"Women, the poor and the vulnerable are the first victims of climate change. We are administrators and we are not masters of creation. We have a moral obligation to protect and preserve it", said to Agenzia Fides, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay and President of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC), on the sidelines of the conference organized recently in Mumbai by the FABC, entitled "Climate change: the impact on vulnerable groups and women's perspective".
The conference was attended by 45 delegates and experts
from Bangladesh, Nepal, India: all representatives who work in offices,
organizations, secretariats and committees that deal with climate
The conference was intended to give a contribution of reflection and
understanding of the phenomenon of climate change and its impact on the
most vulnerable groups. The meeting gave the opportunity for sharing and
discussion on existing programs and good practices to be implemented to
deal with the change of climate, exploring the possibility of
developing a new vision, to meet collectively with a common regional
Speaking to Fides, Cardinal Gracias recalled that all men have a role in
addressing climate change: a global problem with serious environmental,
social, economic, political problems, which is one of the main
challenges humanity faces today.
"The developed world remains the main cause of greenhouse gas emissions
that have contributed to global warming. At the same time, developing
countries and emerging economies (including South Asia) continue to
contribute to greenhouse gas emissions because of their pressing
development needs", explained Bishop Allwyn D'Silva , executive
Secretary of the human development Office in the FABC.
"It is urgent that all nations understand that climate is a common good
that belongs to everyone and is for everyone. The entire human race is
called to acknowledge the need for changes in lifestyle, production and
consumption to combat this warming or at least the human causes that
aggravate it", said Deepika Singh, Office Coordinator for Climate Change
in the FABC.
The fundamental task of the Church in Asia is to "call all the baptized,
and every man to radical conversion, to abandon excessive consumption
and to choose a more sustainable way of life, for a renewed culture of
respect for creation, of simplicity and sobriety, hope and joy", added
Bishop Jacob Mar Barnabas, president of the Council for women in the
Indian Bishops' Conference. Catholic communities, on this point, "guided
by the social teachings of the Church, must promote green technologies
such as strategies and programs, organic and sustainable agricultural
production, responsible consumption, recycling, thus contributing to
intergenerational justice", he said.
To take action against climate change "a sense of solidarity and a basic
orientation to the common good are urgent, which can be achieved
through a continuous education process of reflection-action", said Wendy
Louis, Executive Secretary of FABC Office for the laity and the family.
For this reason the Asian Bishops will continue to operate in this
field, at a reflection and action level.