Archbishop Winston Halapua has just returned from a visit to Pacific Island nation of Tuvalu according to the The Anglican Communion News Service. While there he witnessed the effects of climate change with rising sea levels inundating the nation, poisoning the drinking water and ruining crops.
Dr Halapua, who was born in Tonga, and who is a trained sociologist, says that because of the particular vulnerability of low-lying island states such as Kiribati, Tokelau, Tonga and Tuvalu – which, at its highest point, is less than 5m above sea level – he’s been following the debate about climate change for 10 years.
“For me, to go to Tuvalu – that’s all the information that I need.
“We need to pray,” says Archbishop Winston.
“We need to say very, very clearly to the church that we need to pray because this is something way beyond us.
“We need to pray that we will be empowered to speak clearly to our elected agents in government who make decisions about climate change.”
“Please do something about climate change.”
Archbishop Winston says there are four ways people in the wider Anglican communion can help Tuvalu.
“Pray. Pray in your personal devotions, in your churches, and your home groups. Pray first for rain for Tuvalu. Then pray that the issues of climate change and rising sea levels are tackled.
“Donate. Donate to the Anglican Missions Board. Earmark your donation ‘Tuvalu Appeal’ – and the AMB will forward any money it receives to our ecumenical partners, the Church of Tuvalu, so that people there may have enough water to drink and food to eat. “Any money given will bring relief not only to the people of the main island but also to pockets of people on other islands to the group.”
“Respond to appeals by other agencies to help the people of Tuvalu.
“Become more aware of the causes of climate change, and of its impact on marginalised people.”