A seminar organized by the Lagos state government on the 14th of December 2010 with leaders from both the Christian, Muslim and traditional sects of religion, aimed at promoting access to climate change information through religion opened the eyes of all present to see that global warming is more of a spiritual issue than the world can imagine.
In his keynote address, the commissioner for environment, Dr Muiz Adeyemi Banire stated, “…brethren, something has definitely gone wrong with the climate and the consequences are becoming too daring to be neglected, … I strongly believe that the solution to right the wrong in our world regarding climate change can be best accessed through devotion to God, obedience to His directives and reverence for His mightiness.” While lamenting the acts of every citizen in abusing Gods wonderful creations, the commissioner called on religious leaders to create awareness and teach best practices in mitigating and adapting to climate change problems as well as educating and enlightening the public on the roles expected of the faithful as contained in the holy books. He quoted the Director of the Muslim World League in Canada, Arafat El Ashi as saying “it is incumbent on every muslim to contribute his/her share in improving greenery…muslims are required to avoid cutting down trees that are useful to people.”
Speaking also at the seminar, Bishop Obembe likened our environment to the biblical Garden of Eden (Gen 1:26) and said we are to guard, tend and keep the garden (earth). He also suggested a few action points for the state government in combating the climate change by:
-conducting continuous research on ecological studies
-purchasing equipments that will detect levels of deterioration of the climate
-planning ahead (like the biblical Joseph in Egypt) so we are not caught unawares
-building disaster management centres and
-engaging in tree planting exercise
Dr. Ayo Yusuf and Ayo Tella, intellectuals on climate change issues who were also present at the seminar implored Lagosians to stop using firewood to cook meals because of the carbon dioxide it emits and urged Nigerians to stop deforestation. Dr Yusuf ended his address with a Yoruba chant that warns of the dangers of not taking care of ones environment.