The Ecojesuit team in Bonn, November 2017, learning from the COP23 global process.
Ecojesuit, an ecology network of Jesuits and partners from around the world, joined other organizations at COP23 to learn from the global process that is responding to the challenges of climate change and its impact on people and the planet, share experiences, communicate urgent concerns from the local to the global, and take greater collaborative action.
COP23 put small islands on the world map, some of which are disappearing and increasing people’s vulnerability, and gave vital importance to shifting to a low global emission economy. We affirm the urgency to implement and increase the contribution to the Green Climate Fund, given the necessary focus on small island developing states (SIDS). The human tragedies faced by local people losing land and livelihood is already happening. We affirm the need to meet the more ambitious challenge of 1.5 degrees Celsius.
We seek more united action and communication through better collaboration in:
- Implementing programs and protocols for disaster risk reduction and supporting SIDS and other communities throughout the world already suffering from massive floods and droughts as a result of climate change
- Shifting from fossil fuels and destructive extraction industries that degrade both the environment and human rights, most often experienced by Indigenous Peoples and the marginalized who are increasingly criminalized for defending human rights, and this includes divestment efforts and an avoidance of a return to nuclear energy
- Initiating and seeking greater agro-ecological food production, contributing to more collective forest, watershed, and marine resource management, reducing waste and ensuring the protection of adequate natural biomes so that agriculture and other land uses can be balanced, preventing ecosystem collapse
- Engaging with communities, faith-based organizations, and church groups in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and in this way, learn to simplify personal lifestyles and needs. The importance of personal reflection, such as the prayerful use of an ecological examen, helps sustain action and build dialogue and collaboration across parishes and institutions.
- Promoting an education that ensures integral learning and participation and capable of forming a new generation with hope and responsibility to create a better world. The development of knowledge products like Healing Earth text, Carbon Challenge, Flights for Forests and strategic outcomes from environmental conferences and workshops are resources needing integration into an educational model for change.
In living Laudato Si’, social, educational, and pastoral institutions and works are called to be a more decisive witness to and engagement with the cry of the people and the cry of the earth. In reflecting upon the state of the world, we need to discern more deeply our priorities and commitment for more focused collective participation through the Church that cares for creation. Pope Francis reminds us that “the ecological crisis is also a summons to profound interior conversion…and that Jesus lived in full harmony with creation…” He thus calls us in the Church to accompany communities of justice and practice in sharing a moral compass and engendering greater hope.
The Ecojesuit Team in Bonn