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Papua New Guinea

Council of churches to offer strategies to Govt

The PNG Council of Churches is taking a further step into securing the environment for future generation by creating sound development strategies to offer as an alternative to the government.

Reweaving the Ecological Mat of Papua New Guinea is the theme of a one week conference hosted by the PNGCC at the Catholic Bishops Conference head office in Port Moresby this week. 

The churches have been holding a number of conferences around the country to develop sound and practical alternative strategies on environment conservation for Papua New Guinea and the Pacific.

General Secretary for PNGCC, Rev Roger Joseph, said the churches are engaging academics, politicians, civil society and church heads in coming together to discuss the framework for development.

“This is more a conference that is going to be discussing ways as to how we can be able to develop a developmental framework for Papua New Guinea. We know that we have made decisions that have brought a lot of destruction to our nation.

“We can see how massive destructions are happening, especially in terms of extractive industries, logging companies doing a lot of mining activity and you know at the end of the day, we are going to have an environment totally devastated.

“And so churches who now feel responsible as stewards of God’s creation are trying to come up with that framework. We are trying to see how we can be able to help our people in making more informed, more wise decisions about the way development is taking place today.”

Climate change and merciless destruction to the environment is not only a concern of Papua New Guinea but also the wider Pacific Region.  

Reverend James Baghwan, General Secretary for Pacific Churches Council, said the idea is to bring all aspects of development that can sit well with Pacific Islanders; to celebrate values that Pacific Islanders hold onto.

“In the midst of challenges we are facing in terms of development trying to find what truly sustainable development is and what type of development that make sense to us as Pacific people.

“People have a very strong connection to the land, to the sea, to spirituality, who celebrate our traditional knowledge and wisdom and spirituality and to try and develop a framework truly ecologically centred, spiritually centred, traditionally focused development,” said Reverend Baghwan.

PNGCC is working with Pacific Theological College Missions and Research unit in developing this framework.

(Today’s meeting at the Catholic Bishops Conference in Port Moresby)

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