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22nd February 2020

Bolivia: Indigenous Peoples Environmental Pioneers

On indigenous territories in Bolivia that have secured property rights, deforestation rates are 2.8 times lower than outside of them. Such lands cover 20% of the country’s territory, so the contribution of indigenous peoples in Bolivia to fighting climate change is substantial. But this situation has been undermined by Bolivia’s development policies, and could be threatened further with the recent shift to a right-wing government. In the … Read more

Cambodia: Ecological Farming

Today while I was walking on by the riverside, I saw Mr. Dang spraying in his farm. A simple smile led us into conversation. He drew my attention. Out of curiosity, I asked him what kind of pesticides he was using to protect plants? He replied, he doesn’t use any pesticides to kill insects. He said, he uses water from a septic tank and cows’ … Read more

Kinshasa, DR Congo, Floods: Concerned Mill Hill Missionary Sends out Appeal for Help

Greetings from Kinshasa, where we are starting a new mission with the hope of establishing a formation house as well. In Kingabwa one of the outskirts of Kinshasa there is a disaster. It is the rainy season here and consequently the water of the river Congo has swollen causing unprecedented flooding. It is the first time that this has happened, say the residents. About 359 … Read more

DR Congo: Interfaith Initiative to Preserve Rain Forest in line with Laudato Sí

“It is in an interreligious context that we will get involved, in the light of Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudoto Si, which promotes a culture of respect for forests and the people who live in it,” Archbishop Utembi said in reference to the role expected of religious leaders in the initiative. The interfaith initiative for the preservation of the tropical forests intends to highlight the moral … Read more

Ecoboat: Playfully Creative Response to Plastic Pollution in Cameroon

An innovative young man from Cameroon has been cleaning up pollution in his city by turning plastic bottles into boats. Ismaël Essome Ebone was first inspired to build his “EcoBoats” as a student back in 2011. He had just taken shelter from a thunderstorm blowing through his neighborhood when he saw several plastic bottles floating by on some passing floodwaters. He then built a boat … Read more

Pope Francis Visit to Japan: Theme Song

  “Protect All Life” is a phrase in “A Christian prayer in union with creation”, the second part of the final prayer that concludes Pope Francis’ 2015 Encyclical, “Laudato Si”. The lyrics of the theme song are by Jun Inoue who also scored the music together with Amadeus Code Ai.  Arranged by Gyo Kitagawa it was performed by Dreamers Union Choir. The music is available in … Read more

Philippines: Intimate Link Between Environment and Human Rights

“We can’t fight to save the earth tomorrow if we ignore human rights violations in the here and now.” Benedictine nun Mary John Mananzan has intimate knowledge of the link between environmental threats and human rights abuses in the Philippines, regarded as the world’s most dangerous country for defenders of Mother Earth. Sister Mary John admires Swedish youth protester Greta Thunberg’s tough stance toward world … Read more

Synod of the Amazon: A View from the Grassroots

The concerns: Here in our regional meetings, the bishops who will represent us have mostly not been present in the work and reflections that have been done. For roughly eight and a half years, Sr. Juana Yakelin Vásquez Díaz (known as Sister Yacky) has lived in the Amazon rainforest of northeastern Brazil. A native Honduran, she entered religious life 19 years ago with the Oblate Sisters … Read more

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