CLIMATE CHANGE IS A HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE
The Students of ASF (Anglican Students Federation) gathered for their Annual Provincial Conference at the Paramount Conference Centre near Rustenberg. Students from five countries attended.
One of the days was dedicated to the Fifth Mark of Mission. Amnesty International showed how it is important to frame Climate Change as a human rights issue, not only an environmental issue. Environmental degradation affects our constitutional rights to health, clean water, shelter and many other issues. We also had a speaker on the issue of waste, looking at how it is also impacting on people’s health and quality of life.
We heard of the impacts of Climate Change on our Province as we watched the video of the Archbishop’s visit to Beira, devastated by flooding. Fr Ngube shared the devastating situation in Namibia where the drought is forcing people to dig very deep for water, and shared how he lost his brother who had been digging down seven meters when the whole collapsed onto him.
A lunchtime service was held at the lake, led by Rev Rachel Mash where we really worshipped with all of Creation – as sheep walked past , ducks were swimming on the lake and birds were flying above our heads.
The afternoon outreach visited several centres such as orphanages, and old people’s homes. One group went to St Andrew Thlabane were a team from Namibia, Mozambique and South Africa were taught “Farming God’s way” using no tillage and very little compost. The importance of mulching – using God’s blanket” was stressed and this method is very climate resilient, requiring little watering.
Photos : Taaso, Amnesty International , David Junior