Dear Peace Makers,
Every year on 21st September, we all commemorate the International Day of Peace. We do so mainly by reflecting on our collective and individual commitment to peaceful coexistence. This year’s theme, ‘Climate Action for Peace,’ aligns to the Sustainable Development Goal 13 on Climate Action, and is a call for urgent action to combat climate change and its negative impact. I invite your reflection on this theme — of Climate Action for Peace.
Climate change poses serious threats to peace and our collective wellbeing. Across the world, droughts, rising temperatures, floods, melting of polar ice sheets, and other natural disasters have forced millions of people out of their homes. Increased pollution by human beings has contaminated our seas, lands and the very air that sustains life. Adverse change in climate limits the availability of resources which eventually forces people to scramble for scarce resources, risking climate-related conflicts over the ever-diminishing resources. Children and youth are the most and directly affected, and cannot grow in an unstable environment.
It is impossible to build a peaceful world if we continue to damage our environment.
We are racing against time. We must all come together to advocate for sustainable solutions towards a green economy. We must raise awareness in our communities on climate change and its impacts and stop subsidizing fossil fuels. Above all, we must take action – however small. A green ecosystem breeds harmonious societies.
Children have decided to hold politicians to account for their lack of action on the climate crisis. They are tired of inaction. Greta Thunberg, a Swedish child has taken the herculean task of raising global awareness on climate change. Greta has demonstrated to the world what concerted efforts can do in mitigating the effects of climate change. If we teach our children to take care of their environment, they will grow to be responsible individuals, and will pass the best practices to the next generations. And we, the adults, must lead by example.
That path is today exemplified by courageous children led by Greta. Let us all support them and their leadership in making #Peace by taking action on the #Climate crisis. It starts today with you.
Mustafa Y. Ali, PhD
Secretary General, Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC), and
Director, Arigatou International – Nairobi Office