Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Environmental Coordinator Appointed

The following press release was issued on 2 November 2011.

The Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town today announced the appointment of the Revd Canon Rachel Mash as Environmental Coordinator for the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.

Canon Mash, who will continue to head the Diocese of Cape Town’s HIV and AIDS programme, Fikelela, will be working to develop the church’s response to climate change and eco-justice. She will strengthen existing partnerships with SAFCEI, the Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute, and broaden global ties particularly through ACEN, the Anglican Communion’s Environmental Network.

Archbishop Makgoba said he was delighted by the appointment. ‘Rachel will serve the Anglican family across Southern Africa, coordinating our Environment Network, and enhance our ability to participate in inter-religious responses to critical questions of climate change. She will also provide me with invaluable resources in the new role I have recently taken on as Chair of ACEN.’ Explaining that ‘one of our immediate challenges through ACEN is to lend whatever weight we can to the call for governments to ensure a fair, binding and ambitious outcome at the COP-17 meeting opening in Durban later this month,’ he noted that Canon Mash’s appointment was particularly timely.

Dr Makgoba said that he hoped the Anglican Church in Southern Africa would deepen its dialogue with governments, and added that he anticipated engaging further with the Minsters of International Relations and Cooperation, MaiteNkoana-Mbashabane, and of Water and Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, following the conclusion of COP-17. ‘Climate change is a reality and we deny it at the earth's peril, risking the destruction of our children's future home,’ he concluded.

Canon Mash – soon to be Dr Mash, following recent completion of a doctorate evaluating the ‘Agents of Change’ HIV Peer Education Programme – said she was looking forward to the challenges of this crucial portfolio. Pointing out that ‘all countries are affected by environmental degradation and climate change,’ she went on to say that ‘the most vulnerable populations will suffer the most, so it is important that as Anglicans we stand together, especially with those of all faiths, in Southern Africa and globally, in support of those most affected.’ In consequence, she stressed, ‘this means a commitment from all of us to tread more lightly on God's earth.’

Issued by the Office of the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town. Inquiries: Ms Wendy Tokata on 021-763-1320 (office hours); and Revd Canon Mash at rmash@mweb.co.za.

More details of the work of SAFCEI are available at http://safcei.org; and of ACEN at http://acen.anglicancommunion.org/index.cfm and on the Facebook page ‘Green Anglicans’.

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