Friday, February 03, 2017

INDIA - Cardinal Gracias: "Climate change affects the poor and women"

"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 change.

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 plan action.


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.

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