effective way to build a healthy and sustainable environment and the urgent need to find sustainable solutions to climate change in order to protect our planet for the benefit of future generations.
Education is an essential element of progress. We need to build a global citizenship that understands climate change issues and is aware of the unprecedented risks to our planet unless take urgent action to address the effects of climate change. We must ensure that everyone can protect and defend the environment in order to mitigate climate change.
Education on climate change and on the environment helps to develop a citizens' conscience, which will demand climate legislation and policies that will promote green technologies and jobs.
On the strength of these convictions, the Fellowship of Christian Councils and Churches in West Africa (FECCIWA) will commemorate this day with its Christian Councils and member churches in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo by encouraging women pastors and lay leaders, also as mothers, to promote the Earth as the entity that supports Life. It calls on the churches as moral and ethical agents of society to reflect on the Sustainable Development Objective number 2: Eradicate hunger, ensure food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture, to find ways and means to help communities to protect their soil for sustainable food security in West Africa, while recognizing that the Earth, our common heritage, is intended to serve both the present and the future generations.
The Church knows very well the history of the creation of the Earth and has a better understanding of the environmental problems that degrade our soils causing food insecurity, increasing poverty, limited access to basic needs and so on, which constitute, in short, threats to sustainability for future generations. FECCIWA intends to promote Environmental and Climate Education through a strong involvement of women in environmental actions.
In the Mission of Christ,
Very Rev. Dr. Jacques AGNIMEL Gnagne
General Secretary, FECCIWA