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ARC Home > Projects > Asia projects :
Papua New Guinea | Environment Handbook for PNG Christians

Papua New Guinea: Theology in Pidgin English

Papua New Guinea occupies half of the world's second largest island, with a population of over 5 million of whom 96% are active Christians.

Hogave Centre for Theology and Ecology

The Hogave Centre for Theology and Ecology in the Highlands opened in 2003, with funds from TEAR Australia. The first major consultation of church leaders took place on the theme of conservation, supported by ARC/World Bank in collaboration with TEAR. Heads of major Protestant traditions – Lutheran, Anglican and Free Church – met for 4 days to explore the biblical basis of conservation. The meeting produced the Goroka Declaration signed by all the major Protestant leaders of Papua New Guinea and committing their churches to a programme of environmental work, study and education. This is the first time that such a commitment has been made in PNG and involves 4 major theological colleges, laity training and development/education work in the main church networks.

Working on the Theology of the Environment handbook
A new handbook on the theology of the environment

Arising from the meeting, a handbook on the theology of the environment, titled Christians Caring for the Environment, has been produced by these joint groups with funds from the World Bank/ARC and from WWF. This resource is specifically designed for the Churches of Papua New Guinea. The book has been very well received and there have been follow-up workshops for PNG church and education leaders, leading to plans to produce related lesson guides for Christian schools (suitable also for pastors) and negotiations at government level to collaboarate on a nationwide syllabus for schools. Link here for the introduction to the handbook Principles and Practices. Link here to download Christians Caring for the Environment, though please take note that this is a 2.65MB document.

Dissemination and training

In April 2004, a national consultation of twenty church leaders and environmental specialists was held, funded again by WB/ARC. Distribution has begun on sample training resource material, including material in Pidgin English,to Churches, Bible Schools, Colleges, and the Hogave Centre. The Papua New Guinea Churches participating in this project have started regional consultations in four regions to make local leaders aware of their role as owners of this programme and initiators of the project in their own network.

Pidgin English literary first

The final handbook is the first ever publication in Papua New Guinea to originate in Pidgin English, and is a major literary achievement.

Impacts of the programme

Link here to read a July 2007 story about pastors in Goroka organising cleanup campaigns throughout their town - as a direct follow-on from the EAPNG work.

Extending to other countries

The success of this methodology involving local people from a Christian perspective opens the possibility of extending this model to other countries in the region and possibly to Africa. This would be carried through ARC’s partnership with Tearfund Australia and the Council for World Mission based in the UK.


Link here to read the handbook Christians Caring for Creation. This is a 2.65MB document.

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