On 13 May 2011, I was featured in Singapore’s Malay Newspaper – Berita Harian – for my research and advocacy work on faith-based environmentalism.
In the interview, I noted how countries in the Muslim World largely fall into at least one of three categories in relation to climate change.
- Victims of climate change: Countries such as Bangladesh and Indonesia face rising sea levels and flooding, while sub-saharan Africa face drought.
- Contributors of climate change: Oil-rich Gulf Arab states have one of the highest carbon emissions per capita in the world, while the rate of deforestation in Indonesia makes its total carbon emissions to be just behind the US and China.
- Solutions to address climate change: Despite the bleak scenario, there are still opportunities for countries in the Muslim world to play a more active role in addressing environmental challenges. Resource rich Muslim countries ought to better strategise how they can invest in technology and other solutions. More effort would be needed for forest rich countries like Indonesia to preserve and rehabilitate their forests which act as “carbon sinks”.
In addition, all Muslims can do their part by taking inspiration and guidance from their faith. Despite the wealth of Islamic knowledge on nature and the environment, little has been done by Muslims to operationalise these principles. In this regard, further community action is needed.