Caring for creation is an integral part of the Uniting Church’s long held commitment to social justice. Human existence is thoroughly dependent on the health of our surrounding environment. If the health of our natural systems declines, there are both immediate and delayed effects on the health and resilience of human communities. This is especially the case for poor agricultural communities who are already vulnerable and depend on the direct sustenance of their land and seas. Caring for the earth is also about caring for the poor.
UnitingWorld is a Uniting Church aid and development agency, which is working in communities in the Pacific which are directly affected by climate change. Sef Carroll (Manager, Church Partnerships, Pacific) and other UnitingWorld staff on the life and struggle of our partner churches in the Pacific:
March 24th, 2015
The day I speak to Reverend Maleta, rain is drumming on the tin roof of her office and the tiny island of Kiribati has been cut in half by king tides. Emergency radio announcements have warned people to stay at home – flooding has made it too dangerous to travel. Neither of us know it yet, but within days Kiribati, Tuvalu and especially Vanuatu will be devastated by Tropical Cyclone Pam, the ‘monster’ of the Pacific. Whole communities will be flattened, families left homeless and on Kiribati, storm surges will once again inundate homes and the local hospital.
Maleta, what kind of impact has changing climate had on your homeland?
“The main problem is the rising sea – it comes over the sea walls that we build (*as protection) and floods the roads, leaving potholes and making it dangerous for driving. Some children don’t go to school anymore because of the road. The water comes into people’s homes. The land is so low and flat that there’s nowhere to go when a high tide comes. When we have a king tide like this one the flooding is terrible.” Read more here: