Today, I had some very interesting conversations about climate change with religious leaders of the Anglican Church of Melanesia.
In the morning, I interviewed several bishops about the impacts of climate change and extreme events within their diocese. All bishops mentioned that significant shoreline erosion and food security issues have affected communities in their dioceses in recent decades. In many locations, people are already moving to higher ground or even to other islands. People in affected communities are aware of climate change as a threat, but do not actually understand what climate change is. Education and adequate adaptation strategies are missing. The government, NGOs and churches are starting to address some of the issues, but efforts are still very localized and according to the bishops cooperation should be improved.
In the afternoon, Dr Adam Bobbette and I had the chance to explain the idea of an environment observatory within the Anglican Church of Melanesia to the council of bishops. The bishops were very supportive of the project and, moving forward, there will be a new staff member responsible for the management of the project. I am very happy about the direction that the project is taking!