Role of Faith and Belief in Environmental Engagement and Action in MENA Region
This helpdesk report provides a critical review of the literature on the role of faith and religious values in environmental engagement and action. Contemporary studies have examined the relationship between religion and climate change including the ongoing “greening” process of religions. The review focuses on the responses of the Islamic faith in the MENA region to climate-related issues. MENA is considered one of the region’s most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The rapid review drawing from empirical findings notes that religious organizations have great potential in the protection of the environment. Religious organizations possess resources and infrastructure to positively impact the conversation on climate change. While the review acknowledges the important role that religion plays in environmental engagement, there is still no unified perception of climate change among members of the Islamic faith. There are those who believe that there are other more urgent issues such as radicalism, terrorism, democracy, and human rights. The review notes that the shared challenge of climate change can provide a mechanism to bring together faiths to discuss, share teachings, and agree on common action.