Church of Bangladesh takes further action on climate change after Alliance advocacy webinar

15 July 2014

From the Anglican Alliance website at http://www.anglicanalliance.org/

Participants from Bangladesh, who took part in the Anglican Alliance’s recent advocacy webinar, later met to discuss how their church might take forward advocacy on climate change for the most vulnerable.

A group of priests, development practitioners and church leaders from Bangladesh who took part in the Anglican Alliance’s advocacy webinar in June 2014 were so excited by the discussion that they then met to take forward the insights that were shared.

With the Church of Bangladesh’s critical action on climate change, the group discussed a number of areas where advocacy would help take action on climate change.

Key areas highlighted for advocacy included:

  • Fulfillment of financial commitments by developed countries
  • Stronger monitoring systems for the effective use of climate adaptation and mitigation funds
  • Significance given to community based adaptation
  • Funding allocations to be the same for adaptation and mitigation
  • A focus on issues related to climate change, such as food security.
  • Women, children and the most vulnerable should be considered as a priority in climate justice.
  • Anglican eco-bishops* should have strategic lead roles in climate change advocacy.

The participants proposed that the Church of Bangladesh should take more action on climate change and related issues.

One climate prone area in the country may be chosen to initiate a pilot programme, which will seek more effective interventions to address the effects of climate change.

A community based adaptation approach (CBA) would be taken, and learning from the pilot would be shared, firstly to other areas of Bangladesh and then through the Anglican Alliance family of churches across the Anglican Communion.

The moderator Bishop of the Anglican Church of Bangladesh, the Most. Rev. Paul Sarker is keenly aware of the need to respond to the effects of climate change. Archbishop Sarker is a member of the Eco-Bishops’ Initiative, a project initiated by the Anglican Communion Environmental Network, which connects bishops to take action for the environment.

 

Anglicans learn social justice and reaching out – News from Tonga

Nuku’alofa-July 1: 3.18pm (TDN): Members of the Anglican Church here in Tonga went through a week-long training on Social Justice in Pahu last week, aimed at helping the church carry out its social programs and obligations with more vigour.

tonga 1Program facilitators Aisake Casimira, the Programs Manager with the Pacific Council of Churches in Suva and Mr Joe Saniqa, the Social Justice Coordinator for Diocese of Polynesia, ran the workshop for priests, lay preachers, church officials and members.

Mr Saniqa said the workshop is the second phase which was approved in 2010/2011 by the Diocese of Polynesia, under the Bishop of Polynesia, Bishop Winston Halapua.

“And the workshop really aimed at helping the church members and officials in their different work of taking Christ’s gospel to the people, to the community,” Mr Saniqa said.

Workshop participant Mr Laiseni Fanon Charisma Liava’a told the Tonga Daily News that the workshop was an eye-opener.

“I learned a lot from the workshop, especially in how we can be more effective in reaching out to the societies and communities we live in in the physical sense,” he said.

“I think it was timely for the church to have this kind of workshops and training and I hope that we will have some more follow up programs in the future.

“The workshop has helped me understand the importance of having a structure where we can have different departments and their duties that they need to carry out to be able to meet the church’s vision and mission statement.

“And more importantly to be able to show the people out there Christ’s Gospel of love, of reaching out.”

Mr Liava’a said the church and other religious organisations in Tonga have an important task of reaching out to the people and helping them become better people.

“The gospel is not only about preaching it in church. It is about reaching out to help people get better, live better and be able to look after themselves,” he said.

“That’s the social aspect of the gospel that we need to live.

ORIGINAL POSTING at    http://www.tongadailynews.to/?p=7067

 

 

“And the workshop has helped me see that and what we can do to make it happen.”

WCC announces September Interfaith Summit on Climate Change

From the World Council of Churches, via the Anglican Communion News Service

The World Councilwcc sept 2014 of Churches (WCC) announced it will hold an Interfaith Summit on Climate Change on September 21-22 in New York City. At the summit, organized together with Religions for Peace, more than 30 religious leaders will take a united stand to encourage international and political leaders to address concretely the causes and consequences of climate change.

The interfaith summit is being held immediately before the United Nations (UN) Climate Summit, called by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, to galvanize and catalyze climate action, bringing bold announcements and actions that will reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience, and mobilize political will for a meaningful legal agreement in 2015.

WCC members said they hoped their united voice would be also heard at the upcoming Conferences of Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Lima in December 2014 and in Paris in 2015. “We will join our voices in the call for human rights and climate change to be addressed systematically,” said Daniel Murphy, campaigns assistant at the UK-based Environmental Justice Foundation. Murphy spoke to the WCC Central Committee, the governing body of the WCC which is meeting this week in Geneva.

This is a big power game”

The WCC has been addressing climate change issues for more than two decades, and now the effects of climate change on human rights has reached an urgent level, said Kirsten Auken, an advocacy advisor at DanChurchAid, a Danish nonprofit with the mission of supporting the world’s poorest people. Auken said the main message of the interfaith summit will be that “political leaders need to act to close the gap between what is needed and the lack of action on a political level. We, as church-related and faith-based groups, have an important role to play in pushing our leaders to be brave.”

In this case, “pushing” means capturing the attention of political leaders who are in a position to make a difference within the UN. “This is a big power game and we have to admit that,” said Auken. “We have to be the moral voice in this.” At the same time that WCC members challenge political leaders, they also need to take the initiative in their own lives to care for the earth around them, said Metropolitan Serafim Kykkotis, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa. “We must unite through our common action to save the planet and give our children a better future,” he said.

The 30 participants at the summit will represent groups made up of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Indigenous Peoples, and others, said Dr Guillermo Kerber, coordinator of the WCC programme on Care for Creation and Climate Justice. “The relevance is unprecedented because of the crucial moment we are living today. We have called for years to have a fair, ambitious and binding treaty on climate change.”

Kerber and the other summit organizers agreed that the USA is first among the nations that must lead the effort to take climate action, based on science, that can help protect the basic human rights of individuals in this generation and in future ones. US-based pastors and churches are adding their voices to the calls for action, said the Rev. Everdith Landrau, who serves with the Presbyterian Church (USA). “There are conscious programmes that have been trickling down to our local churches,” she said. “Those seeds are being planted.”

WCC’s work on climate justice and care for creation

Why the climate issue is a question of global fairness and justice

Food shortage is one of the most serious consequences of climate change. And the poorest people are affected most. The Church of Sweden wants Sweden and the EU to take much greater responsibility.

ChurchSweden

Changes in the climate can make dry areas even drier. There is a risk that harvests will decrease dramatically in countries such as Ethiopia. Habibe Yimer, 13 years of age, ploughs the land with his father. Foto: Magnus Aronson/IKON

Climate change involves ethics, fairness and justice, because the poorest people in the world risk being hit the hardest by the food shortage, although they have contributed the least to the carbon dioxide emissions that have led to global warming.

“The consequences of climate change are already evident today: drought and floods are wiping out people’s opportunities of providing for themselves,” says Jacob Risberg, the Church of Sweden’s climate advisor.

Farmers in Ethiopia, Malawi and India, for example, are reporting major changes to rainy seasons and monsoons, which make it more difficult to live off farming.

Flee when the sea level rises
The same applies to those affected by rising sea levels. Many people by the Bay of Bengal have already been forced to flee when their land was submerged by the sea – and many others are in the danger zone.

Emissions and pollutants do not stop at national borders. What happens in one part of the world has repercussions in totally different areas.

Risk of larger numbers of refugees
The food shortage and extreme weather risk leading to an increase in refugee numbers and more conflicts.

The Church of Sweden’s approach is that people in developing countries have the right to develop and to improve their living conditions. If, however, they are to be able to provide for themselves and if the world is to avoid an alarming increase in the lack of food, substantial support is required from the surrounding world so that the most vulnerable countries can adapt to a changed climate.

Developing countries must receive help to avoid becoming fossil fuel dependent. To enable us to stop climate change, developing countries must also receive help to avoid becoming dependent on fossil fuels, so large sums of money are required.

“The richest countries in the world must take much more responsibility for the costs of climate change,” says Jacob Risberg.

The lifestyle of the industrialised world is untenable. We can influence the development to a certain extent through individual choices, but we must also react as a church in a global society.

Harvests can increase despite a poorer climate
The Church of Sweden has a close relationship with people and churches in economically impoverished areas. The challenge is to create commitment to climate issues. The work consists of both mitigating the consequences of and influencing the basic causes of our altered climate.

The Church of Sweden’s international mission and diaconia supports sustainable rural development that boosts harvests, despite the changing climate.

The Church of Sweden wants Sweden to shoulder its responsibility
We are also encouraging Sweden and the EU to shoulder their responsibilities, for example by substantially reducing their emissions and assisting adaptation to climate change in developing countries.

The Church of Sweden’s work continues. Our goal is a fair and just climate agreement that both stops global warming and gives financially disadvantaged people the right to development.

ORIGINALLY POSTED AT

http://www.svenskakyrkan.se/omoss/why-the-climate-issue-is-a-question-of-global-fairness-and-justice

Threatened by climate change, Kiribati buys land in Fiji from CofE

ACNS via The Guardian by Laurence Caramel

The people of Kiribati, a group of islands in the Pacific ocean particularly exposed to climate change, now own a possible refuge elsewhere. President Anote Tong has recently finalised the purchase of 20 sq km on Vanua Levu, one of the Fiji islands, about 2,000km away.kirabati

The Church of England has sold a stretch of land mainly covered by dense forest for $8.77m. “We would hope not to put everyone on [this] one piece of land, but if it became absolutely necessary, yes, we could do it,” Tong told the Associated Press. Kiribati has a population of about 110,000 scattered over 33 small, low-lying islands extending over a total area of 3.5m sq km.

In 2009 the Maldives were the first to raise the possibility of purchasing land in another country in anticipation of being gradually submerged. At the time the government looked at options in India and Sri Lanka.

Now Kiribati has taken action. “Kiribati is just the first on a list which could get longer as time passes,” says Ronald Jumeau, Seychelles ambassador at the United Nations, who took part in the international negotiations on climate change in Bonn last month.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE at

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/01/kiribati-climate-change-fiji-vanua-levu

 

Selfishness results in suffering – a #creation theme

Friends

A colleague preached the following at a neighboring church Sunday mordimas canjuraning June 22, 2014. Commenting on Matthew 10: 24-39 he said:

Remember that God is always working behind the scenes on our behalf. If this is the case, who shall we fear? As I said in previous sermons, we live in a consumerist society where the multinationals control everything and the system of globalization remains firmly implanted in the world. A system that is driven by the dollar, perpetuating and continuing to promote injustice, hunger, poverty and contamination due to the indiscriminate destruction of God’s natural resources and of the communities that live on His land. The selfishness of some people results in the suffering of many. Fear not those who continue to destroy God’s creations. As Christians it is our challenge, our duty to defend God’s creation, not only for our sake, but for the sake of generations to come; for the sake of all humanity.

Bravo Dimas. Dimas has been a priest for only a couple of weeks. As a lay person, and in his home country of El Salvador, he lived through the turbulent years following the assassination of Oscar Romero who he quotes with insight and ease. His love people and creation comes through in all his speech and reflection.

May God help us all to speak up, loud and clear as we confront the forces of evil which skulk about in our midst.

Ken Gray

p.s. What was preached in your church on Sunday, June 22? Anything about creation? Just askin’

Go Emilie – #Anglican #Priest takes #Environmental Activism to the streets

emilie-smith-n-west-signNew Westminster Anglican Rev. Emilie Smith is making the news these days for her activism in Canada — and Latin America.

The feisty priest was recently in the B.C.media for the colourful way she took on the unknown idiots persistently dumping trash on the grounds of St. Barnaby’s parish in New Westminster.

releasing acid drainage and deadly arsenic into communities’ usable water? – See more at: http://postmediavancouversun.wordpress.com/?p=156817&preview=true#sthash.8OXfgsQx.dpuf

The Vancouver Sun covered the story under this headline: “New Westminster church ‘warns’ people to stop dumping trash on God’s turf.”

But Smith is creating more international waves for her campaign against the mining practices of major gold companies, including Canada’s Goldcorp.

Goldcorp was recently in the B.C. news for making a $500,000 donation to UBC’s Engineering department, to help women advance in engineering. It also donates to the Special Olympics.

But Goldcorp is making a different kind of news for its practices in Latin America, where Smith maintains Goldcorp is hurting communities and the environment.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2014/06/19/vancouver-anglican-priest-confronts-trash-dumpers-and-gold-miners/