Communicating the impact that the climate crisis is having on those who are least responsible and most affected
EU-CORD Strategy 2022+
God is Good, and the source of all Goodness, in all things and at all times. This Goodness is made visible to us through all of Creation.Franciscan Theology
EU-CORD members are not primarily environmental NGOs. But working in the development, peacebuilding, human rights and other justice issues, we are acutely aware that it is the environmental sphere that encompasses the social and economic spheres. We, therefore, hold that a world where all ecosystems and creatures are able to flourish is also the best and only genuine foundation for social and economic justice.
We now start to articulate what this means for us in practical terms. With the upcoming climate negotiations, COP27 happening in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, in 2022 and with the critical negotiations already taking place, we lend our support to social movements and campaigns that share our values and sense of urgency.
Actions around the network
Renew our World Campaign. Tearfund Belgium, Ireland and Netherlands are active members of the campaign which is a global movement of Christians, mobilising churches and campaigning to make the world more fair and sustainable. We run campaigns in Australia, Brazil, Germany, India, Ireland, Malawi, Mozambique, Netherlands, Nigeria, Peru, Tanzania, UK and Zambia.
EU-CORD Members in Action
Mission Alliance Norway
Mission Alliance’s focus on climate justice in the projects they support targets poor and marginalised communities and vulnerable groups in society such as children, women, ethnic minorities and people with disabilities.
For example, the location of the Philippines makes it vulnerable to typhoons and other natural disasters, including frequent earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, sea-level rise, storm surges, landslides, flooding, and drought. Natural disasters such as these are a consequence of greenhouse emissions which have caused environmental changes. Therefore, Mission Alliance partners have focussed on protecting families during natural disasters, thus reducing the risks of harm and destruction.
Under a programme called Project Champ, Barangay officials (also known as district officials) were assisted in implementing Disaster Risk Reduction and Management programmes. These included re-establishing functionalities of Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction Management Councils (BDRRMC). Local partners working with the BDRRMC planted Mangrove trees to protect coastal communities against storm surges and rising sea levels aggravated by climate change. In addition, jackstones/tetrapods were placed along seashores in collaboration with different government agencies to prevent soil erosion, storm surges, and coastal flooding.
Finally, as an output of Mission Alliance partner’s training, three barangays in Camalig and Albay were able to conduct an inclusive community risk assessment, prepare a hazard spot map, develop inclusive early warning systems and family contingency plans. After that, the result was that the community was better prepared to minimise the risk of being adversely affected by disasters.
The Fida Country Programmes promote climate resilience and provide people with information and new methods for sustainable use of the environment. These activities included providing farmers with information about Conservation Agriculture, planting hundreds of thousands of trees, and working actively to prevent deforestation. Promoting sustainable use of the environment builds climate resilience.
The key environmental message of the three Rs to “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” has been promoted in several Country Programmes during 2020 through, for instance, a student volunteer-led environmental campaign in Lao PDR and awareness-raising initiatives in other Country Programmes on topics such as climate change, plastic waste reduction and ecological sanitation. In Tanzania, the Country Programme promoted the use of reusable sanitary pads and menstrual cups. In Kenya, the Country Programme advocated, together with other actors, for menstrual cups to be removed from the category of banned plastics and helped to develop guidelines on reusable sanitary towels which helped many girls and women with sustainable menstrual health management. Meanwhile, FIDA distributed dental kits to school children in bags made from biodegradable material rather than plastic in Afghanistan.
In Bhutan, the Country Programme incorporated natural dyes made from plants rather than chemical products in new product development in livelihood training. It provided training making packaging from paper waste and use old textile fabric to making home decor items and artificial flowers. The training also promoted the use of local materials over those imported from other countries. For example, fuel-efficient cookstoves, which drastically reduce the need for firewood, were installed in schools. Local people were supported to construct their stoves in Tanzania, Burundi, Kenya, and Uganda.
Tearfund’s campaign Time to Deliver calls on the UK Government to make best use of the remainder of its COP presidency, which runs until November 2022, by influencing wealthier nations to deliver on their promises of finance for those living on the frontline of the climate crisis.
The church and Christians all over the world can play a vital role in loving our global neighbours and speaking out for change. To support Tearfund’s campaign, you can sign the petition asking the UK Government to tell higher-income nations it’s time to deliver.
As we contemplate the scale of the crisis, it’s also important to keep our eyes fixed on the God of justice, who loves creation and brings restoration and peace – and help our friends and family to do the same. Thus, Tearfund also shares weekly prompts to inspire prayers for justice and restoration for those living in poverty.
Besides, Tearfund highlights a series of daily choices to tackle climate change. By making more sustainable everyday choices, we show we value what God has given us and send a signal to world leaders that we want them to act.
Lastly, while waiting for the $100 billion a year promised by wealthier nations, those living in climate-vulnerable countries are doing all they can to adapt to the impacts of the changing climate. This means diverting money away from essential healthcare and education services to pay for climate-adaptation measures. Tearfund’s worldwide network of partners and local churches are delivering practical solutions to the climate crisis – from new farming techniques and tree-planting to projects tackling the waste crisis. You can help these solutions reach those most impacted by climate change by making a donation.
We’re supporting these prayer actions hosted by Christian Climate Action Belgium.
Prayer Letter: in the run-up to COP26, a bi-monthly prayer letter in English, French and Dutch. Sign-up here.
Online prayer session in English, French and Dutch. 1st of the month at 8pm CEST/CET. Sign-up here.