Anglican Church playing big role in protecting environment

THE Anglican Church in Barbados is playing a major role in the preservation and protection of the environment, and a distinguished son of the soil is encouraging government to get in on the action.

Having adopted an environmental action plan which was launched last November, over the next two years the Anglican Church will be rolling out a number of projects to assist in achieving the objectives of the plan.

The Church will be spearheading a cooking oil recycling and biodiesel production project involving a partnership with a local company, with potential grant funding from the Global Environmental Small Grants Programme from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The second action item will be the establishment of recycling stations at several churches across Barbados, an effort which will see the Church partnering with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to promote the concept of sorting at source.

The Church will also be promoting the award winning film “A Plastic Ocean”, which focuses on the dangers presented to the planet’s seas from the indiscriminate use and inappropriate disposal of plastic.

There will also be the commercial investment in at least 1.5 megawatts of photovoltaic systems throughout the Diocese. The Church also plans to host a series of community based environmental sensitisation workshops discussing environmental issues.

Senator Dr The Honourable Sir Trevor Carmichael, who spoke about the objectives of the plan at The Inaugural Dean’s Lecture, hosted by the St Michael Centre for Faith and Action, said the new Anglican Environmental Policy is capable of adoption and introduction, across all religious organisations, at the appropriate time.

He pointed out that the respective religious denominations collectively possess enough critical mass, to add effectiveness to the programme.

“One significant advantage of this environmental policy is that it has ability to provide significant outcomes without the need for reliance on government. This is very important. It is a citizenship led activity, it represents individual self-character, and empowerment.

“But, I suggest it can still benefit, even from certain government action. Government’s banning of Styrofoam, government’s plastic importation reduction, government adopting a policy for sorting waste at source, government’s promotion of energy efficiency and conservation . . .” he said.

He said even if government does not get involved the plan shall not fail.

The lecture, titled “People and Places of Worship: Agents of Barbadian Development”, was held at Frank Collymore Hall, on Thursday evening.

Sir Trevor also made the critical point that Barbados remains vulnerable as it continues to import fossil fuel for domestic and commercial use, a total dependence which places the country’s economic and social development in jeopardy.

According to Sir Trevor, a strategy to unclog the economy, unlock its vulnerability, and place it in a position for growth and sustainability is one which is best pursued holistically, with maximum citizenship involved.

“The spirit of this new environmental action plan and policy is therefore to encourage the Diocese of Barbados at all levels to identify its own local, manageable and achievable targets.

“It highlights stewardship of creation, key environmental task of the church a Diocesan environmental policy framework, and the development and implementation plan of environmental action policy,” he said.

In attendance to listen to Sir Trevor’s thought provoking lecture, was Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson. President of the Senate Kerryann Ifill, Minister of Foreign Affairs Senator Maxine McClean, and Senator Alwin Adams, among other officials, were also present to share the experience. (AH)

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