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Tuākoi ‘lei Declaration – Pacific church leaders call for urgent climate action

20 years ago in March 2004, church leaders from across the Pacific gathered in Tarawa, Kiribati, to lead a vital consultation on climate change. Out of the consultation, they released the powerful Otin Taai* Declaration, committing their churches to urgent action and calling on Christians throughout the world to act in solidarity.  

To mark 20 years since the consultation, the Pacific Conference of Churches hosted the Otin Taai +20 Conference, a gathering of members and partners to take stock of the impacts of climate change, the lack of an appropriate collective global response to the climate emergency, and to discern how best to work together on the issue into the future.  

UnitingWorld Head of Programs Peter Keegan attended the event on behalf of the Uniting Church in Australia along with Rev. Alimoni Taumoepeau from the Synod of the Uniting Church in NSW and ACT. Peter shared, ”

“As we knelt to pray on muddy sands beside seawaters that just a generation ago had been fertile and productive land, the reality was starkly evident before us. What was a prophetic warning in the Otin Taai Declaration twenty years ago is today a reality. And it is a reality that is impacting all of the peoples and creatures of the earth.” 

Otin Taai +20 was another powerful time of sharing about the impacts of climate change on people, communities and biodiversity across the region.  From the 2024 gathering, PCC members and partners released the Tuākoi ‘lei** Declaration. 

“God has called creation out of the chaos of ocean covered earth, yet the actions of fossil fueled greed, selfishness and apathy, manifested as extractive industries and economic globalization are driving us back to chaos as we experience the ocean rising to reclaim the earth, our common home. 

We call the world to embody neighbourly love, compassion and hope, which are needed more than ever to turn the tide for climate and ecological justice.” 

Read the 2004 Otin Taai Declaration here.

Read the 2024 Tuākoi ‘lei Declaration here.

*Otin Taai is the iKiribati phrase for “sunrise”.  
**Translated from the Tuvaluan phrase for “good neighbour” or “loving neighbour”.