The Three-day celebrations of World Environment Day (WED) 2016 of the Church of South India (CSI) from 3rd to 5th June 2016 at CSI Synod Centre, Chennai, which was organised jointly by the Departments of Ecology, Youth and SEVA of CSI Synod, took innovative and unique decisions to implement the following projects in their Dioceses. 120 members participated and agreed to monitor or implement the decisions taken during the three-day WED Celebrations.
1. CSI Synod in collaboration with Centre for Science and Environment will help the Schools in 23 Dioceses scattered over five states in South India to become 'Green Schools'. The aim for 2016-2017 is 1000 schools. The Green School programme moves beyond theories and concentrates solely on action. It is an environmental education programme directed to sensitise students to the environment through thought-provoking activities. It will improve the educational standard of the School. Study and teaching will become more interesting. The academic results of the Schools will also improve. In a way, it will improve the quality and standard of the School in a holistic manner.
2. As Water scarcity is a serious problem in all the states, we request the state governments to take up rainwater harvesting seriously with immediate effect. People in many places of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh (AP), Karnataka and Tamilnadu are starving for water. Due to the scarcity of water, many farmers lost their crops and many were compelled to commit suicide. Diversion of Pennarriver in AP resulted in water scarcity in other areas. Water is God’s gift to all creations. Hence, it is nobody’s monopoly. Water from Mullaperiyar Dam in Kerala is God’s gift to the people of Kerala and Tamilnadu. Any effort to tackle the issue amicably will be highly appreciated. The Church of South India strongly supports the proposal of Kerala Chief Minister to settle the issue amicably. The CSI synod requests all the dioceses to start as many rainwater harvesting units as possible in their area.
3. The CSI objects any move to obstruct the flow of water, river water diversion, inundation of forest lands and the displacement of Adivasis in the name of development by constructing dams. Rivers are the dynamic face of the landscape, God's gift to the world, nourishing life in abundance, like the veins of the human body. Hence, the Church of South India strongly condemns any move from any sector to construct a dam in Athirappally in Kerala. A river is an organism and its rights can never be ignored.
4. The CSI requests all the Dioceses to implement Waste Mangement programmes in their Dioceses.
5. The CSI requests all the Dioceses to promote renewable energy in the institutions of the Diocese
6. The CSI requests each diocese to plant as many as saplings possible before December. Each Diocese should plant at least 10,000 saplings.
The Director of Ecological Concerns assured the gathering that the Department of Ecological concerns will monitor the implementation of the projects and will extend maximum help for the implementation.
The Most Rev. Dr. G. Dyvasirvadam, Moderator of CSI, inaugurated the three days workshop on 3rd June at CSI Synod Centre. The Rt. Rev. Thomas K. Oommen, Deputy Moderator of CSI, and Rev. Dr. D. R. Sadananda, General Secretary of CSI, graced the function with their esteemed presence. Mr. C. R. Neelakantan delivered the keynote address. Ms. Ranjitha Menon and Mr. Malcome presented the Green School Projects. On the second day, Rev. Asir Ebenezer and Rev. J. Solomon Paul gave leadership for the workshop. Rev.Sunil Raj Philip, director of Communication Department, offered felicitations. On the third day, Environmental Day worship with Holy Communion service was conducted. Bishop Thomas K. Oommen was the preacher and Celebrant. Bishop Thomas K. Oommen presided over the Public meeting held after the Worship Service. Mr. Chnadrabhushan, Deputy Director of Centre for Science and Environment, delivered the WED message. Rev. Dr. D. R. Sadananda, Rev. Asir Ebeneser, Rev. J. Solomon Paul and Dr. Mathew Koshy addressed the gathering.
Prof. Dr.Mathew Koshy Punnackadu,
Hon.Director, Department of Ecological Concerns