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Environmental Sustainability as a Tool for Peace Building
an article by Ms. Adam Ceesay

Environment is mostly seen as an abstract item in our lives. However, I believe it serves as an integral link between all other factors of life and if used effectively can lead to harmonious collaborations within communities.

click on photo to enlarge

For example, a pollution prevention initiative called "Operation Clean the Nation" in The Gambia has brought together people from communities of various ethnic groups for the joint cause of ensuring a clean environment.

With a disregard for religious, political and tribal differences; these communities have united to form unbreakable bonds of love, trust, fun and laughter.

With daily meetings at community development centers, women and youth groups in certain villages can now boast of better economic gains through reuse of waste materials such as plastic bags to make beautiful products e.g. local fans, slippers and bags.

These same groups also boast of successful community advocacy programs on safe use of the environment e.g. encouraging use of solar energy and biogas technology.

This has in no small measures resulted in fewer cases of deforestation and better use of the local people’s time for sustainable economic gains.

In essence, working towards environmental sustainability in The Gambia through joint initiatives by the local communities has reduced the amount of time people actually special on negative issues such as tribalism, religious segregation and violent politics; leaving them with the choice of having closer contact with their fellow citizens, as well as learn and share new environment-friendly development activities.

This is what I call a peaceful and harmonious coexistence in a society.


Question(s) related to this article:

What is the relation between the environment and peace?,

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[quote=mmartin,Nov. 16 2004,22:16][/quote]
Preserve the planet is one of the keys of a culture of peace.

For sure it is; the question is what is the relation, and for this we can best listen to the wisdom of so many indigenous peoples, that from times immemorial are guardians of the earth. If we are not at peace with our environment, behaving like parasites, how can we even think about a peacefull and non violent culture for our future is like a contradiction in terms.
So we have to heal this error of thinking and realise that the relation between the environment and peace is one of inextricable boundage.

This is why I want to bring under your attention the Global Campaign: SPEAKING4EARTH that is launched at 9 december 2004 in the Peace palace in The Hague.

Indigenous peoples have a deep spiritual connection to their land, including the sky, the clouds, the rivers, the soil and all living creatures. In the indigenous world, it is said that land is not something you inherit from your ancestors, but rather something you borrow from your children. Speaking4Earth is a project connecting this sense of change in the western relationship with the world with the vision of indigenous peoples that we need to care for the earth for our future generations. Speaking4 earth makes it priority to have the draft declaration on the Collective Rights of Indigenous Peoples addopted by the GA of the UN

reading their website:

For twenty years, Indigenous Peoples and their support organisations have been pressuring the United Nations to adopt a declaration for the protection of the rights of the world’s Indigenous Peoples. It is feared that – due to blocking attempts most notably by the UK and the USA - the UN will now stop this process and leave Indigenous Peoples’ rights unrecognized. . ...more.

This report was posted on August 10, 2011.