Pacific: Climate Change Response Program
Church-based Community Education for Climate Change in the Pacific
Many of our Pacific partners know first hand that their worlds are changing. Long established cultures are now finding themselves vulnerable to climatic changes and events that put their people at risk.
In many Pacific countries, the Church is central to community life. Our Partner Churches have a significant opportunity to support, educate and prepare local communities for climate change impacts. This program will support up to nine Pacific Church partners as they explore, in their own contexts, ways of enabling grassroots communities to adapt to and manage the increasing impacts of climate change.
Project 1: Tuvalu
Tuvalu consists of nine low lying islands with a total land area of twenty-six square kilometers.With the highest point in the country only five metres above sea level, Tuvalu is one of the most vulnerable nations in the world in facing rising sea levels and climatic changes. Our partner Church is Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu (EKT) which a majority of the population attend.
The islands are currently facing a devastating drought with both extreme water shortages and local food shortages as well. General Secretary EKT, Rev Tafue Molu Lusama said recently, “We have to ask ourselves what causes these kind of events, and we believe that this is only the tip of the iceberg that Tuvalu and other small vulnerable island countries will face in the near future due to the negative and destructive impacts of climate change.”
This project aims to enable people to reflect theologically on their experience and respond proactively. This will be achieved through three initiatives:
– The establishment of a “climate change desk” position.
– Reflection through a workshop course that has been developed called “Noah and Climate Change in Tuvalu.
– Engaging youth in a stewardship education program by involving them in ecological projects.