Nigerian Islamic Coalition for the Environment (NICE)
Raising environmental consciousness amongst Muslim populations’ world-wide is a major concern of IFEES and we use every opportunity that is available to us to promote this agenda. Nigeria is a populace Muslim nation and the opportunity arose during the course of a British Council sponsored training project in March 2011, to make an attempt at creating an environmental movement in the country. We convened a group of local activists and formed a steering group with the objective of creating a national organisation of Muslims to address the looming environmental crisis. We were fortunate in having in Usman Modibbo and Yahya Ahmed two dedicated environmentalists who were determined to follow through with our proposals (see concept paper below) and see this matter to its fruition. They have been working hard for the past two years and are discovering that the Nigerian bureaucracy with whom they have to register NICE is as difficult to deal with and as problematic as climate change itself.
As the ice melts and the planet warms petty objections have been raised as to what NICE stands for. The sticking point it would seem was the “C” in NICE. Much time was spent negotiating with the Nigerian authorities on what “C” stood for. Should it be council, consortium, corporation, committee, and eventually settled for coalition which just about sets the right tone. But having settled on “coalition” fresh objections were raised on the use “N” in NICE. The proposed organisation is in Nigeria run by Nigerians but calling it “Nigerian” was posing the kinds of problems which appear so far to be insurmountable.
The latest information we have is that the proposal to call the organisation the Network for Islamic Conservation and Ecology has also been rejected by the Nigerian bureaucracy. But Usman and Yahya remain optimistic.
The following is the concept paper submitted by IFEES to an especially convened steering committee in Kano in March 2011
CONCEPT PAPER – An IFEES proposal
Nigerian Islamic Council for the Environment (NICE)
Submitted at the first meeting of the steering group in Kano on 16 March 2011
To establish a national body known as the Nigerian Islamic Council for the Environment (NICE) representing Muslim interests in this area of human concern and work towards awakening the environmental consciousness of Muslims living in Nigeria.
Our homeland is undergoing rapid and sustained destruction of its eco-systems. This is giving rise to unacceptable levels of pollution, increasing damage to human habitations and ultimately threatening the social and economic fabric of our nation. Muslims comprise the majority of the people of this country and they can contribute much to the thinking that is vital to re-evaluate the future direction of Nigeria and preserve its habitat and resources for future generations.
Islam as a faith is inherently conservationist and NICE will use all its endeavours to articulate the Islamic position on these matters and at the same time attempt to give practical manifestation to it.
NICE invites collaboration from organisations and individuals from all persuasions who are also dedicated to the maintenance of the Earth as a healthy habitat for future generations of humankind as well as other living beings.
This meeting is invited to –
- Agree to the establishment of NICE
- Elect office bearers
- Set up a secretariat
- Produce a five year strategic plan
In the meantime life goes on and the ordinary people chop down trees at an alarming rate just to stay alive.
Deforestation – Nigeria ranked worst in the world