English: Cyber dialogue summary for 8 December 2011, Gender and Climate Change

Date: December 9, 2011
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Cyber Dialogue Summary


Date: 8 December 2011

Themes: The role of faith based organisations in telling the climate change story

Facilitator: Shuvai Nyoni (Gender Justice Manager À“ Gender Links)










“Church was and will remain the pillar of educating our communities, they are respected in our communities, hence to build their capacity will have positive after effects.À- South Africa

“We need to empower churches and educate them about changes in environment. Workshops,debates,speaking forums need to be created for them.À À“ Namibia

“Some church leaders arent even interested in climate change. All they want in their churches is to just wait for their paycheck.À – Zambia

Question 1: Are you aware of churches, mosques, temples doing anything to address climate change?

· Some student pastors talking about climate change. They oberve that it is a broad subject area and needs to be broken down in many ways.

· The churche’s role is to raise awareness without discrimination but there is discrimination especially with sexual orientation.

· Namibia À“ there is not much being done.

· Some churches often holds discussions on a variety of topics including climate change À“ this yields results in terms of awareness rasing.

· There is not much awareness and knowledge of the issues relating to climate change within churches. Not enough is done to assist victims of climate change.

Question 2: Are the churches talking about climate change?

· Yes they do and they offer counselling and donations to the needy.

· A few people talk and pray about climate change; through various groups they assist victims.

· Issues to do with climate change are often described through a doom and gloom interpretation ofb biblical scriptures.

· Namibia – church leaders discuss climate change. They emphasise prayer for rain and protection from the climate change effects and prayers for the needy. There are often prayer meetings and seminars held that address specific subjects.

Question 3: What else should churches and other religious organisations be doing to address climate change in addition to praying?

· There is need to empower the churches and educate them about changes in the environment in the form of workshops and debates. More speaking forums should be created for the church.

· Churches could send volunteers to aid people in affected areas and provide emergenccy shelters within communities.

· Churches should also change mindsets by holding meetings and also by asking for donations from the corporate community to assist the victims.

· Congregations should be encouraged to adopt a hands on approach towards minimising the effects.

· The question though is will churches ever take climate change seriously?

Quetsion 4: Do you think the churches (leaders and members) have enough information about climate change?

· The question is do they know how to transfer the respective information to their congregations.

· The church leaders have no interest in climate change issues; they care more about money.

· There is need to educate the church leaders about climate change because its a topic a lot of people are ignorant on. There is need for awareness.

· There is need for case studies to outline the serious impact of climate change and the damage it may cause in the near future e.g Tokyo, New York, India.

· Increased knowledge of climate change issues will benefit the leaders and their people.

· Churches also need financial assistance in order to raise awareness on climate change.

· In Namibia there is not much information on climate change.

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