Press release

Wycliffe Bible Translators will be represented at COP27 (United Nations Climate Change Conference) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, from 6–18 November through its primary partner SIL International. During the conference, Andy Clark, who serves with Wycliffe and SIL, will attend with two others who serve with SIL, including Anthony Kamau from Kenya.

This year, for the first time, SIL has official UN observer status at COP. The three representatives will be there to learn, and to discover how agencies might best serve indigenous communities suffering from the impacts of climate change.

Andy, who was at COP26 last year, says: ‘Wycliffe and SIL work with many communities who are marginalised by language issues. Many of these communities will also be among those most severely impacted by climate change. How can they flourish and benefit from all the things that Wycliffe and SIL do if they are facing catastrophic events whose impact is made even more severe by climate change? Things such as drought, flooding and forced migration? So Wycliffe and SIL need to stand alongside them – together with many other NGOs, faith-based or not – to campaign for the support they need to adapt to climate change and to recover from catastrophes using ‘loss and damage’ funding.’

Image of indigenous peoples marching at COP26 Indigenous peoples marching at COP26

Andy continues: ‘SIL has a platform because we are already working in many minority communities. We also have the expertise to relate to them in appropriate languages, be sensitive to their cultures and facilitate knowledge flow in both directions – helping with scientific knowledge and technology in one direction and learning from indigenous knowledge in the other. The Wycliffe/SIL Faith and Farming initiative is a great example of this in action.’

Anthony, who is attending COP for the first time, says: ‘We have been feeling the effects of climate change in Kenya for some years. We have about 3.5 million people on the brink of not having a meal every day. The climate has been changing – droughts are becoming longer and the rainy seasons shorter. There is not enough food – not only for people’s animals, but even for their households. The drought issue is getting worse.

‘So I’m really looking forward to how COP27 tackles the issue of agriculture for Africans, because while the climate is changing and getting worse, something we know we can respond with is having sustainable farming systems to ensure food security for most Africans.

Image of protesters marching at COP26 Protesters marching at COP26

‘For a very long time, climate change has been an issue that has been peripheral for most people. But we have started to see this change happening, because countries like the USA have begun to experience more and bigger wildfires, and in Europe there have been more extreme heat waves. So people are waking up to the fact that there needs to be a concerted effort from the Global North and the Global South, because all of us are being affected.

‘The future belongs to all of us. It’s not for Africa, it’s not for Europe. The future is for all of us, and if we are to enjoy this future together, we need to start working together right now, so we can participate in choosing what the future has for us.’

And what would constitute a good result for marginalised groups from COP27? Andy continues: ‘There are two areas where we need to see results at this COP. First, that the rich countries finally make good on their 2009 pledge of $100 billion annually for adaptation in the poorer countries. And second, that a mechanism is set up and funded, outside existing aid and development mechanisms, to help communities rebuild after catastrophic loss and damage from climate impacts.

‘For Wycliffe and SIL, it’s a place of opportunity. It’s also a place for SIL to witness to the way our faith motivates us for creation care, and thus giving honour to the Creator. It’s where we can network and get new partners to bring support to vulnerable communities, and strengthen relationships with other faith-based organisations involved in creation care. And it’s where we can report back to our organisations – and wider – about the climate crisis and provide a wake-up call so more people get involved and do their bit.

Want to read more on this topic?

Find out about Faith and Farming, one practical initiative that Wycliffe is involved in to combat climate change.

Download the press release text here.

Notes to Editors

1. For further information, call Jeremy Weightman at the Wycliffe Communications team on 0300 303 1111 or

2. Wycliffe Bible Translators seeks to create a world where everyone can know Jesus through the Bible. It does this through a range of activities, including Bible translation, literacy and Scripture use initiatives. Currently, Wycliffe has 360 people from the UK and Ireland serving 470 million people who speak 350 languages in 70 countries. Of the 7,300 or so languages spoken worldwide today, only 724 have the Bible. Around 1.5 billion people (1 in every 5 people) do not have the Bible in their language. As a result, translation of the Bible into people’s languages is one of the critical needs in world mission, to enable the growth of evangelism and discipleship ministries.

3. Wycliffe and its partner organisations are currently involved in about three-quarters of global Bible translation efforts.

4. Images. You can download the following images to accompany the press release, by clicking on the ‘Image’ link and then saving to your desktop. All images should be credited as follows: © 2022 Wycliffe Bible Translators.

1. Indigenous protesters prepare to march at COP26 in Glasgow in 2021.

2. Protesters march at COP26 in Glasgow in 2021.

3. Wycliffe’s Faith and farming in action.

Story by: Jeremy Weightman

Date: 04/11/2022

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