Wednesday, December 12, 2007

RESPONSIBLE LEADERSHIP TO REVERSE GLOBAL WARMING AND ENSURE

RESPONSIBLE LEADERSHIP TO REVERSE GLOBAL WARMING AND ENSURE EQUITABLE DEVELOPMENT
A call from the All Africa Conference of Churches to the UN Climate Change Conference
COP 13 and CMP 3, Bali, Indonesia, 13-19 December 2007.

The All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) is an ecumenical fellowship that represents more than 120 million Christians, with a membership of 169 national churches and regional Christian councils in 39 African countries. As a continental faith-based network, AACC speaks and stands for justice and the rights and survival of African communities, particularly the poor and the marginalised. The survival of African communities is threatened by the destructive consequences of climate change
attributed largely to industrial pollution of the atmosphere by the industrialized countries. The Fourth Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that climate change is happening now, and that it is man made with the consequences already being felt, particularly in the poorest and most vulnerable communities.
The current ecological crisis is primarily spiritual and ethical. As human beings we have failed to appreciate the intrinsic worth of ourselves, other humans, other species and future generations. We have failed to acknowledge the fact that the earth sustains life because of the harmonious balance of the elements and all the creatures within it. Our pursuit of happiness and high quality of life need not endanger other peoples, nations, communities, species and future generations that are also entitled to survival and happiness. Ecological sustenance can be assured only through the principle of being mindful of the welfare of others while we mind our own. Our survival is inextricably woven with that of others. In the long term, we cannot survive while others perish. Since the United Nations Conference on Environment (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992, there has been much debate and many international deliberations on the global environmental crisis.

The Kyoto Protocol, one of the outcomes of these deliberations, has been signed and ratified by most nations. The current environmental crisis cannot be overcome through voluntary action, but through a legally binding commitment of all nations, particularly those responsible for the emissions which precipitated this crisis. The Kyoto Protocol was designed to ensure that all annex I (industrialised) countries would commit themselves to legally binding emissions reductions to 1990 levels. Since then, none of these countries have met this target, but have instead continued to increase their emissions, with the disastrous consequences which are now being experienced, particularly in Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP).

The AACC therefore calls upon all the industrialized countries to implement all provisions of the Kyoto Protocol as an initial step, and that after its expiry in 2012, that this is followed by new and higher commitments based on historic responsibility and development equity. The AACC calls for global responsible leadership – both in the North and in the South, in the support for a real and actual
reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, while at the same time preserving the right of all people to reach a dignified level of sustainable development. Governments of the industrialized nations must keep the promise that they made in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The world is rapidly approaching the point of “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.”

The AACC calls on the industrialized countries to urgently do the following:
Make binding commitments to support adaptation measures in the countries of Africa,
Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) in accordance with the targets agreed in the Kyoto Protocol, and establish frameworks and mechanisms to deliver sufficient and accessible adaptation funds and support, particularly to the most vulnerable populations. The funds and support for adaptation measures must be integrated within development processes in ACP, but must be in addition to, and separate from, current commitments on official development assistance (ODA).
Promote the role of the civil society in order to adequately respond to the global efforts to reverse the adverse consequences of climate change.
Support the efforts of the ACP countries to secure reliable and affordable energy necessary for poverty eradication in accordance with the Millennium Development Goals.
Support the innovation, contextualisation and development of technologies for industrial development in ACP, and give priority to the promotion of endogenous inventions and innovations.
Avail more financial resources for investment in energy efficiency and support new renewable energy options in developing countries, without proscribing conventional options or inhibiting the process of industrialization in the short term.
Ensure that bio-fuel production shall not be implemented at the expense of staple food production in developing countries.
The AACC calls upon the leaders of African countries to urgently do the following:

Make legislative and financial commitments to support adaptation measures at community, national and regional levels, whilst tapping into indigenous knowledge and practices and building upon existing adaptation efforts.
Promote the role of civil society in order to adequately respond to local efforts to reverse the adverse consequences of climate change – particularly at community levels.
Develop appropriate legislative measures and support local efforts to secure reliable and affordable energy necessary for poverty eradication in accordance with the Millennium Development Goals.
Define appropriate policy frameworks to support the innovation, contextualisation and
development of technologies for industrial development in their respective countries, giving priority to the promotion of endogenous inventions and innovations.
Mainstream investment in energy efficiency and support new renewable energy options in their respective countries without proscribing conventional options or inhibiting the process of industrialization in the short term.
Ensure that bio-fuel production shall not be implemented at the expense of staple food production in developing countries.
The following are some of the Provisions which a new Protocol should include:
 Protocol to be effective after ratification by a simple majority of the Parties to the UNFCCC.
Protocol to be mandatory on all UNFCCC Parties, irrespective of whether or not they ratify the Protocol. This is seen as important since they continue to contribute to global warming, even without having signed or ratified the Protocol.
Annex I countries to allocate Adaptation Funds and Mitigation Funds for contribution to Greenhouse Gas Emissions and historical emissions respectively, calculated on the basis of their respective proportional contribution to Greenhouse Gas Emissions at 1990 levels. These funds to be administered through bilateral protocols separate from Official Development Assistance (ODA) allocations.
Emphasis on local technological initiatives in response to the adverse consequences of humanrelated climate change, as confirmed by the Fourth Report of the IPCC (2007).
 Civil society organizations should be accorded a significant role in the mobilization of community initiatives to reverse global warming.
Regional Office: Togo: B.P. 2268, Lome, Telephone (000228) 21-59-24 Fax: 215266  Email: cetatogo@netcom.tg
AACC is a fellowship of 169 member Churches and Christian Councils in 39 African countries
La CETA est une communauté de 169 églises et conseils chrétiens dans 39 pays d’Afrique
PRESIDENT: The Rt. Rev. Dr. Nyansako-Ni-Nku GENERAL SECRETARY: Rev. Dr. H Mvume Dandala, GCOB KStJ

Monday, December 3, 2007

16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence


A Sermon by Dr Sipho Senabe, member of the Riverlea URC, yesterday reminded us again of the link between the prevalance and spread of HIV/AIDS and on the other hand gender-based violence. The 16 Days of Activism against Gender violence seeks to address this matter and need to be supported by the churches. Dr Senabe encouraged the church to become safe spaces for women, oppressed and violated by husbands, partners and boyfriends. We need to stand up against this scourge in our communities, but also in our homes, in our bedrooms, in the sanctity of our churches.