Libya’s Silent Majority Speaks

At the 2nd February Earthing Faith network gathering we heard briefly from Dr Andrew Gosler on his work with  the Institute of Human Sciences who recently in association with Oxford Research International and the University of Benghazi carried out the first Public Opinion Survey of Libya.

We heard about Dr Gosler’s visit to Libya and how when the survey put those questioned in a position to spend 100 million Dinars, most Libyans said they would put health at the top of their list of priorities, providing it with an average of 34 per cent of the total budget. Education would receive an average of 27 per cent of the total budget while, perhaps surprisingly, environmental improvements such as tree planting would be given an average eight per cent of the total budget, according to the survey.

Dr Gosler, said: ‘The first National Survey holds many surprises for the world on what the Libyan people want following decades of autocratic rule under the Gaddafi regime. It reveals that there is a great deal of optimism amongst the population about the future of their country. When asked about their spending priorities, health and education came top as you might expect, but the Libyans also seem surprisingly ready to do more on the environment where there is universal concern across all political divides.’

For further information see www.ihs.ox.ac.uk

Dr. Andrew GoslerDr Andrew Gosler is Head of the Biological Conservation for the Institute of Human Sciences at the University of Oxford, President of the Oxford Ornithological Society, and Deanery Synod Lay Chair for Cowley. He has recently co-edited Ethno-ornithology – Birds, Indigenous Peoples, Culture and Society.

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