Anglicans publish manifesto to fight for environmental justice
Believing that “creation is in crisis”, the Anglican Communion’s Environment Network (ACEN) has published a manifesto committing its members to taking concrete steps in support of Anglican efforts to achieve environmental justice.
At its meeting in Lima, Peru, Provincial representatives from 15 different countries reported accelerating impacts from human-induced climate change and environmental degradation in their regions. Many participants also reported extensive ignorance of the extent of the problem and, in some cases, unwillingness to take action.
In their subsequent publication Crisis and Commitment the group wrote: “Together we discerned an urgent calling to seek environmental justice and to encourage Anglicans everywhere to challenge and transform individuals and systems that spoil the earth, affect local communities adversely, and refuse to imagine a different kind of global community.
“Among those systems most in need of transformation is an economic system that knows no alternative to continual growth. Rather than having an economy that serves the well-being of communities, our communities (human and other-than-human) serve the well-being of the economy.”
To motivate Anglicans, both at the individual and at the structural level of the church, the group committed themselves to a list of actions that include launching a campaign around sustainable corporate behaviour and working with the Anglican Alliance to ensure Anglicans everywhere are fully aware of the relationship of environmental justice with poverty, food security, Indigenous rights, health and women’s empowerment, and are better equipped to respond.
Released this week,Crisis and Commitment: Final Report, Lima Statement and ActionPlan contains not only an action plan, but also informative and wide-ranging samples of what Anglicans are already doing to address environmental damage and the issue of climate justice. It also contains reflections on the Sabbath as a theological narrative with the capacity to change the behaviour and life style of people of faith, and on what kinds of eco-justice ministry ACEN should be doing and encouraging within the Anglican Communion. The report includes and commends the message from African Faith Leaders: ‘Climate Justice for Sustainable Peace in Africa – The Nairobi Statement’ (2011). The collection closes with a tribute to the late Professor Steve DeGruchy whose theological reflections on ecology continue to influence the church worldwide.
To download the final report visit https://bit.ly/H9iRMI (NB: file size is 10MB)
By Ken Gray, ACEN Secretary