You might be wondering why a church-based, development, humanitarian and relief organization such as PWRDF has taken up the cause of climate change. This is not a new concept. The first chapter of the Genesis speaks to our stewardship of God’s creation. In the Anglican Church there are five Marks of Mission, which are used as a framework to describe and encourage ministry throughout the worldwide Anglican Communion. The fifth of those Marks of Mission is, “To strive to safeguard the integrity of God’s creation, and respect, sustain and renew the life of the earth.” This Mark of Mission has recently been added to the Baptismal Covenant.
Climate change leads to extreme weather and worsens the impact of natural disasters such as drought, flooding, storms, and wildfires. Extreme heat dries out soil which is then easily blown away, essentially blowing away our ability to grow food; extreme heat also causes precious water to evaporate, diminishing the supply of clean drinking water; during hurricanes, high winds, and flooding destroy crops and trees and erodes soil…. You get the idea.
While climate change is a complex issue and requires a multifaceted approach to mitigate the damage it causes, not every solution is high tech. Tree planting, for example, in addition to preventing erosion, helps combat global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the air and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. Here are some of the Climate Action initiatives PWRDF and its partners are supporting:
In the upper Andes of Columbia, half of the world’s moorlands are drying up due to global warming and extractive mining activities. PWRDF is working with a local partner ILSA and the World Association for Christian Communication to train farmers in environmental protection techniques, to establish native plant nurseries to reforest the land and provide seeds and livestock for family farms.
In Bangladesh, PWRDF partnered with the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation and local partner UBINIG to work with 22,000 farmers in 10 villages to:
- Plant mangroves (a shrub which thrives in brackish water) along the shorelines to protect against erosion, flooding and high winds;
- Set up bamboo bindings to redirect water to prevent river erosion and flooding of valuable farm land;
- Collect and preserve seeds, and
- Set up farmer field schools to ensure this knowledge and know how is shared.
In 2019 Cyclone Idai destroyed homes, crops and seeds in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi. Canadian Anglicans responded to a special appeal and donated $127,355, which was matched 4:1 by the Government of Canada. Seeds for replanting were distributed to 4,910 families with the help of local partner TSURO Trust in Zimbabwe.
These are just a few examples of how you, through your donations to PWRDF, are taking care of God’s creation. Thank you!