Islam teaches that Muslims have a responsibility to protect the environment and with this in mind, a young Muslim environmentalist has been inspired to conserve the earth. Durban based environmental activist Nazeer Riaz Jamal is heading to Philippines and Australia to represent South Africa.
Jamal was selected to attend the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) Young fellows in Manilla, Philippines from the 18th June 2014 – 24th June 2014, and will be heading to the second league of the conference which takes place in Melbourne, Australia from the 25th of June 2014 – 27th of June 2014.
28 year old Jamal is an environmental management Inspector within the Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Unit at the KZN Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism or ‘Green Scorpions’. Much of the 28-year-old’s inspiration for helping the environment comes from Islam. As a young Muslim environmentalist, it was his duty to get all of the resources to equip himself with the understanding of the earth, he said.
“Every day that I take care of the environment, I am taking care of God’s creations.”
“Other people have seen the changes in me, through my work. The way I am dealing with the environment, how I see animal protection, biodiversity protection…it’s in a different light.”
Jamal said that the selection process was very gruelling as he had various questions that he needed to complete in his capacity as an environmentalist. In his submission, Jamal spoke about the phenomenon of climate change and how he would address this in his own community after the training.
He detailed the “Green Mosque” project, which is the recycling of rain water at the mosques. Through this project, he would like to assist all masajid in becoming environmentally friendly, through the recycling of the water, by using rain water to make wudhu.
He also hopes to establish a Green Fund to help smaller environmental NGO’s establish themselves and create a committee of environmental experts to conduct workshops for Muslim businessmen on environmental issues.
He admitted he needs some training on the business side of things but he will be making use of this opportunity to hone those skills.
Jamal said that with the knowledge he will attain at the conferences, he hopes to also bring these changes to South Africa and to show the local community that being sustainable will not cost them.
“It’s about a change in attitude towards the environment. It will be good for them and the environment in the long. VOC (Imogen Vollenhoven)