Home Editorial Protecting the environment: The role of law and religion

Protecting the environment: The role of law and religion


The fight against the powerful machinations at the forefront of the rapid degradation of the environment, motivated by the vast economic benefits it holds is and was always going to be a hard one.

It is a fight against the rich one percent who make billions at the expense of the ailing environment and the poor who cannot afford to protect themselves from the myriad of effects such degradation presents.

Throughout this war against the powerful and the wrongful inclinations towards the environment, one group of people that have been missing in action, are religious people, not individuals but as a bloc.

Faith move mountains and religions, from Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism among the over 3000 religions have at their core, teachings of God, giving this earth to man, to have absolute control over it, to manage it and to sustain it.

The management and sustenance of this planet therefore is a devine mandate and God will judge us not only according to how we related with other human beings, but how we carried out the mandate he so boldly entrusted to us.

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God in his infinite wisdom, created the heavens and the earth and saw that everything he had done were beautiful in his sight. (Genesis 1:31)

The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground–trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. (Genesis 2:9)

He then handed the earth to human beings to occupy and nurture the earth till the second coming. (Luke 19:11-13)

So our Lord Jesus Christ expects a better planet earth than he handed to us upon his second coming. It is therefore a sin and one that will be punishable on the judgement day to defile, degrade and destroy the environment.

It is as much a sin to not care for your environment as coveteousness, adultery, fornication, corrupt morals etc is.

It is therefore devinely incumbent on all believers to join the devine fight to restore and and replenish the earth from the years of damage and neglect so when the saviour returns, we are not found wanting.

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“Indeed, We (God) offered the Trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, and they declined to bear it and feared it; but man [undertook to] bear it. Indeed, he was unjust and ignorant. (Qur’an 33:72)

In the Islamic faith, faith in the environment is on par to good faith towards humanity and indeed God, since Muslims believe he created all things.

The Qur’an therefore, doesn’t just link belief in One God (Tawheed) to being nice to plants and keeping a pet. The Qur’an glorifies nature and wildlife as an earthly heaven, a mirror to the lush forests of Paradise above. (Greenlife)

It therefore exhorts man to live a moderate, eco-friendly lifestyle that preserves morals and the environment and man shall be judged on everything he did or did not do and only those found worthy would be granted Jannah.


At the very core of Traditional African beliefs in Ghana are the Gods Asaase Yaa (Mother Earth) and Otwediampon Kwame (All Mighty God).

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Our forebears and the current practitioners of traditional African faith pay homage to mother earth for nourishing her children with the fruits of the plants and the tubers of the land.

Otwediampon is praised for giving us air and water to sustain us. River bodies were worshipped and protected from being defiled by human excreta among others.

It is still the belief today among traditional believers but the strict adherence to the practice has been relegated. What is spirituality without practice?.

The Gods of yesterday are the same today, and maybe they will answer us more swiftly if only we stopped defiling their abode with our filth and greed.

Asaase Yaa and Otwediampon Kwame are angry. To appease them, we must turn a new leaf and protect the earth and stop activities that pollute the skies.

Writer: Joseph Naah-Yerreh

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