A cooperation protocol for Enviornment protection was signed between the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church and the Egyptian Ministry of Environment, on Monday.- Press photo
CAIRO- 13 June 2022: A cooperation protocol for Enviornment protection was signed between the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church and the Egyptian Ministry of Environment, on Monday.
The Coptic Orthodox Church also released, on Monday, a document expressing its position towards environmental protection, according to two statements by the church and the Ministry.
The protocol was signed by Pope Tawadros II, pope of Alexandria and patriarch of the See of St. Mark, and Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad, in the presence of Anba Julius, Bishop and Director of the Public, Ecumenical, and Social Services, and a number of ambassadors and representatives of United Nations bodies and civil society organizations.
The cooperation agreement aims to promote joint action when it come to environmental issues and to promote a general culture of society that translates into positive behaviors towards the environment and its natural resources i to protect the environment and achieve sustainable development, the church’s statement said.
Bishop Julius, said in his speech that partnership for the development of Egyptian society and access to the most needy and marginalized groups is a must.
The Coptic Church’s document, which was praised by the Minister of Environment aims at linking the preservation of the environment to the idea of the resilience of societies against climate change impacts. The Minister stayed that the developing countries, including Egypt, did not cause climate change emissions, however, they are the most affected countries by it.
“This requires strengthening the capabilities of those countries to adapt to the impacts of climate change and creating societies that are resilient to the effects of climate change,” Fouad said.
The Minister also praised the role of the Church in carrying out the National Strategy for Climate Change 2050, and in the recently-launched National Climate Dialogue that aims at raising awareness and promoting the participation of various groups, including youth, politicians, clergymen, women and civil society, in facing the challenge of climate change.
Pope Tawadros II said that the protocol comes within the Coptic Orthodox Church's keenness to play its national role and responsibilities towards global and societal issues, and its support for Egypt's national strategy.
“His Holiness praised the great efforts made by the Egyptian Ministry of Environment to protect the environment and the ministry's keenness to spread environmental awareness among the different groups of society and improving the environmental behaviors of the society by launching the first national initiative to spread environmental awareness “Live Green” under the auspices of the President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.
The protocol includes implementing environmental awareness programs for different groups in churches affiliated with the Coptic Orthodox Church to raise environmental awareness and increase knowledge of various environmental issues; implement training courses for religious leaders to prepare trainers and lecturers in the field of environmental issues, supporting the church library with the Ministry’s awareness publications, and technical support and environmental legislation regulating environmental work in Egypt, and updated scientific material for publication through the church’s publications.
As per the protocol, the church would hold technical workshops on reusing waste and how to benefit from it, and participate in educational programs through specialized lecturers from the ministry on various environmental issues, facilitate the participation of church representatives in the activities of the upcoming COP27 climate conference headed by Egypt, implement afforestation campaigns to reduce emissions,, and plan to convert church facilities to eco-friendly buildings by focusing on raising their efficiency for energy and water consumption.
Adding to this, the ministry will sign, on Tuesday, another protocol with the Coptic Evangelical Authority for Social Services to raise environmental awareness of the issue of climate change, in light of Egypt's preparations to host the COP 27 climate conference.
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