Seeds of Hope

1 Nov 2019

Caritas launched ‘Seeds of Hope’, its 2019 State of the Environment for Oceania Report, in Wellington on Friday 4 October – the Feast of St Francis, and coinciding with the conclusion of the Global Week of Action on migration. Caritas’ ‘share the journey’ campaign encourages a culture of encounter and sharing stories between migrants and refugees, and established communities (see p 7 WelCom).

Presenting the 2019 report, Director Julianne Hickey shared the story of migration of the Carteret Islands, whose residents have had to migrate due to climate change effects.

The report tells stories of environmental change around the Pacific – including Australia and New Zealand, providing a human face to climate change and documenting peoples’ struggles to safeguard and protect ‘our common home in Oceania’.

Each year since 2014, Caritas’ State of the Environment for Oceania report series has monitored critical issues affecting life and wellbeing in Oceania. Five main issues are: rising seas and coastal erosion; extreme weather; access to safe local food and water; offshore mining and drilling; and climate finance.

Caritas continues to call for urgent action to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, and for climate finance to assist our poorest communities as imperative for the survival of Oceania.

The report also recommends Australia and New Zealand honour their international climate change commitments and meet their fair share of the global finance goal of US$100b (from public and private sources) each year by 2020, committed to by developed nations since 2010, and in addition to existing aid commitments. The report also recommends local groups advocating for climate change, need to work with government departments, educational institutions, civil society, churches, communities and individuals to influence changes in policy and practice.

During 2019 local and national governments declared climate emergencies while strong young voices have taken to the streets to draw attention to our collective future. This year, Caritas has sought to listen to what young people, Indigenous people, scientists and those living close to the land and ocean are re-telling us about what they are experiencing and what needs to happen.

The report, videos and related stories are available online at: caritas.org.nz/state-environment.

Caritas invites people to share their stories on Facebook.

Published in WelCom November 2019

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