Open Journal of Social Sciences
2013. Vol.1, No.6, 62-72
Published Online November 2013 in SciRes (
Open Access
Philosophy, Religion and the Environment in Africa: The
Challenge of Human Value Education and Sustainability
Ani Casimir Kingston Chukwunonyelum1,2, Mathew Chukwuelobe3, Ema Ome3
1Scientific Research Publishing Ltd., Irvine, USA
2Department of Philosophy, Institute of African Studies, University of Nsukka, Nsukka, Nigeria
3Department of Philosophy, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
Received September 2013
Religious environmentalism is fast becoming a growing academic discipline with concerns on how to
manage the human environment and save man’s resources for the future generations. Religious environ-
mentalism has also become a catchphrase for a philosophy of desired value extraction and application of
the core valuable principles of religion and philosophy to achieve t he sustainable management of the hu-
man environment known to as the earth with its extractive resources. The environmental crisis facing the
African continent is increasingly seen as a crisis of values and, religion, a primary source of human values
(NASR, 2011), also seen as critical in the search for sustainable solutions to the crisis. The problems of
man in the African environment are many. The efforts to use the frameworks of religion to design stra-
tegic frameworks for their solution have become problematic as a result of the theoretical and philosophi-
cal inability to evolve sustainable frameworks for the sustainable management of the environment in
Africa to achieve the ends of pove r ty reduction and sustainable livelihoods for its inhabitants. This prob-
lem is assumed by the article as challenge of further elucidation of the concepts of huma n value and sus-
tainability as found both in religion and philosophy. Attempts to evolve a new set of programs for the
sustainable environmental management in Africa will be made under the philosophy and tenor of reli-
gious environmentalism pulling disciplines as varied as religious ethics, religious sociology, philosophy
of religion and environmental philosophy.
Keywords: Religious Environmentalism; Religious Ethics; Religious Sociology; Philosophy of Religion;
Environmental Philosophy and Sustainability
The thematic thrust of the 2013 conferencereligion and
sustainable environment” has brought into focus the statement
which Odey Ona h (2013: p. 8) ascribed to Seyyed Hossein
Nasir, the Iranian-American philosopher, who observed that
“the environmental crisis is a fundamentally a crisis of values
and that religions, being a primary source of values in any cul-
ture, are thus implicated in the decisions humans make regard-
ing the environment”. Much of what we know about religion
today is problematic, disastrous and troubling as the violent
conflicts and wa rs of sectarianism and terrorism continue to
bombard our e ars daily about the Boko Haram; ritual murder
for money purposes; the Arab spring, and the ongoing wars of
democracy in Syria, Egy pt and the last one in Mali. It is hear-
tening to know that religion has been man’s best friend in ter ms
of reclaimi ng his lost divine image and heritage. Religion mark-
ed the beginning of man’s noble ascent to glorious civilization
through the march of refinement and numerous values that
underpin the religious enterprise. However, Religion has been
abused and misused for the selfish purposes and political plans
of greedy and zealous elites in Nigeria, Africa and gl oba lly .
The misappropriation of the noble philosophical and metaphys-
ical essence of religion to serve the mundane machinations of
man and his narrow groups does not reduce the true essence
and values that could derive from the r e ligious experience,
which the physicist Alber t Einstein, defined as “the experience
of wonder-he who has it not is dead”. Outside philosophy, con-
sidered as man’s first discipline, religion is man’s first natural
calling before anything else , for it takes man back to his God
and defines the proper rules and guidelines that should under-
gird the relationship between men, his creator and his fellows.
How do we use re ligion to manage our environment sustainably?
In other words, thi s paper challenges us to seek critically for the
best frameworks of applying the abstract values and norms as
found in religion to manage the African human environmental
challenges in a manner tha t wi ll release us from the present
fears and crisis of environmental pollution, degradation, des-
poliation and cli mat e change threatening the present and the
Our environment has been created by Go d to serve our
present and t he future needs of Africa; it was not created for us
to destroy and desecrate in perpetuity. We are facing diverse
environmental challenges and crisis in Africa which have nega-
tive socio-economic consequences in our lives and that of the
unborn generations. It is not for want of knowledge or lack of
an abiding sustainable template that we keep on abusing and
misusing our God-given environmental resources and wealth. It
is the greed of the governing and cultural elites coupled wit h
the poverty of the mass consciousness and recessionary eco-
nomic fortunes that African countries continue to suffer; to
continuously exploit her environment and its resources in an
unsustainable manner to the detriment of the present and the
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future. The thematic thrusts of the conference also coincided
with the intel lect ua l cor e thrusts of the theoretical understand-
ing of this paper because, just like the Conference’s basic qu e -
ries, my presentation also seeks to ma ke the following enquiries
posed by the president of your Association today in his opening
statement viz:
-What do you think religions can foster moral thinking and
acting about the environment?
-What kind of contributions mi ght they best they might make
best to environmental initiatives?
-Do you believe tha t you have a religious responsibility to
protect the environment? To encourage others to do so?
-Are western religions the caus e of environmental problems?
-Can religions discover a moral voice on environmental issues?
-Prove that the ear th is sacramental?
-What is meant by the global, trans-religious phenomen-
“The greening of religion”. As I pondered over my research
work and the questions posed by Onah Augustine Odey (Phd),
your president, I was doubly encouraged by the work I have
done before today’s conference, since having met him for the
first time it does appear that the Nigeria Association For the
Study of Religion (NASR) did not make a mistake in commis-
sioning me to present the outcome of my re searc h work that
brings together a multi-disciplinary collection of social science
scholarship under philosophy, psychology, religion, political
science, environmental manage ment , and education. In its dis -
ciplinary rigor, it has com pe lled my presentation to draw the
best human values for these disciplines that could be tailor ed
towards the achievement of religious environmentalism or what
is being described today as “the greening of religion ”. Permi t
me, however, to start the task of delivery by indulging in the
necessary intellectual tasks of conceptual a nd philosophical
elucidations of the key concepts involved in my paper.
Conceptual and Philosophical Elucidations of Key
This paper will, at this time, introduce the basic philosophi-
cal definition and clarification of terms and expressions to en-
hance a theoretical understanding of the tr aje ctor y of the paper.
Philosophy/Philosophy of Religion
According to Omoregbe (2002: p. xi) “philosophy could be
seen as a free rational inquiry into the nature and meaning of
reality ; a search for meaning, a search for understanding of
reality ” In this search for understanding the basic tool of phi-
losophy is logical reasoning that seeks to expose the nature of
challenges and problems that face man such as the environ-
mental dilemmas faced today by Africans. Seen as the mother
of all disciplines and sciences, philosophy has an ally in reli-
gion leading to the establishment of the ph ilosop hy of religion,
which in itself, is seen as “the unprejudiced investigation into
the nature, meaning and purpose of religion and the true value
of religious tenets” (Omeregbe: p. xii). The values of these reli-
gious tenets in the context of African traditional religion we
shall further explore.
Environment-Meaning and Applications
The word environment is used by people in different fields of
knowledge to talk about many things, and as result, they use the
word differently. According to Oxford Advanced Learners dic-
tionary, Fifth edition, the wordenvironmentis defined as
condition, circumstances, etc. affecting peopleslives, (2) nat-
ural conditions for example, l an d , air and water in which we
live. According to the meanings ascribed in
Green-City-Index, environment is a noun that describes the
the surroundings or conditions in which a person, animal, or
plant lives or operates or the setting or conditions in which a
particular activity is carried on. Business sees
environment asthe sum total of all surroundings of a living
organism, including natural forces and other living things,
which provide conditions for development and growth as well
as of danger and damage.
In psychology and medicine a person’s environment is the
people, physical things, place s, and events that the person lives
with. The environment affects the growth and development of
the person. It affects the person’s behavior. It affects the per-
son’s body and mind. Environment means all of the outside
forces, events and things t hat act on a thing. A person’s envi-
ronment is made up of everything that surrounds him or her,
including houses, buildings, people, animals, land, temperature,
water, light, a nd other living and non-living things. Living
things do not simply exis t in their environment. They constant-
ly interac t with it. Organisms change in response to conditions
in their environment. T he environment consists of the i nte rac -
tions among plants, animals, soil, water, temperature, light, and
other living and non-living things. The views of the World
Bank capture all the foregoing and give a sustainable dimension
that links the environment, development, poverty reduction and
the future together in the following observations:
The environment is the complex set of physical, geographic,
biological, soci al, cultural and political conditions that surround
an individual or organism and tha t ultimat ely determine its
form and the nature of its survival. The environment influences
how people live and how societies devel op. For that reason,
people, progress, economic development and the environment
are closely linked. The environment can also pose risks. Air
pollution, waterborne diseases, toxic chemicals, and natural
disasters are some of the challenges the environment presents
for mankind. Natural resources, land, water, and forests are
being degraded at an alarming rate in many countries—and
once they are gone, they are irreplaceable. For development to
be sustainablemeeting the needs of the present without com-
promising the ability of future generations to meet their needs—
countries mus t take into account environmental concerns in
addition to economic progress. Concern for a sound global
environment is essential to fighting poverty, as the poorest
people tend to live in the most vulnerable places.
In sum mar y , the environment is the earth we dwell in as well
as the surrounding biosphere. In the context of African tradi-
tional cosmology and meta phy sic s, the environment of Africa is
our mother earth. In the perspective of Igbo cosmology, the
earth is our mother, mother earth, “ala”—the mother that gives
birth, feeds, sustains and welcomes us back. In the framework
of this paper, we are hugely indicted for abusing our mother
and misusing her resources in Africa. When you abuse your
mother and she curses you, you are in trouble. For mismanag-
ing our environment and her rich resources Afri c a is cursed
with its environmental crisis. How does religion see this chal-
Religion—A Philosophical Exploration
The word religion derives from three latin words as its roots,
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namely, “ligare” (meaning to bind); “relegere” (meaning to
unite, or to link; and “religio” (meaning relationship). From this
definitional sourcing, the ety mology of the word “religion”,
according to Omeregbe “shows that it is essentially a relation-
ship, a link establi she d between two persons, na mely , the hu-
man person and the divine person believed to exist”. From this
we can further intuit t hat religion is about the relationship be-
tween the human person and his creator; bet we en man and his
fellows; between man and his environment and between man
and his future. In this context, religion should ha ve sustainable
solutions to give us about managing our relationship with our
environment in Africa in manner that will help us to solve the
environmental crisis in the continent. Religion, inspite and de-
spite its foreign connotations and morphological imputations, is
essentially culture and culture is a way of life of a people with
its inherited principles of ma na ging its environment inclusive in
its cosmology and ontological templates. Nevertheless, the
word religion comes with a lot of serial interpretations and
derivatives. This perspective gives a lot of relevance to not only
the western religions but also the African traditional religions
as we know them. Different religions according to Metuh,
(1991: p. vii) developed in widely different contexts. My ap-
plication of the religious framework in the search for sustaina-
ble solutions to African e nde mic environmental challenges
would be principally Afri can in scope, nature and its recom-
mendations. However, African traditional religions have pecu-
liar problems of their own. Accordingly these problems have
been identified by Met u and Kanu (2010) as:
1) Its non-scriptural nature—there are no documentary sour-
ces handed down by tradition as authentic sources of their reli-
gious beliefs. The societies in which these religions are found
are preliterate societies;
2) There are many African tribes, cultures and religions with
language and cultural barriers f or researchers and interpreters
(Mbiti, 1961: p. 1). This explains why the foreign religions
under colonialism could not despite their best efforts discover
the true essence of African religion and its similar human val-
ues. Here we are affirming according to Vict or Krishnan Kanu
(2010: p. 34) that despite the differences, “African traditional
religion is as authentic as any foreign religion, if not superior to
them with the supreme Being as a deity of monotheism and a
source of Africa’s abiding humane value system”.
3) African traditional religions are part and parcel of the
whole fabric of African cultural life cutting across its social,
psychological, environmental, political, philosophical and ethi-
cal systems. People who fail to see this interwoveness encoun-
ter the problems of interpretation and reductionism when they
see the African religious motifs in the light of the western mod-
We can see that the “contents and beliefs of people of simple
cultures, according to Durkheim (1980) should be studied in the
broader framework of their “weltanschauung” or worldview. As
argued by Evans-Prichard (1956: p. 313) “after the st ud y of a
number of such African philosophies, the work of classification
and comparision of their different religious tenets among them-
selves and simila r concepts in western philosophy and theol og y
can fairly begin”. According to Prichard, the African religious
thinker, like the scientist, is “engaged in making models to
explain his vast and varied experiencesin managing his life,
his trials of life and the challenges of his environment. It is in
this context that we will apply the model of human values
drawn from the African religious experiences to make sense of
the environmental dilemmas facing Africans tod ay. This con-
ceptual model should be explored more to answer the tradition-
al question-of what value is religion to man, his society, or as
posed by this conference, to his environment? It comes down to
the specific question how African Traditional religion can help
man to manage the environmental challenges facing man today
in Africa? For this response, it is relevant that we identify
where the religion stands with nature and the environment of
man in Africa. Professor Tagbo Ugwu (2013: p. 6) made the re-
quisite observations in this direction, regarding t he nature of the
relationship of the religion and the attitude it inspires in its
followers to encourage sustainable environmental management
It is a religion founded on the African soil and its natural en-
vironment, interwoven with the culture of the people. The en-
vironmental friendly nature of the African Traditional religion
is based on the fact that the religion finds expression in nature.
This qualifies it to be categorized under the umbrella of natur e
religion which according to Beye (1998) is a “useful analytical
abstraction referring to any religious belief or prac tic e in which
devotees consider nature to be the embodiment of divinity ,
sacredness, transcendence, spiritual power, or whatever cognate
term one wishes to use. For instance, t he indigenous religion of
Africans involves the belief in natural spirits that inhabit natural
elements like the skies whic h control the rain tha t is important
to the raising of crops and animals…Hence the preservation
and conservation of these ecologic al features are important to
African Traditional Religion.
Pollution of the Enviro nme nt —“Alu”, “Nso”—An
Igbo Spi ritual Concept of Environmental Impurity
Man is born with and into an environment. The environment
makes or ma rs him depending upon whether it grows into a
positive or negative relationship between him and his environ-
ment. T he environment is part and parcel of man’s metaphysi-
cal and cosmological heritage in African traditional religion.
The environment being pa rt and parcel of his mental, social and
political psychology pos iti vely influences the mind and beha -
vior of man. Each environment of man has a cultural typol ogy
that determines his outlook and religion, leading to a new set of
human values that determine his attitudes towards life, nature
and his environment (Kalu & Victor, 2012: p. 36). We ha ve
chosen the Igbo concept of the environment because it has more
pragmatic significance to us in our environment. But what is
said about the Igbo perspective in this paper applies to every
other African tribe in a lesser or more degree. According to
Metu (ix) Africans are quite capable of forming and do form
abstract concepts which can be expressed in concrete terms. For
the Igbo, environment stands for ALA(earth) and anything
that vi ola tes t he purity and harmony of “aladesecrates, de-
grades and makes it impure. Both the violator and the violated
earth and its parts must be cleansed and purified. For as noted
by Monsignor Professor Obiora Ike (2001: p. 49)ala remains
the nearest and dearest, maintained to be a merciful mother,
who increases the fertility of the soil and makes the fruit of the
earth available to man’s livelihood” and understanding Africa’s
earth or ALAorANIis the foundation for ethics, religion
and justice’.
ANI is thus the source and custodian of the sacred laws,
customs and tradition, ethics and values of the community . As
further observed by I ke (pp. 52-53): respect and fear of the laws
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of Ala make people fair in their dealings with others for as the
custodian of morali ty and the giver of “omenala” (good laws
and ethics) demands good de e ds and prohibits evil, whic h is
termednso ala”; the igbo word for crime—“alu” or “nso Ala
simply means “offence against the land ” or “desecration of the
earth”. Thus African traditional religion, in the context of Igbo
lore and rituals, are environmentally sensitive, friendly and
sustainable. It has both positive and negative approaches to
environmental cleanliness and sustainable management. The
positive is achieved through huma n value socialization and
education whi le the nega t i ve is attained through religious ritual
cleansing. Thus “alu (pollution) is dirt and the reflection of on
dirt involves reflection on the rela ti on of order to disorder, be-
ing and non-being, form to formlessness, life to death. For the
Igbo, alu is essentially a religious phenomenon” (Metuh: p. 87).
The i dea of pollution according to Douglas (1969: p. 337) is
best understood in terms of t he English word dirt, defined as
matter out of place”; implying “a set of ordered relations and a
contravention of that order so that, the pollution avoidance is a
process of t idying up, ensuring that order in the external events
conforms to the structure of idea s about the universe”. Meta -
phorically and environmentally speaking, the African universe
is out of order, out of plac e and out of tune with the best reli-
gious human values bestowed upon us by our forefathers; and
today, we stand on a pr eci pi ce of endangering our environment
and the future of generations yet unborn. What are the envi-
ronmental problems facing Africa?
Environmental Challenges Facing Africa and
General Healt h Challenges
Globally, we should be concerned about t he despoliation and
degradation of our human habitation and environment because
each year, according to the World Bank, 2013 report:
3 million people die prematurely from waterborne diseases;
About 200,000 children under 5 die from diarrhea alone;
Around 1.6 million people die from exposure to cooking
stove smoke inside their homes (Take note that most vic-
tims are children and women from poor rural families who
lack access to safe water, sanitation and modern household
A million people die from malaria, mostly in Sub-Saharan
African countries;
A million people die from urban air pollution;
Respiratory infections, diarrhea and mala ria account for
more than 20% of deaths in developing countries, according
to the World Health Organization’s Burden of Disease re-
Air/Sea/Other Environmental Pollutions Are
Destroying t he Purity of Our African Future
Pollution has greater consequences as it leads to destruction
of fisheries; Crops are damaged; higher production costs rise
for industries that must filter dirty air or water to maintai n
product quality; extreme weather events (tornados, floods, hur-
ricanes) a re occurring more frequently and affecting more
people than ever before. In all t he s e , poor and indigenous
communities, people a re the most vulnerable to environmental
hazards just as people move to cities from rural areas, environ-
mental problems will increase and the challenge of managing
our environment with human values becomes more intense.
Addressing Environmental Problems in Africa
According to the 2012 report of the Africa Society, environ-
mental problems constitute one of the key challenges on the
African continent in the 21st century. Focus is gradually shift-
ing from politics, wars, and poverty to environmental issues.
This is mainly the result of the development of new technolo-
gies, which has generated an increase in solid mineral mining,
oil exploration, an increase in the number of plants and facto-
ries, and the overall upsurge in the application of manufacturing
tools. The quality and richness of terrestrial, freshwater, and
marine environments have been polluted and subsequently de-
clined. It is therefore safe to say that new developments in in-
dustry and manufacturing are the root causes of environmental
degradation over the past three decades. This has been exacer-
bated by rapid population growth, urbanization, energy con-
sumption, overgrazing, over-cultivation of lands, and industrial
advancements engendered by globalization.
Environmental problems in Africa are therefore part ly anth-
ropogenic or hu m a n -induced, the res ul t of t he effect of selfish
and coporate chemical and human wastes on all forms of eco-
logical and human life. Natural causes as disruptive of envi-
ronmental purity and harmony as anthropogenic. They consist
of earthquakes (the Gr eat Ri ft Val ley is geol ogi cal ly acti ve and
particularly susceptible to this phenomenon); hot springs and
active volcanoes are also found to the extreme east of t he Rift
Valley; erosion; deforestation; desertification; drought and
water shortages resulting from the dry season.
Evaluating the Negative Impact of Environmental
The socioeconomic impact of environmental deterioration on
Africa continues to pose a major problem to development, sta-
bility, and daily li fe sty les. Africa has contributes to greenhouse
gas emissions, responsible for global warming and the conti-
nent is the most vulnerable to the negati ve consequences. Other
dire consequences of this particular environmental degradation
include: depletion of farming lands ; reduction of natural habitat
for the survival of aquatic and land animals; depletion in bio-
logical diversity (the variety of all life on ea rt h, the complex
relationships among living things, and the relationships be-
tween living things and their environment); Aquatic life pollu-
tion, adversely affecting the livelihood of fishing communities
and destroying fish and other water creatures. Other negati ve
impact include water pollution caused by oil transmission
through shipp i ng ports, poor water resources mana ge ment , ga s
flaring, oil pipeline vandalization by oil communities; absence
of effective national and regional basin development plans, and
underestimation of t he groundwater potential to supplement
irrigation and drinking water supplies. On the other, land pollu-
tion, adversely affects the livelihood of farming communities.
Environmental challenges are caused and aggravated by
many factors caused by man. A recent report by Schmitt (2011:
p. 49) makes the following sad observation linking man as a
causative agent in environmental degradation, least of all cli-
mate change globally:
On balance, climat e change is most likely a result of t he ex-
cessive waste of precious fossil resources such as oil, coal and
gas, the destruction of humus and much more besides. This is,
Open Access
in all probability, driven by the boundless greed for profit, the
total indifference of the maj or ity of consumers, who can often
only be induced through their hip-pockets to change their beha -
vior, and in the inability of politicians to finally apply the pol-
luter-pays principle and charge ful ly for those damages caused
to the environment by the exploitation of the treasures of nature.
Ds nature and his environment had been indicted as a causa-
tive factor in today’s environmental crisis. Religion combines
within its theoretical framework a philosophical and psycho-
logical tools for explaining man bad behavior towards nature in
Africa. Man’s behavior and attitude toward nature could be
delineated in the context of many factors. One factor that ema-
nates from the hum a n causative framework (as it affects Africa)
is therefore unmanageable population growth in Africa. At
approximately 2.2 percent annually, sub-Sa haran Africa ha s
one of the world’s fastest growing populations. By the year
2025 the population of Africa is estimated to be over a billion.
This means that environmental problems could double or triple.
Poverty is another major problem on the Afri can continent as it
has negative implications for the environment and leads to a
greater exploitation of natural resources which worsens the
environmental problems: agricultural growth is disrupted with
commercial speculation of arable lands coupled with the mis-
management of available water resources.
Energy consumption in sub-Saharan Africa is heavy leading
to the domination of fuel consumption. The use of wood for
fuel is common in both rural and urban locat i on s and accounts
for approximately 70 percent of t ota l energy use, whi ch ulti-
mately causes another problem—deforestation and pollution of
the African skies. To put the African environmental problem in
proper perspective, we shall use the exa mple of the dumping of
useless electronic products on ou r shores in Nigeria and defore-
station in Ethiopia.
Foreign Dumping in Nigeria: Useless Electronics as Useful
Electronic Products
The Ba sel Action Network (BAN), a Seattle-based environ-
mental group, ha s paid close attention to the e-waste exports to
Nigeria and, in an October 2005 report, cited the manner in
which such waste is used to fill up swamps. As the piles rise,
they are periodica lly burned, spewing toxic f ume s . This is in
addition to the fact that people, most ly children, scavenge
through the waste, someti mes in their bare feet, while goats and
chickens that later end up in meals also roam through the heaps.
The Network further makes the following observations on the
e-waste environmental degradation in Nigeria:
As a vast arena for the repair and sale of imported second-
hand electr onic s—computers, fax machines, cellular phones,
Palm Pilots, televisions, and a number of othe r gadgets—the
Ikeja Computer village in Lagos, Nigeria serves as a hub for t he
advancement of Information Technology. But according to the
Computer and Allied Product Dealers Association of Nigeria,
most of these electronics, about 75 percent in fact, are ir re para-
ble and, therefore, stylish junk. They subsequently end up in
landfills and makeshift dumps, but the truth is they are not
properly disposed of since Nigeria lacks the capacity to effec-
tively handle electronic waste (e-waste). Even more disturbing
is that a lot of thi s waste material is loaded with toxic metals
and substances like lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, antimony
trioxide, polybrominated fla me retardants, selenium, chromium,
and cobalt. When burned, espec ial ly those encased in plastic,
they emit harmful gases like carcinogenic dioxins and polya-
romatic hydrocarbons, and le ach chemicals such as barium into
the soil. T he I ke j a e-waste problem is not limited to Nigeria
alone, as several African countries have become a dumping
ground for ou t da ted electroni c equipment, in spite of the good
intentions of donors and the fact that a good percentage of the
items are relatively functional. The problem often arises from
fraudulent shipping brokers who load containers with electronic
rubbish, largely in a bi d to avoid paying tariffs.
Deforestation in Ethiopia
In Africa, deforestation is taken to mean a phenomenon when
the indigenous peoples, especi al ly in rural areas or semi-urban
settings deliberately clear forests for fuel (firewood), hunting,
agriculture, housing development, or for religious functions.
Deforestation is destructive as it entails removing the forest
ecosystem by cutting the trees and changing the structure of the
land to suit individual usage. With the second largest popula-
tion in Africa, Ethiopia has bee n the victim of famine due to
rain shortage and a depletion of its natural resources. Its low
rainfall ha s been lowered even further by deforestation, which
continues to worsen with population growth. Ethiopa, accord-
ing to the UNEP report (2012) has suffered one of the worst
environmental crisis as a result of deforestation over the dec-
ades. As observed by the report, the reasons why this crisis is
so damaging to the environment integrity of Ethiopia could be
explained by environmental philosophy:
From what we know in science and environmental philoso-
phy, forests play a key role in preventing erosion, since the
roots of tr ees protect the soil against washouts. Trees also retain
soil water and, through the absorption of carbon monoxide,
reduce global warming. Because Ethiopia lacks sufficient trees,
the Bl ue Nile carries its soil and nutrients by water to the
neighboring countries of Sudan and Egypt, where the land is
very f ert ile .
First, confirm that you have t he correct templ a te for your
paper size. This te mpla te has been tailored for output on the
custom paper size (21 cm * 28.5 cm).
Prospective Sustainable Frameworks: An
Exploratory Tr aj e c t or y
A Phi lo-Religious P aradigm for Sustainable
Management of the African Environment
Under this framework, we shall apply the understanding that
underpin the model that sees religion as the essential source of
human values for the sustainable management of Africa’s en-
vironmental challenges as identifie d in this paper. If the best
model is the one that sees religion as the stud y of the ideal rela-
tionships between man and God; man and his fellows; man and
his environment, then we look up to religion as the solution to
the management of the environment problems confronting
Africa. In this wise, we are looking at sourcing these human
values and using the concept of human value education to pro-
tect and achieve environmental sustainability in Africa. We
shall attempt therefore to create sustainable frameworks that
could be appl i ed successfully in managing the African envi-
ronmental challenges.
Philosophical Vi ews/Values—Different Religious
Views/Values Point Ti the Same Sustainabl e Ends
The philosophical vi ew of the religious significance in hu-
Open Access
man environmental management has been put down to religious
environmentalism in the context of both environmental philos-
ophy and philosophy of religion. From this view point, we are
led directly to issues such as crisis of values , wrong attitudes,
unsustainable environmental character and behavior, and da-
maging human actions borne by selfish motives for profit that
lead directly or indirectly to the pollution and degradation of
our environment and resources in Africa. Each religion has its
own environmental philosophy and creedal understanding of
nature, ecology, conservation and sustainable management ap-
proach. T he entir e field of religious environmentalism revolves
around t he supposition and discovery tha t “the environmental
crisis is fundamentally a crisis of values and that religions,
being a primary source of values in any culture, are thus impli-
cated in any decisions regarding the environment (NASR, 1997).
Religious FrameworksAfrican Traditional
Religion-Values That Come from the Need to Sa ve
Mother Earth
Omeregbe (pp. 297-304), in his epochal work, “A philo-
sophical look at religion”, poses the fundamental question:
what is the value of religion”. I believe t hat we are not here, at
this Conference, to question the value of religion to man—we
have established that it has a positive role to play in the society,
especially in man’s sustainable management of his environment.
Nevertheless, Omeregbe (p. 303) went further to identify areas
where religion contributes positively to the enhancement of
societal good and development:
@ Religion and peace-religions contribute to peace except
where religions is gripped by thetotally unjustified claim by
each religion that it is the only true religion sanctioned or re-
vealed by God—that all others are false..this kind of claim is
simply the product of ignorance, a symptom of narrow min-
dedness, fanaticism, bigotism and ignorance... it is to be noted
that African traditional religion was never contaminated with
this contagion by which many other religions were infected
since it has ne ver cl a ime d to be the on ly true religion favored or
approved by God for all mankind.
@ Religion and morality-its highest value and its highest
achievement is that of promoting moral ity in society. In this
aspect, religion gives rise to the generation of positive human
and humane values and attitudes that help man in his relation-
ships; in managing his environment in a positive a manner to
achieve a balanced attitude towards his environment.
Contextually, in his own seminal work, “Man and his reli-
gion in a contemporary soc iety ” Professor Tagbo Ugwu (2002:
pp. 59-64) opines that “it is generally believed that religion
aims at establishing and sustaining unbiased horizontal (ma n/
God) and vertical (man/man) relationships. Religion therefore
has some positive roles to play in any society ”. Professor Ugwu
identified some of t he s e roles which could be leveraged upon to
achieve environmental sustainability in Africa. From his posi-
tion we could identify these roles as:
@ Positive roles aimed at fostering progress-religion as a
dimension of human nature stands to inje ct fundamental and
ultimate meaning and explanation into human existence and
@ Role of enlightenment, education and complacency-reli-
gion through its exhortation and program measure of actions
helps to wipe out mass illiteracy from the face of the society .
Most of the problems pestering us arise from ignorance such as
environmental blindness and filthy surroundings etc;
@ Cleansing and purification of the environment;
@ Channel of promotion and development;
@ The conscience of culture-reviewing harmful cultural pra c -
tices and consolidating on the refi ned one s.
We could add to this template by further observing that r eli -
gions c ou l d also act as the conscientious thermometer in for-
mulating sustainable environmental poli cy by governments in
Africa. Broadly speaking, religion has been seen variously by
different scholars as the be st friend of environmental sustaina-
ble promotion and management. Miroslav (2000: pp. 1-21), in
his work “Man and Nature in World Religions”, discusses t he
origin of the relationship between man and his natural envi-
ronment in world religions such as in the origins of the world in
Hinduism, Buddhism, Hebraism, Christianity, and Islam. In
Christianity, it felt that with the first man ’s sin the balance of
the relation between man and nature was disrupted. Acting
irresponsibly may further lea d to the destruction of the world
and life itself. Many religions offer integral and sustainable
solutions for overcoming the ecological (environmental) crisis.
Hinduism especially emphasizes the way of love, and peaceful
attitudinal change wit h moral activity (effects). Buddhism sug-
gests that, in order to accomplish unity & harmony in nat ur e ,
man must overcome his egoism and his selfish desperation to
exploit and make profit out of nature. The Hebrew Old-Testa-
ment tradition brings to consciousness the concepts of subju-
gate, which implies that to cultivate & nurture the ear th will
lead to mutual happiness & contentment. Islam holds man re-
sponsible for the fate of Allah’s creatures. Though Mislovav
gives no spac e for African traditional religion, its position we
already know as pro-sustainable and unselfish management of
the earth’s resources contained in the environment. The differ-
ent religions however, have different attitudes and frameworks
toward nature and, hence different environmental philosophies.
Evidence of this finding and its data stability continue to shift
and be debated by scholars. We shall examine them now. Robin
Attfield (1983: pp. 369-386) in his ‘Christian Attitudes to na-
ture points to the nature of this debate in his observation:
The conclusions of Ly nn White, Jr., John Passmore, and
William Coleman, who various ly represent Judaeo-Christian
attitudes to nature as despotic, anthropocentric and exploitative,
are contested; just as frequently Christians ha ve regarded hu-
man beings as stewards of creati on , responsible for its care. A
survey of t he biblical, patristic, medieval and early modern
periods suggests t hat evidence for gentle atti tude s has bee n
underplayed. Extra resources supporting an enlightened ethi c
thus become available.
Clinton Bail ey (1982: pp. 65-88), gives an insight into the re-
ligious practices of the Bedouin in Sinai and the Negev and
presents some of these practices, indicate s their relatedness to
the natural environment of Bedouins past and present accord-
ing to him:
The Bedouins’ extreme exposure to the desert’s harsh envi-
ronment and their scant recourse to hel p in the event of adver-
sity ha ve made the ir que st for the means to attenuate their fears
particularly strong. This qu e s t has led them to adhere to prac-
tices that give them the sense of exercising a degree of control
over t he recurrent afflictions of nature. Among these practices
are fatalism, att empts to propitiate Allah, the concept of agents
of evil, the c reat ion of taboos, and belief in the power of ma gic.
Chris Ballard (2000: pp. 205-225) in his book, “The Fire
Next Time: T he Conversion of the Huli Apocalypse”, examines
Open Access
the impact of Christian notions of the Apocalypse on the Huli
speakers of t he Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea dur-
ing the 1950s. Precontact Huli cosmology pos ited a moral con-
stitution for t he fertility of the universe in which the health of
people & t he land reflected the state of moral order in Huli
society. Failure in social beha vi or , which could be gauged from
the declining condition of the “skin” of the land, was attributed
to an inexorable process of loss of the knowledge of customary
lore. Human agency, however, was accorded a significant role
in redressing this universal tende ncy to entropy, & ritual leaders
claimed the ability to reduce an apocalyptic, earth-renewing fall
of fe r tile soil from the sky. The adoption of Christian under-
standings of the Apocalypse as the revel a tion of divine will , &
the abandonment of most of the precontact rituals, have ha d
significant consequences for Huli conceptions of the role of
human agency in history, & for the nature of their engagement
with the land. Engagement with the land has been extended by
some religious environmentalists such as Jon P. Bloch (1998:
pp. 55-73) who, in his “Alternative Spirituality and Environ-
mentalism” exposes the relationship between religiosity and
with the following summary :
The relations between environmentalism and religiousity
have previously been examined by studying conservative vs
liberal Christian affiliation. Explored here are environmentalist
attitudes among persons whose religiosity does not fit conven-
tional patterns, i.e., the so-called “alternative” or “countercul-
ture” spiritual community (e.g., New Age, Neo-Paganism). This
network of individuals finds com mona l ty & solidarity not
through organizational ties or a singular theology, but through
an overriding ideology that challenges the alleged rigidity &
dualistic dogma of mainstream society, & so suggests a new
form of social movement. Central to this critique of the main-
stream is the notion t ha t the Earth is just as sacred as the hea-
vens, so by preserving the planet, one is being “spiritual”.
A discussion of the characteristics of bot h divine & human
love for nature, relating traditional theological questions about
love to Christian ecotheology was kicked further by Susa n P.
Bratton (1992: pp. 3-25) wherein she observes in her work
‘Loving Nature: Eros or Agape? The basic types of love used
by man towards nature and the environment:
Two types of Christian love are analyzed : eros & agape. It is
argued that, becaus e agape is self-giving, it is preferable to eros
in relationships with the environment. Further, it is spontaneous
& unmotivated, creative, & indifferent to value, encourages
fellowship between God & creation, recognizes individuality &
freedom in nature, & produces action & suffering. This love
should recognize the possibility of reciprocal interaction with
nature, appr ec iate gifts of t he natural world to humankind, &
simultaneously consider the needs of both human & nonhuman
neighbors. Continued philosophical & theological discussion of
the role of reciprocity & sacrifice in love for nature is sug-
As part of a growing environmental movement in Thailand, a
small number of Buddhist monks engage in ecological conser-
vation projects, teaching ecologically sound practices among
Thai farmers & criticizing rapid economic development na-
tionwide (which they se e as one of the primary causes of the
country’s environmental crisis) This religious movement to-
wards environmental sustainability was captured by Susan M.
Darlington (1998: pp. 1-15) in her book “The Ordination of a
Tree: The Buddhist Ecology Movement in Thailand ”.
Paul Dekker (1997: pp. 443-458) inReligion, Culture and
Environmental Concern: An Empirical Cross-National Analysis
presents a comparison of 1993 International Social Survey Pro-
ject data from 20 countries evaluating the environmental con-
sequences of Christian religious beliefs, belonging to the Chris-
tian community , & post-materiali st values. He seeks to link the
biblical attitude of human dominance over nature hel d by the
Judeo-Christian heritage with the responsibility for the current
ecological crisis. He calls for a new model of environmental
ethics with society’s search for postmodern environmental val-
ues and principles calling for an intergenerational val ues shift
to make this happen. From a call for a new environmental eth-
ics drawn from religion, we come to the level of the responsi-
bility for stewardship given to man. In “Environmental Ste-
wardship: Our Spiritual Heritage for Sustainable Development”,
P. Dwivedi (1996: pp. 217-231), examines the concept of envi-
ronmental stewardship, balancing concerns for environmental
well-being a ga i ns t t he pursuit of economic & industrial devel-
opment. Arguing that protecting the environment is an interest
inherent to all world cultures & spiritual traditions, it is sug-
gested that the standards of sustainable development advocated
by almost all the religions we have examined so far inclusive of
African traditional religion. The ide a of stewardship revolves
around the i de a of “Vasudhaiv-kutumbakam” (viewing human
beings & all life on earth as belonging to one’s extended f ami ly )
is advocated as a way of promoting an ecologic al ly responsible
approach to global change. It is argued that only through a uni-
versal charter of environmental stewardship can environmen-
talism be linked to long-term development (Dwivedi: p. 231).
Thus we can see that the religions of the world have been con-
cerned with ecology and the environment to var y i ng extents, as
can be seen by a brief overview of some of the basic attitudes
of ma jor religions toward t he natural world, starting with the
Greeks, indigenous African communities and other world faiths.
An extrapolation of their religious philosophy and values reveal
a concern to preserve and sustain nature and the environment in
a manner to safeguard her resources for future generations.
Thus we can see that religion could be “a maj or influence in the
lives of people living in rural environments. This is examined
in relation to the changing functions of the rural fami ly ” (W. B.
Rogers & G. E. Buckmire, 1967: p. 22).
Religions and Conservation
In September 1986 the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF,
2012) celebrated its 25th anniversary by bringing together au-
thorities from five maj or wor l d religions to declare how the
teachings of their faith leads each of them to car e for nature.
The event was instigated by WWF International President HRH
Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, and took place ov e r two
days in the It alia n town of Assisi, chosen for its association
with St Francis of Assisi the Catholic saint of ecology. Wha t
resulted from this unprecedented project we re the Assisi Dec-
larations: separate calls from Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jew-
ish and Islamic leaders to their own faithful concerning their
spiritual relationship with nature and sacred duty to care for it
(WWF, 2012. Aft er the Assisi event WWF continued to work
with religious advisors to support the faiths in developing a
wide variety of conservation projects through what was known
as the Network of Religions and Conservation (WWF, 2012).
By 1995 four more faiths—Baha’i, Daoism, Jainism and Sikh-
ism—had produced declarations to accompany the original
five and, with representatives of all nine religions, Prince Philip
Open Access
launched the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC), an
independent NGO based in the UK and committed to linking
the faith worlds of the ma jor religions with the more secular
worlds of conservation and ecology in the caus e of conserva-
tion and sustainability (Green climate cities, 2012). It could be
seen increasingly that there is a dialectic a l beneficial link be-
tween the religious mind of man and his belief in the religious
values of his faith, no matter the differences from extremist
faiths. The philosophy and psychology of man’s religion lies in
the power of fa it h and human values to achieve human trans-
formation in his attitudes, character and behavior. In other
words, one c ou ld entitle this presentation “The power of reli-
gious psychology and philosophy to transform the present mind
of the African personality towards achieving a sustainable
management of his environment”. Mankind has achieved a
synergy of spirit and research towards the end of this intellec-
tual appreciation and social application.
It has been proven from above that religions have a global
reach with psychological, social, cultural and political influence
in driving the message that conservation of the natural world
was a fundamental el e ment and principle of faith. This element
could be applied in enhancing the sustainable tremendous po-
tential for the future of the environment and reversing the
damages done by man on his environment. In 2011 the ARC
network celebrated 25 yea rs since the original Declarations
with another conference in Assisi celebrating the thousands of
faith-based projects and long-term plans for sustainability that
the network ha s supported ove r t he years. The event also
launched the Green Pilgrimage Network, in recognition of the
environmental impact caused by the estimated 150 million spi-
ritual journeys undertaken by faith followers every year (May
23, 2012). Starting with 12 sites representing different faith
traditions in Asia, Africa and Europe the commitment is to
develop attitudes, resources and practices to minimize negative
environmental impact and even, if possible, harness the efforts
of pilgrims to generate a positive impact instead (Wikipaedia,
Philosophical Framework
The philosophical framework captures t he best human values
that undergird and underpin environmental philosophy and its
sustainable framework. It draws its parallel from a cosmologi-
cal and ontological deification and respect for nature that sees
good in the tempera te usage of nature’s prime resources to
serve not only the present but al so the future. It is a peaceful
application of religious values of truth, peace, righteousness,
nonviolence and love (The five values of the S at hya Sai educa-
tion in human values) in the management of t he environment. It
is a religious model of behavi or and attitude that draws from
the nodality of ma n being at peace with his creator and nature.
The hypothetical tinge is that the present environmental degra-
dation results from ma n being out of tune with God and nature.
Man, it says can only draw back from the precipice only when
he starts to love and respect nature and the earth. In his “Gandhi,
Deep Ecology, Peace Research and Buddhist Economics” Tho-
mas Weber (1999: pp. 349-361) agrees and gives more insight
into this philosophical perspective that enjoys t he core values of
true African religios ity :
The central importance of Mohandas Gandhi to nonviolent
activism in the environmental protection campaign is widely
acknowledged. There are also other significant peace-related
bodies of knowledge t ha t have gained such popularity in the
West in the r elat ive ly recent past that they have changed the
directions of thought & have been important in encouraging
social movements, yet they have not been analyze d in terms of
antecedents, especially Gandhi an ones. The new environmen-
talism in the form of deep ecology, the discipline of peace re-
search, & what has become known as “Buddhist economics”
very cl os ely mirror Gandhi’s philosophy.
Educational Framework-SSEHV /
Curriculum-Nursery/Tertiary School System
What is education in human values, EHV? The education in
human values framework for environmental sustainable man-
agement is a direct derivative of religious intervention and eth-
ical mediation in solving one the problems confronting the
global educational sy stem-i mba lanc e between secular as against
spiritual education. The savant and avatar, Bhagawan Sathya
Sai Baba evolved this foremost educational syst em in human
values considered by the international education committee as
the crown jewel of education system s . Man tod ay has witnessed
the radical transformation of his physic al environment by sci-
ence and technology; this has given him the powe r to control,
modify or destroy his natural forces. In Africa we are conse-
quently allowed the alternatives of either regressing to a primi-
tive level of environmental destruction through an undiscip-
lined use of technology, or adapting the same technology to
achieve the peaceful of environmental resources. To achieve
the goal of the MDGS and that of sustainability in environmen-
tal management, we have to recreate the African society socie-
ties and their values. The interdependence of the major ele-
ments of t he African ecosystem and environment, linked to our
Africa’s sustainable growth, poverty reduction and wealth crea-
tion at the religious, philosophical, educational, social, tech-
nological, economic and political levelsdictates that we have
to start a new character formation and reformation at the per-
sonal and collective levels of action towards environmental
management. For as agreed to by a Bahai Faith environmental
assessment this human va lue character reformation has become
inevitable if we are to achieve environmental sustainability:
We are beginning to see that integration of life on the planet
requires unified action on a scale we have not yet achieved.
Partial solutions seem only to prolong the difficulties; yet we
hesitate to adopt a ne w and workable system of values for the
world. For until there is unity at the most fundamental level
that of human values—social problems, simple or complex,
will remain unresolved.
The United Nations, Regional and National
The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), is the
United Nations flagship organ which has be en bestowed the
challenge of meeting up with the target of the 7th goal of the
MDGS—to integrate the principles of environmental sustaina-
ble management globally before 2015. This give s UNEP the
charge of global environmental governance and ecosys tem
management. Klaus Töpfer, the United Nations Under-Secre-
tary General and Executive Director, United Nations Environ-
ment Programme (UNEP), launched an action program in a
booklet—Africa Environment Tracking: Issues and develop-
ments—which was intended as a key resource for policy mak-
Open Access
ers in Africa to drive the frameworks for the region and nation-
al governments With its Early Warning and Assessment (DE-
WA) framework, t here is no doubt that it has become a subs-
tantive tool for African policymakers to use in the assessment
of the pressing environmental issues facing the region. Two of
the policy options highlighted in the first African environmen-
tal outlook report we re the need for the African Union, as a
regional body, to persuade the international community to
adopt the New Partnership for Afric a ’s Development (NEPAD)
and to improve environmental information systems as a basis
for sound decision-making. Both policy recommendations ha ve
since been implemented. NEPAD has been endorsed by the
United Nations General Assembly and UNEP. The issue of
environmental information systems is being addressed through
the Africa Environment Information Network (AEIN), a sus-
tainable framework that has served the two objectives of achi-
eving regional and national environment review while making
it possible to track environmental developments on a regular
basis and to try and establish trends. It is through such tracking
and determining trends that reliable information can be pro-
vided to policymakers for s tr ategi c decision-making (UNEP,
2006). We have earlie r identified ignorance of current devel-
opments in sustainable management of t he environment as one
of the chal le nges facing the African in his environmental crisis.
This global and regional framework will give vita l information
about ongoing threats to Africa’s environmental crisis.
Private S e ctor Frameworks
Through the increasing recognition of the role of the private
sector to carry out its partnership responsibilities in achieving
environmental justice and sustainabi lity , it has re adi ly become
obvious that through corporate social responsibility more hu-
man value based behavior are being evolved in managing envi-
ronmental challenges in their operating environments. This is a
deduction from the more religious and philosophical attitudes
of their operational personnel and a new environmental philos-
ophy that endorses a new personnel attitudes towards the envi-
ronment of opera tion.
Indig eno us Co mmun ity /Women Led Frameworks
In this context, it recognizes t hat “culture-people + civiliza -
tion + knowledge” controls and directs how people manage
their environment. The religious dimension to the culture of
African people constitutes a philosophical and psychological
aspects of the intangible management of their environmental
heritage as recognized also by UNESCO (200 UNESCO Con-
vention). Indigenous Traditional Knowledge sy stems emanates
from the Afric an traditional religion of the African indigenous
peoples, as earlier recognized by this presentation. The ATR
contains human values that could underpin and drive the sus-
tainable management of its environmental frameworks. How-
ever, despite this knowledge system being excluded in the cur-
rent efforts to achieve sustainable environmental systems, it has
been observed that the biggest challenges facing the present
environmental crisis in Africa is the marginalization of indi-
genous communities, and the exclusion of women and girls in
the efforts to overcome the crisis (Bahai, 2012). This means
that there is an environmental gender and indigenous discrimi-
nation tha t excludes both wom en and indigenous com muni ty
interests in such efforts. This issue of marginalization, espe-
cially of wome n, ha s also been well note d in a Bahai environ-
mental management documentation (2011):
One of the most pervasive social challenges besetting com-
munities around the world is the marginalization of girls and
women—a condition further exacerbated… the y represent pe r -
haps the greatest source of untapped potential in the global
effort to overcome climate change. Their responsibilities in
families, in communities, as farmers and stewards of natural
resources make them uniquely positioned to develop strategies
for adapting to changing environmental conditions…
1) Psychological: Attitudinal/character. In the context of
African traditional religion, Asian Buddha peaceful manage-
ment of nature, Schmitt (2011) has observed that the antidote to
man’s endemic wrong behavior towards nature and his envi-
ronment, which could be termed by psychology as an irreli-
gious behavior or by ATR as anNso Ani”. The sustainable
solution cou l d be enmeshed in the observation made by Schmitt
as an attitudinal change in the human person:
But the most effective weapon against environmental injus-
tice as well as misguided developments is still to maintain
within oneself, a respectful basic attitude that is Furthering to
nature and man, and which rejects any form of exploitation
because such thoughts and attitudes have a strong effect on all
those who likewise want to be constructive.
2) Religious input into environmental policy;
3) Integrating environmentalism as basic curriculum in ter-
tiary religious education;
4) Imparting human value education and sensitivity to sec-
ondary and primary school students;
5) Formation of religious friends of t he environment in high-
er institutions;
Other recommendations would include:
6) Religious organizations partnering with NGOS/CBOS for
environmental protection;
7) Organizing an annual environmental religious summits by
inter religious council in Africa;
8) Promoting Sustainable Use of Natural Resources;
9) Protecting Forest Resources;
10) Establishing partnerships between educational facultie s
with the Afric an institute for Sat hya Sai education in human
11) Conserving Biodiversity;
12) Protecting the Environment While Helping Communities
relive their traditional worship system;
13) Spreading the application of famine early warning sys-
tems (FEWS) across the length and breadth of Africa (FE WS-
Challenged by Lynn White’s sharp criticism of Christianity’s
responsibility for earth’s ecological crisis, both Ia n Barbour a nd
Philip Hefner have proposed theological anthropologies based
upon the imago Dei that supports an ecological ethic that de-
fines the application and useage of the 5 human values as the
model for sustainable religious environmentalism in globally.
Russell (2003: pp. 149-159), while supporting the ecological
ethic, turns not to human value/religious dimension of ecology
which I consider to be indispensable to any considerations to
Open Access
secure the future in Africa. A human value religi o-philosophi-
cal model should be reconstructed to provide an African ma ss
incentive, ending the exploitation of man’s environment and
prevent his own self-destruction. This reconstructed religious
environmentalism will lead to a social ly transformed character
with human values that will be environmentally sensitive and
responsive to the identified environmental problems in Africa.
Postscript commentaryThis paper was first presented as
a lead paper by Dr Ani Casimir Kingston Chukwunonyelum, a
senior lecturer at the Department of philosophy and senior
research fellow at the Institute of African Studies, University of
Nigeria, during the 34th Annual Conference of the Nigerian
Association for the Study of Religions (NASR-3rd-6th Septem-
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