Anglicans at United Nations Environmental Assembly –
Day One – overshadowed by sorrow
Over 3000 participants, six heads of State and more than 80 environmental ministers are taking part in the United Nations Environmental Assembly #UNEA4 in Nairobi, Kenya
The Global meeting was overshadowed by the crash of an airline travelling from Ethiopia, carrying many of the delegates, including representatives from the World Council of Churches and a four person youth delegation from Canada. A moment of prayer was held at the opening of the Assembly and interfaith prayers at lunchtime.
The Anglican Consultative Council has recently been accredited as an NGO with UNEP (UN Environmental Programme) and the group of Anglicans are on a good learning curve!
Day One saw participation in the Faith for Earth Event. Over 100 delegates are registered from Faith organisations and there is a strong faith presence at the Event
Prof. Dr. Mathew Koshy Punnackad, Director, Church of South India Department of Ecological Concerns shared stories of commitment and hope from India, inspiring us with the breadth of the response to Climate Change in the Church of South India
Bishop Julius Wanyoike, Anglican Church of Kenya shared about the growing commitment of the church to combatting climate change. They are trying to change the overly scientific terms used, so that they can be incorporated in prayers and sermons more widely. They have a big tree planting campaign with some Dioceses starting tree nurseries and encouraging planting for baptisms, weddings and funerals.
Rabbi Yonatan Neril, Founder & Executive Director, The Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development, Jerusalem, shared how they have been working with the Anglican Church in Niassa, Mozambique and Upper Shire, Malawi to instal small industrial scale solar farms. These provide energy into the National Grid as well as sustainable income for the Diocese.
The Anglican reps attending the Conference are
Bishop Nathan Kyamanywa (Uganda)Bishop Julius Wanyoike (Kenya – Diocese of Thika),Rev Dr Rachel Mash (Southern Africa), Dr Koshy Punnackad (South India) , Rev Dennis Nthenge (Kenya: Green Anglicans), Irene Sebastian(Kenya Green Anglicans), Rev Fletcher Harper (USA), Helen Wangusa (Kenya), rev Massy Walas (Zimbabwe), Stanley Baya (Kenya Arocha) and we are joined by Joanne Green from Tearfund.
On Sunday night some of the reps were able to attend evensong at All Saints Cathedral where we were prayed for.
The night before a dinner was held with Tearfund to connect the team with Tearfund Kenya and to connect with Charles Bakolo – Green Anglicans Malawi