The We Have Faith – Act Now for Climate Justice pan-African Cycling Campaign enters Malawi from Zambia the morning of Thursday 8th October, 2015. It is made up of nine countries and Malawi is the sixth country to take over the country-to-country relay.
The Campaign brings together faith based organizations, civil society organizations and youth movements from East and Southern Africa aimed at collecting 1 million petitions. The African People’s Petition aims at putting pressure on national, regional and world leaders to urgently act on Climate Change.
The campaign started in Maputo, Mozambique, on 31st August 2015 and has been in five countries which have held main events in their capital cities to raise awareness on the effects of climate change and collect signatures on the petitions. Mozambique, Tshwane in South Africa, Gaborone in Botswana, Harare in Zimbabwe and Lusaka in Zambia have all conducted various activities that have included climate justice marches, city cycling circuits, planting and adopting trees, prayers, performances, and speeches from faith leaders, government officials, and climate ambassadors. From Malawi it proceeds to Tanzania then Kenya. Uganda is also participating.
At Mchinji, the campaign will have clocked approximately 3,048 km, about half of the total 6,500km planned between Maputo and Nairobi.
Locally coordinated by the Malawi Council of Churches (MCC) and ACT Forum Malawi, in-country activities include a campaign reception on 8th Oct at Mwami Border/Mchinji Community Ground, a cycling awareness circuit around Lilongwe on 9th October, and a main concert at Silver Stadium on 10th October where faith leaders, youths, CSOs, the corporate sector, and government officials will convene and speeches will be issued.
Fifteen Malawian cyclist will then take the cycling campaign to Kasungu, Jenda, Chikangawa in Mzimba, Mzuzu, Rumphi, and exit from Karonga into Tanzania on 17th October 2015. A Climate Action Week will formulate the campaign climax in Kenya where mass mobilization of people through a major Climate Justice Concert bringing together about 35,000 participants is expected.
In Nairobi there will be a Pan-African Faith Leaders’ Summit on Climate Change, a Pan-African Parliamentarians Summit on Climate Change, as well as an African-People’s Conference of Parties (COP) aimed at discussing Climate Change challenges, opportunities, and demands to be discussed at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to be held in Paris, France in December.
Goal of the campaign
To strengthen the pan-African/global south voice in efforts to alleviate the impacts of climate change through policy and practice.
Objectives of the campaign
To raise the level of African youth, faith leaders’ and faith communities awareness on the urgency to act now for climate justice.
To lobby African governments to come up with a strong delegation at the COP21 climate negotiations.
Malawi has put together 14 male and one female cyclists passionate about contributing towards raising climate change awareness. They will kick-start the Malawi leg after receiving petitions from the other the five countries.
During each stop along the route, mini climate justice concerts will be held while faith leaders in churches and mosques will hold climate change awareness campaigns with the Interfaith Climate Justice Weekend slated for 9th October for Muslims, 10th October for Seventh Day Adventists, and 11th October for all other Christians including the Baha’i Faith aimed at strengthening the voice of communities to act on climate change with urgency.
Malawi is expected to collect a total of 100, 000 petitions.