'The environment is life'

Environmental campaign in Penjwen holds talks after Tarawih prayers

PENJWEN — Following Tarawih prayers, a tradition observed during Ramadan nights, several villages in Penjwen are hosting discussions on environmental protection led by a local environmental group.

Milakawa for Environmental Protection, founded in 2015, has made it an annual Ramadan tradition to visit villages and raise awareness about environmental issues. This year, they have focused on Darokhan and Dolasur villages, with plans to expand their outreach.

Rebwar Kamal, head of Milakawa, said discussions are held after Tarawih prayers. “We coordinate with mosque imams beforehand to facilitate these talks,” Kamal explained.

Topics discussed during conversations include orest conservation, protection of water sources, pollution prevention, and the prohibition of hunting and harming mountain wildlife.

A key concern is the sustainable harvesting of mountain flora, as villagers begin venturing into the mountains to gather herbs and plants, both for personal consumption and as a means of livelihood. However, some residents uproot plants or pick indiscriminately, threatening the ecosystem.

“This harms biodiversity and risks extinction for valuable flora,” Milakawa said in a Facebook post. The organization urges residents to discourage uprooting and promote responsible harvesting.

The volunteer-run organization aims to expand its campaign to as many as five more villages, extending their efforts beyond Ramadan. Their recently released 2023 report detailed the group’s involvement in extinguishing 19 fires in the Penjwen area last year, some lasting over 18 hours.

The Milakawa report also outlined environmental seminars organized at schools and mosques, focusing on forest conservation.

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