June 22, 2012

Rio+20: conference reflections

By |22 June 2012|

By James Stella On entering the Rio+20 Conference centre, the participants are instantly greeted by an enormous blue coloured digital billboard displaying the extensive list of side events scheduled for the day. Listed on the board one will find the name, location and time of the event. With events scheduled around the clock, from 9:00 in the morning to 8:00 in the evening, there are approximately 55 side events everyday with each having a duration of one and half hours. Some of the wide array of topics include, ‘Glaciers and Sustainability in the Anthropocen’ by CEDHA, ‘Motorcycle Safety al Rio+20′ by Ecuadorian Motorcyclists Association; ‘The Forest Green Economy and South-South Cooperation’ by WWF International and an event presented by a Palestinian organisation that focused on sustainable development under the Israel occupation.

Dark clouds gather over Rio+20

By |21 June 2012|

By Roeland Scholtalbers, CIDSE Media and Communication Officer (Caritas and CIDSE Catholic networks are working together in Rio) In Rio de Janeiro, the differences between Copacabana and the Rocinha favela exemplify what is wrong with our world, but hopes that Rio+20 will result in bold action are fading. The bustling beaches of Copacabana and the centre’s shiny skyscrapers show participants to the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development the bright side of Brazil’s booming economy. But the country’s economic growth is leaving many behind, like the inhabitants of the Rocinha favela. Here, nearly 200.000 people live in less than one and a half square kilometers, struggling to make a decent living. The gap between Rio’s rich and poor is only one example of the consequences of our flawed economic system, but it is an unmistakable one. Sadly, the final declaration text of the conference, which negotiators have passed on to their […]

Rio+20: Solidarity Economics

By |21 June 2012|

Espanol Solidarity can be the currency of an alternative economy agreed Caritas representatives at a panel event during Rio+20 Summit, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development taking place in the Brazilian capital. Caritas Brazil, France, Peru and Costa Rica and other staff of the Catholic confederation of aid agencies reflected on how to democratize economics so that it works for all humanity and for a greener planet. Humberto Ortiz from the Church in Peru presented an overview on the impact extractives industries such as logging and mining were having on the Amazon basin. He urged for an economic model for Latin America that promotes solidarity and a green economy through dialogue between the public, private and civil society sectors and that policies must work on all levels.

Rio+20 round-up

By |19 June 2012|

By James Stella On Sunday, 19 June, Caritas members attending the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development enjoyed a memorable day when they participated in a Holy Mass with Archbishop Orani Tempesta of Rio de Janeiro at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro. Dedicated to the patron saint of Rio de Janeiro, St. Sebastian, the conical shaped Cathedral is located in downtown Rio. Over 60 Caritas Members filled the Cathedral and their presence was noticeably visible as one could see them proudly displaying their Caritas Rio+20 bandanas. After the mass a delegation of church and civil societies leaders held a press conference to outline their positions for the much anticipated Rio+20 summit. The delegation emphasised that despite the significant strides made since the advent of Conference 20 years ago, much still remains to be done for governments to embrace the green economy approach and to ensure individuals economic and social […]

Rio+20: Joining the crowds in the Samba City

By |19 June 2012|

Rio+20: Development through Solidarity

By |19 June 2012|

Caritas hosted a side event on the 18 June on ‘Achieving Sustainable Development through Solidarity Economy: Outstanding Issues and Perspectives of “Converting” Economy into Ecology’.

High hopes, low expectations for Rio+20

By |18 June 2012|

By Roeland Scholtalbers, CIDSE Media and Communication Officer (CIDSE is working with Caritas at the Rio Summit), from Rio de Janeiro. We have seen shy attempts by politicians to mend things, to address global challenges like poverty and climate change together. But our carbon-driven global economy has marched on in the meantime, increasing material well-being for some, but also fuelling economical, environmental and social inequalities. Climate change, which poses huge challenges to some of the world’s poorest communities experiencing increasingly extreme weather, is an obvious example. The exploitation of natural resources, which leaves the people of some of the world’s most resource-rich countries dirt poor, is another one.
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    Church hopes Rio +20 Summit will find path towards development

Church hopes Rio +20 Summit will find path towards development

By |18 June 2012|

With the planting of a tree, the Brazilian Episcopal Conference, with bishops and priests from the Latin American church, began Mass in the Cathedral of St. Sebastian in the city of Rio de Janeiro. The faithful prayed for a renewed commitment of world leaders to work for the elimination of poverty and the protection of nature at the UN Rio +20 conference beginning this week. Archbishop Orani João Tempest of Rio de Janerio and Bishop Leonardo Ulrich Steiner, president of the Brazilian Episcopal Conference held the evnt in Spanish, French, Portuguese and English as a sigh of communion between the countries. At the start of the Rio +20 Summit, Bishop Ulrich called on the conscience of world leaders and all people of good will to find an alternative development model based on ethics and responsibility for the environment and the human being, on justice, solidarity and the gospel values. [...]

Caritas at Rio + 20

By |12 June 2012|

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to be held in Rio de Janeiro on 20-22 June is expected to represent a new stage in the political process that began back of 1972. Ever since the UN Stockholm Conference on Human Environment, political leaders have been discussing how to reconcile human development needs with environmental protection. The UN Conference on Environment and Development, held in Rio in 1992, declared “Human beings are the centre of concerns for sustainable development. They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature”. Its programme of action, “Agenda 21” identified sustainable development as a strategy based on the integration of the economic, social and environmental pillars. Twenty years later, world leaders and tens of thousands of representatives of the private sector and civil society will gather again in Rio to rethink how to reduce poverty and achieve greater social equity and environmental protection. The [...]

April 24, 2012

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    Goldman Environmental Prize goes to Caritas Philippnes director

Goldman Environmental Prize goes to Caritas Philippnes director

By |24 April 2012|

Our very own Fr. Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of the National Secretariat for Social Action-Justice and Peace (NASSA is Caritas Philippines) and a prominent activist against mining in his country, has been awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize.

March 21, 2012

People with special needs supported by Caritas Cuba

By |21 March 2012|

In Cienfuegos, Cuba, a group of young people with Down Syndrome are putting on a show for their parents and friends. The young people delight in singing and dancing.

Caritas Cuba helps elderly as poverty grows

By |21 March 2012|

“The elderly are among those most affected by poverty,” said Migdalia Dopico, coordinator of the Elderly Support Programme for Caritas Cuba. With one in five Cubans now over 60, the problem is getting worse. Caritas Cuba’s 800 volunteers and 190 canteens are responding by providing thousands of meals to 28000 elderly people.

February 16, 2012

Will street children in Ukraine survive the cold?

By |16 February 2012|

Caritas Ukraine continues to tackle the increasing number of homeless children, one of the country’s biggest sociological problems, who are now facing a harsh winter.

December 12, 2011

Durban talks: Climate justice and food security

By |12 December 2011|

By Martina Liebsch, Director of Poverty and Advocacy at Caritas Internationalis Representatives from different faiths gathered at a ‘Climate Justice and Food Security: Moral, ethical and spiritual imperatives’ side event 7 December at the Durban climate change talks. The event was sponsored by Caritas Internationalis and World Council of Churches. The panel was chaired by Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban and included Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Hindu and Muslim representatives. Reverend Mardi Tendal, of the United Church of Canada, said we should work towards transforming cultures of consumption to cultures of responsibility. She said there is a moral imperative for action and solidarity in reducing the adverse effects of climate change. Rabbi Hillel Avidan from Durban said God maintains the creation, but gives us the responsibility to care for it. We have failed to do so and we have recognised it. “Change does not happen through treaties and conventions, but by bringing in compassion and [...]

Durban climate talks: What’s God got to do with it?

By |1 December 2011|

By Patrick Nicholson Q. What’s God got to do with it? A. Everything “At the centre of creation is human beings,” said Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, President of Caritas Internationalis at an event during the Durban climate talks. “Our economic system and its search for money above all have dehumanized human beings. Religious groups have a duty to humanize them again.” Cardinal Rodriguez was part of a panel on ‘What’s God got to do with it’ during Climate Communications Day, a side event at the UNFCCC. Other panelists included Lic. Elias Crisostomo Abramides (World Council of Churches); Bishop Geoff Davies (Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute) and Rabbi Hillel Avidan. Lic. Abramides said if we destroy plants and animals, we destroy ourselves. Bishop Davies said all faith groups were united in saying to the politicians that this is not just an economic world but a beautiful world worth saving. He said science and [...]

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