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Earlier this month, ABM Executive Director, Rev’d John Deane, attended and chaired a meeting of the Anglican Alliance Oceania Regional Advisory Committee (ORAC).
The meeting involved key development staff from the four Anglican Provinces in the Pacific, including;
|Port Vila sunset. © Jess Melas/ABM|
Dennis Kabekabe, Provinical Secretary of the Anglican Church of PNG
ORAC was born out of a strong desire to collaborate and coordinate action in areas of common interest, with members recognising the power of sharing ideas and resources in meeting common goals.
The latest meeting was held in Port Vila, and signalled a clear consolidation of the groups’ objectives. Two key issues that were raised included the need for action on Climate Change, which is now affecting more people than ever in the Pacific, and the alarming problem of human trafficking and slavery in the region. This comes after the Anglican Alliance developed a highly successful strategic framework for a holistic approach to ending modern slavery, and released helpful training and resources to support churches in combating the problem*.
Rev’d Deane described the meeting atmosphere as “serious and productive”, with the “nuts and bolts of better coordination” being worked out through the duration.
A new joint initiative of ABM, Episcopal Relief and Development, and the Anglican Alliance was also discussed, which involves an interactive map of Climate Change impacts. This map provides statistical
|The beautiful islands of the Pacific. © Jess Melas/ABM|
data on environmental changes for each country around the world, and allows Anglican partners to input anecdotal stories of how Climate Change is directly affecting their communities at the local level. Members were extremely positive about this new resource, which will provide a clear snapshot of Climate change impacts throughout the Pacific, assisting in their coordination of actions.
The map can be viewed here.
Several other aspects of the ORAC meeting included discussions on Gender-based violence, Responding to disasters, and reflections of the 5 Marks of mission. These talks were followed by a visit to the new Vanuatu Council of Churches centre, a cyclone-proof building that is set to become a model for churches throughout the islands, which often double as evacuation centres in times of natural disaster.
ABM is excited to be part of these new areas of collaboration, as the building of these relationships and resources is undoubtedly leading to greater gains for communities struggling with serious issues. More updates on the development of these partnerships will be provided as they occur, but in the meantime check out other articles and resources through our ABM Climate Change pages.
* To access the resources produced by the Freedom Sunday coalition, please click here.