Ecumenical Commemorations of the World Environment Day

From: Jun 05, 2022 | to: Jun 05, 2022

Moderator: Dr. Tinashe Gumbo - Programme Executive – Economic and Ecological Justice

Theme: “The Welfare of the Earth is our Welfare” Jeremiah 29:7

  1. Background

The environmental issues confronting the world today require immediate attention and effective action by all stakeholders. The rapidly changing environmental systems and depleting resources are causing substantial concern to government and business leaders around the world, yet, the Church should also be a major actor in finding sustainable solutions. As part of its ongoing work on environmental justice, the AACC utilizes all the available opportunities to raise awareness on key environmental issues as well as mobilize its membership for action. As part of its commemoration of this year’s (2022) World Environmental Day, the AACC has lined up a number of activities that will help raise awareness on the role of the Church in environmental protection. This comes within the context of the Church’s reorganization of its structures for effective participation at the Conference of Parties (COP) 27 which will be held in Egypt from 7-18 November 2022.

  1. The Problem

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) (2021) notes that the world is in a climate emergency, “a code red for humanity” according to the UN Secretary-General[1]. The UNEP further indicates that the concentration of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the atmosphere is wreaking havoc across the world and threatening lives, economies, health and food. The world is far from securing a global temperature rise to below 2°C as promised in the Paris Agreement. As an emerging major player in Climate Change issues, the Church is challenged to contribute in its own unique way to the efforts of addressing the impact of Climate Change.

  1. World Environment Day

Led by the UNEP and held annually on 5 June since 1974, World Environment Day is the largest global platform for environmental public outreach and is celebrated differently by stakeholders across the world. The AACC will utilize the World Environment Day commemorations to amplify the voice of the Church on Climate Change and other related matters. As part of its preparations for participation at the COP 27, the AACC will run a week-long campaign on all its platforms including social media and available physical spaces. While environment is broad, the AACC will focus mainly on Climate Change in its messaging during this period as direct contribution to its five-year strategic plan that partly aims at addressing the impact of this crisis.

  1. Strategic focus: The commemorations will contribute to the achievement of the AACC strategic goal of “Addressing the impact of Climate Change”
  • Specific Objectives
  • To create space for the Church to raise awareness on Climate Change matters
  • To mobilize the Church in Africa for active participation in Climate Change processes in the context of preparations for the COP 27
  • Expected Outcomes
  • Informed Church on Climate Change matters
  • Mobilized Church for effective contribution into COP 27 processes
  1. Planned Activities
  • Week-long daily Social media messages (from 1 to 7 June 2022) on Climate Change shared with members
  • At least four-two minutes videos prepared with key messages from at least four Church leaders (these can be the AACC General Secretary; a Head of Denomination; a Church Youth or Woman leader in Church) and shared on Social media
  • Ecumenical Climate Change message (statement) to be read in member churches on 5 June 2022 during Church Services (to be shared in advance through membership mailing list and via social media for the public)-To discuss with Director if we may not have liturgy
  • Two posters to be developed with key environmental messages and shared via Social media
  • NB: The messages will be supporting the AACC’s theme: “The Welfare of the Earth is our

Welfare” Jeremiah 29:7

  1. Target

The messages will mainly target the AACC membership in order to mobilize them for Church’s key role on Climate Change issues as the continent prepares for the COP 27 processes. Indirectly, though, the messages will raise awareness to the public on Climate Change issues.

[1] UNEP Climate Action Note | Data you need to know, Accessed 16 May 2022