Faith in Action for Climate Justice in Liberia
A new friendship forged in the Certificate in Climate Justice and Faith program led to the launch of Liberia’s first faith-based climate justice initiative: “Faith in Action for Climate Justice Liberia”. Korpo Sailley and Willie Korboi are the first Liberians to graduate with a Certificate in Climate Justice and Faith. While they are both originally from Liberia, Willie now lives in the U.S. A shared concern for the future of their country led them to work together across continents to develop “Faith in Action for Climate Justice in Liberia” initiative for their final Sacred Action Project.
Liberians are well-versed in the impacts of climate change. Rising temperatures and heavy rains pose a severe threat to Liberia’s agriculture and fisheries. Sea level rise also places many of Liberia’s poorest communities at risk of flooding and displacement. The Liberians most likely to be impacted by climate change are the least able to mitigate these risks.
Korpo and Willie are both active members of the Lutheran Church in Liberia (LCL) which has many justice and advocacy programs, but had not yet addressed the climate crisis. Korpo and Willie are changing this through the “Faith in Action for Climate Justice in Liberia” initiative. According to the Liberian Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this is the first faith-based initiative to address climate change in Liberia.
On April 21, 2023 “Faith in Action for Climate Justice in Liberia” launched and became an official program in the Education Ministry of the LCL. Korpo and Willie organized a launching event to bring together strategic leaders who will be working on this project together. Speakers at the event included Rt. Rev. Dr. Victor Padmore, Bishop of the LCL; Arthur Baker, Project Officer with the Liberia EPA; James Mulbah, CEO of GreenCities Liberia, and Rev. Eric Doe, Director of the Lutheran School System.
The organization’s first goal is to organize a tree-planting event with the Lutheran School System. Through a seed grant from the Center for Climate Justice and Faith they are purchasing seedlings to plant with students. Korpo and Willie have long term goals that the organization will help the most vulnerable Liberians adapt to climate change and help increase government support for these communities.