- The ACK Decade Strategy encourages People to leave the world better than they found it. How does it serve in speaking the message of Conservation?
When we Imagine the involvement of the church in making the world a better place, there is no better place to refer to than the Bible. In the very beginning when God created the earth, the imagination we have is of a beautiful garden which is a full life support ecosystem. There in the garden were rivers, plants, and trees of different kinds. Humanity and human activity have however continued to deplete the environment. Science has told us that the depletion of the environment has a lot of connection with the existence of nature, man, and every living thing. Due to the interdependence between man and Nature -which God designed, we decided as the Church to be involved in ensuring that we have a better world. We, therefore, appreciate the fact that we need to begin in our own space and that is what we tell everyone. Life on planet earth is based on how we look at the environment which is given to us.
- The ACK Decade strategy has set aside 2026 to celebrate Wholesome Ecology. How does the Church intend to use policy to facilitate this?
We won’t wait until 2026 to start planting trees, we must begin now so that we celebrate full-grown trees in the future. 2026 is the year we will celebrate an improved ecology. We are now focusing more on initiatives that will help us achieve this. We are however not limiting our interventions to activities such as planting trees, cleaning rivers, and conserving forests, but we also want to influence policy formulation at Government Level. We are already engaging the Ministry of Forests and Environment to identify areas of partnership. We have seen the Government rollout robust efforts seeking to reclaim riparian lands, water catchment areas and this has given rise to policies that allow individuals to adopt a forest. As the Anglican Church, we are also aligning ourselves to be able to take part in these initiatives and showcase what the Church is doing in preservation. We also want to engage constructively in Conservation Policy Development not only in Kenya but also at the Global level. Being members of the Global Anglican fraternity like the Anglican Communion, whose agenda includes climate justice, we will lobby at the National, regional and global levels to secure Global commitments to conservation.
We also have our experts and specialized departments within the Church like the Anglican Development Services, the Bishops, and other Green Champions. These will advocate for the formulation and implementation of sound policies that are responsive to the realities of climate change.
- One of the strategies of the GA is to challenge Christians to be, as a Commitment, stewards of creation. How do you think this plays in- in conservation?
Every aspect of the Christian mission requires us to obey God’s word. The Church seeks to ensure that Christians obey the Commandments of God. God commanded man to tend to the garden of Eden and to Honour him by preserving the environment. The Psalmist attributes God as the mover and author of what we see and do not see in the environment. And man has been enlisted to support in the care of the Environment. As the Anglican Church, we are working to ensure that we keep God’s command. We also want to remind people that trees are part of living things- and respond to situations and if we are pro-life, we must preserve all aspects of creations
- What role do the Youth play in conservation?
The future belongs to the youth, and anything that points towards the future requires their engagement. This is because most of them will be around much longer. They are endowed with energy, new knowledge, technology, and research. They come in handy in research on food production among other things. This helps in determining the value of any trees we plant or any conservation efforts we engage in. They can also engage in innovating new sources of green energy, thus reducing dependence on trees for energy solutions. There is a demand for green spaces that people can visit for recreation purposes. These are business opportunities that our youths – and any other person can tap into.
- Human Development is largely responsible for environmental degradation, yet we can still sustainably use the environment to develop. What is your view on this?
Depending on trees for fuel and as a source of energy in industrial production leads to the massive demand for timber products. We also have the use of fossil fuels which in turn leads to increased carbon emission. We then have the use of polythene material for packaging. All these pose a threat to the Environment.
To reverse this, we need to embrace recycling and reusing – and embrace other safer energy sources. We see human encroachment in forest areas and other high potential agricultural zones; all this for other development needs.
We must note that clearing forests should not be an easy option for food production. We have irrigation that we can use to ensure the availability of food. We can use wind power for any agricultural mechanization. We must move towards other safer production processes that do not have a significant impact on the sustainability of the environment.
- How has the Anglican Church embraced her structures to make these initiatives effective?
The Anglican Church has good and effective structures that aid in Decision making. This is in the way of Synods both at the Provincial and Diocesan Levels. This ensures that policies that are developed and adopted are implemented effectively. The Green Anglican Movement was also adopted through a Synod resolution back in 2017- bringing on Board all the Bishops as our Green Movement Ambassadors and Champions. The intention was to ensure that all the Bishops cascaded the Conversation downwards through their Diocesan Synods and have it implemented in the Local Churches. This is because the local Church is where the ministry is delivered- and the action is. We already have Dioceses that have anchored conservation in their core mission agenda. And we view this not as a Developmental Agenda but as a mission mandate. We are also working with Theological institutions to Develop the Theology of Conservation as spiritual a core mandate. Conservation points us to our creator- who established our interdependence with nature. Nature sustains our existence by providing for what we need. And we have a moral responsibility to take care of the Environment. Anything that destroys what was created by God, challenges our Morality. This brings out the importance of having a relationship with nature.
- What is the place of Partnerships in ACK’s interventions?
None of us can achieve much alone. We need networks and connections. This is for information sharing, developing new knowledge, and research on how to best tackle Climate Change. As the Archbishop, I must ensure that the Anglican church has connections, linkages, and stakeholders and partners to work with. This helps us in harnessing resources by pulling together available research and learn from best practices because we can always become better by seeing what others have done.
- What is your call to duty holders Regarding Conservation?
As the Archbishop, I have a call to duty and a call to care. Care for human beings and also the environment. The role of leadership is to know that you are not doing this because you are obliged to, but because you have a duty to do so, as a calling. You have been called to make the environment is better. You do so, first, because the environment supports your very existence- the air that you breathe, the food you take. It is also about building a sustainable future for your existence tomorrow and that of your children, their children, and other generations to come. We need to use what we have in a way that does not compromise opportunities for other generations. The duty we have is to take care of the environment, and not to deplete resources for our own benefit and greed- at the expense of the generations to come.