World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

You are here: Home / What we do / Poverty, wealth and ecology

Poverty, wealth and ecology

This project brings churches and partners together to reflect on the connections between poverty, wealth and ecology; act against economic injustice; address just trade, ecological debt, decent work; and pursue work on "Alternative globalization addressing people and earth (AGAPE).
Poverty, wealth and ecology

Little boy in Guiyu, China. Electronic waste is routinely exported by developed countries to developing ones, where recycling is often done by hand in scrap yards, without adequate protection for workers and the environment.

Impact of economic globalization

Through economic globalization, the structures of trade and finance are increasingly widening the gap between the rich and the poor, posing threats to global peace and to the earth.

At the 2006 WCC assembly in Porto Alegre, it was evident that there are divergent ways of analyzing and acting on this reality; there is hope that the WCC may be able to develop a new paradigm that draws different positions on this question together.

This project encourages churches to explore and advocate for alternatives to economic globalization. It is an attempt to bring churches and ecumenical partners from North, South, East and West together to reflect and act together on finding new and creative ways to use global wealth to eradicate poverty. It encourages them to create new synergies between different standpoints on poverty, wealth, and ecology.

In the context of the AGAPE (Alternative to Economic Globalization Addressing Peoples and Earth) process that began before 2006, the project will follow up work with ecumenical partners, focussing on issues such as just trade, debt cancellation, financial markets, tax evasion, public goods and services, livelihoods and decent jobs, life-giving agriculture, power and empire, and ecological debt.

While many studies have provided information on people in poverty, little is known about the rich. The churches will be challenged to develop a "consumption and greed line" alongside the "poverty line" as a guideline for Christians.

A case study and workshop methodology will bring together experiences of churches regionally and globally. Churches will be encouraged to bring  their stories and actions on how they deal with poverty and wealth to regional workshops. Seminars will be organized at the World Social Forum. Encounters raising issues of poverty, wealth and ecology will continue with the WB and the IMF.

Persons responsible for economic justice in the churches or those addressing issues of poverty and wealth will be identified so as to form a creative and active network, and a reference group will include representatives of those working on ecological debt, women, youth, Indigenous Peoples and people with disabilities.

Video: The cup of justice

Related News

Sekolah GEM diakhiri dengan harapan untuk masa depan yang lebih baik

Sekolah GEM diakhiri dengan harapan untuk masa depan yang lebih baik

“Sebagai seorang professor ekonomi dan etika ekonomi dengan latar belakang teologi, dan sebagai dekan dari sekolah GEM, saya dapat mengatakan bahwa ekonomi pluralistik -- yang saat ini berkembang sebagai inisiatif mahasiswa secara internasional -- merupakan sebuah usaha untuk menantang ekonomi monolithik neo-liberal. Sudah saatnya ada cara berpikir yang baru mengenai ekonomi," demikian pernyataan Prof. Martin Büscher, kepala bidang etika bisnis dan ekonomi di Institut Diakonia dan Manajemen, Universitas Protestan Wuppertal/Bethel, Jerman, pada penutupan sekolah Pemerintahan, Ekonomi dan Manajemen (Governance, Economics and Management/GEM) yang diadakan di Hong Kong pada 22 Agustus - 2 September yang lalu.

GEM課程圓滿結束 期盼明天更好

GEM課程圓滿結束 期盼明天更好

由普世教會協會(WCC)及普世改革宗教會聯盟(WCRC)籌辦的「治理、經濟與管理(Governance, Economics and Management, GEM)課程」於2016年8月22日至9月2日在香港舉辦。德國烏伯塔/伯特利改革宗大學(Protestant University of Wuppertal/Bethel)服事與管理學院(Institute for Diakonia and Management)經濟與商業倫理學首席教授馬丁・布舍爾(Martin Büscher)在課程尾聲提到,「身為有神學背景的經濟學及經濟倫理學教授,又是GEM課程的負責人,我認為以國際學生倡議引人注目的多元經濟學對新自由化單一經濟學提出挑戰,以全新思維來面對經濟學的時刻已經到了。」

GEM school ends with hope for a better tomorrow

GEM school ends with hope for a better tomorrow

“As a professor of economics and economic ethics with a theological background, and as dean of the GEM school, I can say that pluralistic economics – getting new prominence as an international student initiative – is an attempt to challenge neo-liberal monolithic economics. It is time for new thinking about economics”, stated Prof. Martin Büscher, first chair for economics and business ethics at the Institute for Diakonia and Management at the Protestant University of Wuppertal/Bethel, Germany, at the conclusion of the Governance, Economics and Management School held in Hong Kong on 22 August-2 September.

Related Documents

Peace in the Market Place

Paper presented at the AGAPE Reference Group meeting, 26 June 2008

World Trade Game

The World Trade Game was initially developed in the 1990s by Action Aid, the global anti-poverty development organization. Its strength is its simplicity. Six groups of players represent two rich, two middle-income and two poor countries and each group has different resources and technological potential. National resources are represented as paper whilst technology becomes scissors, pens, rulers, etc. They manufacture shapes from paper, trade the shapes for money through a commodity trader and may also trade amongst themselves in raw materials (paper), technology (scissors, ruler, etc), skills and labour.