Human greed for power and wealth will destroy Pacific ecologies
Church leaders must address the dangerous trends which threaten plant species and the environment, says Tongan theologian Reverend Doctor Tevita Havea.
And he has warned that human greed for wealth and power will destroy Pacific ecologies if church leaders do not take immediate steps to intervene.
Speaking at the Pacific Conference of Churches 10th General assembly in Honiara, the Solomon Islands, Rev Dr Havea said the impending dangers must not be ignored.
He said experts had warned that climate change would lead to the destruction of 25 per cent of plant and animal species over the next 50 years.
“Yet it is not climate change as such but the unchecked intrusion of human beings – often driven by the greed for wealth and power – into the delicate balance of natural environment,” Rev Dr Havea said.
“The disturbing, yet challenging lesson for us as churches is that we cannot afford to deny the gravity of the present ecological crisis.”
Rev Dr Havea said the church must teach its people to act responsibly and make the right choices with the environment.
He said churches must encourage the people to “take the responsibility to gift to the next generation a region and societies that are much better than the ones we have now”.
Rev Dr Havea – one of the candidates for moderator of the PCC executive committee – said the Word Health Organisation had reported that as many as 10,000 people would be affected each year by the effects of global warming.
These include the victims of severe weather in the Pacific and the associated mosquito and water-borne diseases.
“The issue of climate change and sea level rise is threatening the very existence of our people,” Rev Dr Havea said.
“It is interesting to note that a new phenomenon is emerging and that is what some call climate induced resettlement.”
Prior to the general assembly, Tuvalu and Kiribati indicated that they would raise the issue of global warming and the possibility of resettlement with delegates in Honiara.
Meanwhile the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has declared that the Pacific is three times more at risk from changing weather patterns than the developed world.
Rev Dr Havea said it was important for churches to speak up for their people on issues such as climate change which threatened to change lives forever.
“As churches we must speak the silent cry of those among us who suffer from hunger, disease, powerlessness and lack of freedom,” Rev Dr Havea said.
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