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Church of South India urges eco-action plan for Easter

April 27, 2011:

CSI Eco Conference

In a pastoral letter issued on the eve of Easter, Bishop Thomas K Oommen, the new head of ecological concerns for the Church of South India, has urged all members to "join the forces of life and collaborate with God in redeeming his creation through meaningful initiatives."

The letter lists a 12 point action plan to be pursued "with all vigour by all those associated with the church". It is in line with the detailed Seven Year Plan launched by the Church of South India (CSI) at the ARC/UNDP Windsor Celebration in November 2009.

The 12 point agenda includes calls to:

  • address the scarcity of drinking water through rain water harvesting projects
  • preventing soil erosion through vetiver cultivation among other things. Apart from preventing soil erosion, vetiver will purify water and stabilise the river banks and slopy areas.
  • All the heads of educational institutions have also been asked to start eco-clubs.
  • The CSI will not use throwaway plastic cups and bags for its functions and requested churches to buy as much steel tumblers for regular use.
  • All the parishes are requested to initiate organic vegetable gardens in their campuses and educate farmers on the persistent pollutants causing various diseases including cancer.
  • In order to reduce carbon emissions,the Bishop has requested poor families to avail the subsidy of the government to install smokeless chulas. Affluent chuches were asked to use solar lamps.
  • All the members should adopt alternate model food habits to counter the use of stuffs containing chemicals and preservatives.
The bishop reminded the Presbyters that they should not be the presbyter of the Church members alone, but of the land, water,and all living creatures in their area. He said that Easter offers possibilities that would lead all into a new life.

Endosulfan should be banned

Tree planting with the CSI. PHOTO: ARC
The Church of South India has also called for a nationwide ban on Endosulfan. In a statement, Bishop Thomas and convener Mathew Koshy Punnacku called upon the Union Ministry for Environment and Forests to support the proposal for an international ban on Endosulfan at a conference of the parties to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants which began in Geneva on April 25.

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