While this blog is intended to give a broad perspective on civil society preparations for COP17, I happen to work for an organisation mobilising faith communities to rise to the occasion (the occasion being of course both the COP and the need to end humanity’s war on nature).
South African and regional faith communities of all creeds have worked to establish a steering committee for relevant events during the COP, and have an ambitious programme to raise awareness amongst the faithful of the urgency and importance of climate change issues.
The following events are planned:
• Sunday 4th December: A worship service in Durban to pray for the success of the talks.
• Sunday 27th November: Mass rally of the faithful. The day before the 2011 COP commences, a major gathering of faiths, led by prominent religious leaders, will happen in Durban. The purpose is to issue a clear call to the political leaders of the world that for the sake of our people and our planet, COP 17 must arrive at an agreement based on moral principles that will help protect and preserve the world for future generations.
In addition, the Diakonia Centre (pictured) in downtown Durban, which is about 10 mins from the COP venue, has been been reserved by the faith communities throughout the COP, and is available for bookings for faith-relevant or related events. More info at www.cop17faithcommunities.org.za.
In preparation for the COP, a conference of South African faith leaders on climate change will be held in Durban on 20/21 September, as a follow-up to similar meetings earlier this year in Lusaka and Nairobi.
We are also working with Norwegian Church Aid and other allies on climate caravans of youth and other activists, who will be travelling across Africa to get to the COP – sadly, not by bicycle.