Cecilia Calvo and Pedro Landa are in Bonn this week for the COP23-Fiji U.N. Climate Change Conference. Calvo works in Washington, D.C., as the senior advisor on environmental justice at the Office of Justice and Ecology of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the U.S., while Landa, from Honduras, is a member of the Jesuit Justice and Mining Network, among other roles. They are just two members of Ecojesuit, a delegation in Bonn representing the Jesuits’ worldwide ecological network. Following is their report.
Pedro Landa and Cecilia Calvo in Bonn.
November 15, 2017 — During the opening days of the COP23-Fiji in Bonn, we have listened to many challenges facing our common home and contributing to climate change, including the destruction of the Amazon, the extraction and privatization of natural resources, the displacement of local and indigenous populations and the contamination of their water and lands, as well as the criminalization of environmental and human rights defenders. These are all part of a throwaway culture that prioritizes profit over the common good.
Pope Francis in Laudato Si’ makes clear that care for creation is not an optional part of our Catholic faith but a requirement and a responsibility of every person on the planet. He declares that we cannot ignore “the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” in light of the environmental and social crisis facing humanity today. The magnitude of this crisis demands a multifaceted and integral response.
As representatives of the Society of Jesus on ecology, we have come together at the COP23 climate change conference to contribute to the dialogue on the urgency of addressing this global challenge confronting the human family and implementing the goals of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in light of Pope Francis´ vision for integral ecology. Our delegation brings perspectives on ecology from the Jesuit network in Africa, Latin America, Asia, Europe and North America.
As a Jesuit network, we are convinced that we face a historic moment in history where we have the opportunity to turn away from our current throwaway culture and model of consumption. And as Ecojesuit Coordinator Pedro Walpole shared in a meeting with students at Aloisiuskolleg, a Jesuit school in Bonn, we need to “take down the carbon wall and instead build a culture of solidarity.”
This is a moment of ecological conversion. We can redirect our steps and choose a sustainable path forward rooted in gratitude, generosity and the protection of our common home and destiny.