Pastor Dr James Wuye and Imam Dr Muhammad Ashafa are finalists for the Intercultural Innovation Award, conferred by a unique partnership between the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations and BMW. The Award Ceremony will take place at UN Headquarters in New York on 29th November. It is 'a celebration of the most innovative grassroots projects that encourage intercultural dialogue around the world'.
Image from the UNAOC Website
Pastor Wuye and Imam Ashafa's project is 'Transforming pastoralist-farmer conflict in Nigeria'.
A combination of resource-based and ethno-religious conflict is causing many hundreds of fatalities each year in Nigeria, and displacing tens of thousands of people from their homes and farms. Imam Ashafa and Pastor Wuye's project builds on their successful mediation of some of these conflicts, and adds the dimension of livelihood collaboration in order to restore the land - thereby creating a 'win-win-win' for the conflicting parties and the environment. It puts into practical action some of the pioneering insights of the Caux Dialogue on Land and Security (CDLS) in Switzerland, which Pastor Wuye, Imam Ashafa and their team from the Interfaith Mediation Centre in Nigeria regularly attend. Dr Alan Channer, a member of the CDLS steering group, has also been invited to the Award Ceremony.
In preparing for the event, UNAOC/BMW asked Pastor Wuye and Imam Ashafa, 'How can we, the audience, join you in making a difference?
They replied: 'Share with everyone that tackling farmer-pastoralist conflict will restore the social fabric of the Sahel region, while healing the land will restore the environmental fabric. Support inter-dependence, celebrate the gifts of diversity and collaborate to care for the planet wherever you are - and we will make a difference to our world.'