The Cherished Earth Papa-tū-ā-nuku – he taonga, he tapu climate justice initiative is funded by the Anglican Diocese of Auckland. This work began under the sustainability initiative of the Diocese in 2012.
The Diocese of Auckland gratefully acknowledges the support and grant from The Tindall Foundation towards the sustainability initiative from 2013 through to 2015.
The Diocese works in collaboration with The Auckland Council Eco Design Advisor service on the sustainability assessment of clergy homes. The New Zealand Green Building Council Homestar online assessment tool is being used by the Sustainability Field Worker to measure each home’s performance against recognised sustainability standards.
The Diocesan Climate Change Action Group worked with members of St Paul’s Symonds St to compose a fossil fuel divestment motion for the 2013 Auckland Diocese Synod. The motion was moved by the Rev’d Mathew Newton of St Paul’s and seconded by Dr. Adrienne Puckey on behalf of the DCCAG.
“Taking money out of the fossil fuel industry is a bold move. It sends a strong signal about the urgency of tackling climate change and about the church’s commitment to standing with the poor and vulnerable who will be hit first and hardest by climate change.” [The Rev’d Matthew Newton]
In May 2014 the province of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia became the first province in the worldwide Anglican Communion to pledge to divest from fossil fuels. This historic vote came as a culmination of work that began as part of the global ‘Go Fossil Free’ divestment campaign launched by the leading international grassroots climate NGO, 350.org. Recognition of the power of divestment was echoed in April 2013 by Archbishop Desmond Tutu when he issued a call for churches to cut their financial ties with the fossil fuel industry, saying:
The divestment movement played a key role in helping liberate South Africa. The corporations understood the logic of money even when they weren’t swayed by the dictates of morality. Climate change is a deeply moral issue too, of course. Here in Africa we see the dreadful suffering of people from worsening drought, from rising food prices, from floods, even though they’ve done nothing to cause the situation. Once again we can join together as a world and put pressure where it counts. ¹
And in September 2014 the Archbishop called for an end of the fossil fuel era. See “Sources” below for a link to the video of Archbishop Desmond Tutu speaking, in which he says:
We are on the cusp of a global transition to a new safe energy economy, a transition that unites people in common purpose, advances collective wellbeing and ensures the survival of our species. ²
Links related to the Province of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia becoming the first Province in the worldwide Anglican Communion to pledge to divest from fossil fuels.
“We believe that tackling climate change isn’t just about what is wrong but also about what is right. Our vision is for an alternative future that is not dependent on fossil fuels, a future based on solutions not problems. We believe that a fossil free future is a brighter future.”
On July 12, 2011, crew from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy retrieved a canister dropped by parachute from a C-130, which brought supplies for some mid-mission fixes. The ICESCAPE mission, or “Impacts of Climate on Ecosystems and Chemistry of the Arctic Pacific Environment,” is NASA’s two-year shipborne investigation to study how changing conditions in the Arctic affect the ocean’s chemistry and ecosystems. The bulk of the research took place in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas in summer 2010 and 2011. Credit: NASA/Kathryn Hansen
The DCCAG have met regularly since 2007 to promote climate justice. Over that time they have conducted many workshops within the Diocese inspiring others to connect their faith with caring for creation and taking action on climate change. You can read and download past presentations by going to the Education section.
“Thankyou to all our supporters – if you have attended a workshop, invited us to your church, sent us information, taken action on things we have shared, voted in favour of divesting, communicated your thanks or are on our email list then you are part of our team!”
In 2013 the DCCAG, along with clergy and other members of the Diocese successfully campaigned for the Anglican province of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia to divest from fossil fuels making them the first province in the Anglican Communion to vote to divest. The launching of the Cherished Earth website in 2014 is the latest development in this on-going mission which has at its heart the Anglican Communion marks of mission to, “strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth, to respond to human need by loving service and to work to transform unjust structures of society. [more…]
[Statement of purpose and other policy statements of the DCCAG]
In 2012 The DCCAG sought Diocesan Synod and Council for the appointment of a part-time Sustainability Field Worker, charged with implementing a sustainability programme among the churches of the Diocese.
Yvonne Thompson is the Sustainability Field Worker for the Anglican Diocese of Auckland. Along with her faith based convictions and background in architecture, she is an accredited practitioner with the New Zealand Green Building Council.
For more details see the Contacts section of this website.
You can find stories from parishes and ministry units in which the Sustainability Field Worker has worked by going to the Sustainability Newsbites section of the website.
Cherished Earth Papa-tū-ā-nuku – he taonga, he tapu
Our beautiful logo was designed by Sarah Newton and, along with the Cherished Earth title, is based on the idea that the earth is the Lord’s and that we are to care for it. Each element has relevance to the ideas of cherishing the earth and climate change, arranged around the concepts of balance and change.
The oval shape of the Pounamu / greenstone comes from the shape of the earth used on some world map projections. The oval is filled with Pounamu because the earth is a gift to be treasured and because Pounamu is a uniquely Aotearoa New Zealand precious stone. In Māori, “he taonga” speaks of something as being, precious.
The cross shape laid over the oval is there because the earth is the Lord’s, and because we are joining in God’s work of restoring and caring for his creation. The cross is ‘filled’ with gold leaf to reinforce the idea of treasure, gift and value. This also speaks of “he tapu”, sacred.
The Pohutukawa blossoms were chosen because Auckland residents look to the Pohutukawa blossoms to mark the change of season (in this case the coming of Summer), and talk about the timing of the blossoms as an indicator of what the season will be like. The rectangle of Pohutukawa has however shifted outside the bounds of the oval, which could be read as an indicator of change and things being or becoming unbalanced.
In April 2006, the Anglican Bishops of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia issued a joint statement acknowledging global climate change as “a real and present danger to the future of this planet and the survival of the species;” affirming the church’s support for exploration and cross party development of policy measures to address, contain and limit the extent and impact of climate change; committing to commending a policy of carbon neutrality; and calling on central and local governments, businesses and faith communities to work together in this important area.
In March 2009, The Most Reverend David Moxon, then Archbishop of Aotearoa, gave an address on the science and theology of global climate change to Anglican Primates in Alexandria. He urged ‘moral leadership’ by the Church in view of our commitment to social justice and to the Creation, of which we are a part. In his address he said that this was a biblical imperative.
“Climate change reflects the denial of social justice. Climate change is occurring because people in rich countries are consuming resources and generating waste (particularly CO2) at a rate that is overwhelming the processes that sustain the biosphere. We consume resources at a rate that would require 3-4 earths if everyone on earth consumed at the same rate. Jeremiah connected ecological collapse, injustice and neglect of the moral order, with neglect of the true worship (Jer 5:22-28). Unrestrained consumption is inherently unjust and is not an option for disciples of Christ.”
The Most Reverend David Moxon is currently the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Representative to the Holy See and Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome. In this 2013 video interview he reiterates the link between the environment and issues of global poverty and hunger.
“Achieving sustainable development means ensuring that all people have the resources needed – such as food, water, health care, and energy – to fulfil their human rights. And it means ensuring that humanity’s use of natural resources does not stress critical Earth-system processes – by causing climate change or biodiversity loss, for example – to the point that Earth is pushed out of the stable state, known as the Holocene, which has been so beneficial to humankind over the past 10,000 years.”
This quotation is from the Oxfam Discussion Paper (February 2012) “A Safe and Just Space for Humanity” that sets out a visual framework for sustainable development – shaped like a doughnut – by combining the concept of planetary boundaries with the complementary concept of social boundaries.
This interactive map presents in graphical form, a world overview showing which countries are producing the carbon emissions and which are the most vulnerable to climate change.
Closer to home, the recent pledge to divest from fossil fuel investments by the Anglican province of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, “drew impassioned support from Tikanga Pasefika speakers, most notably Bishop Api Qiliho, who said, “the survival of Pacific Island people was at stake”. (Anglican Taonga).
Oceans of Justice is an Anglican Alliance campaign to petition on behalf of pacific nations already suffering the effects of climate change.
Caritas, the Catholic Bishop’s agency for Justice, Peace and Development has prepared a Pacific environment report (released 4th October 2014) sharing more voices from the Pacific.