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WCC helps form inaugural international working group on water, climate action

WCC helps form inaugural international working group on water, climate action

Members of PaRD's new working group on environment, water and climate Action. Photo Dinesh Suna/WCC

09 May 2019

The World Council of Churches (WCC) has helped lead the formation of the first-ever working group on water and climate action in the International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD).

The partnership’s work includes facilitating three streams that were identified when it was formed: gender, health and sustaining peace. The partnership’s 2019 general assembly, held in Copenhagen on 1-3 May, took stock of the various activities undertaken in the past year.

Participants noted that none of the three work streams directly focuses on environmental issues.  The WCC's Ecumenical Water Network, along with the Stockholm International Water Institute, put forward a proposal for a new working group on “environment, water and climate action”.  This was accepted by the assembly. The new working group already has about 30 member organisations’ support and participation.

About the assembly

The International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development Assembly was hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark with the help of DanChurchAid/ACT Alliance and DanMission.

The official opening featured a keynote address by Rev. Dr Kenneth Mtata, general secretary, Zimbabwe Council of Churches, on the important issue of “shrinking space for civil society and the role of religious actors”.  Mtata challenged the participants to "re-open" the closed/shrinking civic spaces by being faithful to the constituency, seeking collaboration, developing competency and credibility, being consistent and impartial, and finally by continuity.

Another feature of the assembly agenda was a session presenting research findings from the Danish Network on Religion and Development, on the topic of "Exploring and working with Faith Based Organisations”.

About the partnership

The partnership brings together governmental and intergovernmental entities with diverse civil society and faith-based organisations to engage the social capital and capacities vested in faith communities for sustainable development in the spirit of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Formed in 2016, the partnership’s previous general assembly was hosted by the WCC at the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey, Switzerland in 2018. From a modest beginning of about 20 plus members, today the partnership has over 100 members.

Learn more about WCC's area of work on Public Witness and Diakonia