Dunedin Quakers plant Tree of Hope for climate change conference

Dunedin Quakers prepare for planting their "tree of hope" in the Meeting House garden.
Dunedin Quakers prepare for planting their "tree of hope" in the Meeting House garden.
Dunedin's Quaker community gathered at lunchtime on Sunday to plant a young tōtara tree in their Meeting House garden in Park St.

The event marked the start of the 2021 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, a gathering of world leaders that many believe to be the last realistic chance of getting climate change under control.

Local broadcaster and Quaker Marvin Hubbard, who initiated the tree-planting idea, says: “Trees have long been seen as a symbol of hope in adversity, even going back to biblical times.

"In this current period of widespread uncertainty and fear due to climate change, we have decided to plant one of New Zealand's strongest and longest-lived trees, a tōtara. This symbolises our belief that there can be a secure future for us all to look forward to, provided that governments, businesses and individuals can shift their mindset away from competition and quick rewards, towards long-term mutual care and cooperation.

"So much rests on this upcoming climate conference – this is exactly the right time to be expressing our hope through this symbolic – and practical – tree-planting.”

Quakers, also called the Religious Society of Friends, are a long-established faith group well-known for their active involvement in social justice and peace-making.

 - Simonne Wood

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