by Zar Gomez, Caritas Asia coordinator Now on its third day since the start of the UNFCCC meeting in Doha, Qatar, the exhibit booth of the 4-member delegation of Caritas Internationalis proves to be among the largest crowd-drawers at the Exhibit Hall 4 of the Qatar National Convention Centre.
Droughts across West Africa, storms smashing into North America and the Caribbean, glaciers melting faster than imagined: the impact of bad and unusual weather patterns were clearly visible in 2012. But what was less clear was the political and public will to make the sacrifices necessary to address the driving forces behind climate change and its impact on the poor and vulnerable. The UN Climate Change Conference is meeting once more, this time in Doha, Qatar 26 November -7 December. Caritas believes 2012 is an important year in these negotiations. Government must build on some of the breakthroughs made at the Durban conference held this time last year. They must come up with concrete proposals on greater cuts in Green House Gas emissions, money to support vulnerable communities most affected by climate change and a clear work plan towards a global climate deal in 2015. Read our statement paper The Caritas confederation of [...]
By Ryan Worms, Caritas Internationalis “I want to set-up a small business to sell rice, flour and sugar. The last time, I made a tidy profit. I need 1000 gourdes (US$25),” says Ariette Tessono. Ariette is one of the members of the solidarity fund set up by Caritas in Labiche, in the south of Haiti. The women who are part of the fund are taught techniques so they can grow kitchen gardens. “Thanks to the training I’ve received from Natasha, who’s an agronomist, I now have a lovely garden full of chilli peppers,” says Jaunasse, another member of the project. “What I make from selling my produce at the market is enough to feed my family well, buy uniforms and school books and pay for my children’s education.” “Today is a day of hope,” says Haman Abdou. “Thanks to Caritas’s help, I know that I’ll have something to sow in my field once [...]
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.
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 [...]
The announcement today of the Scottish Government's Climate Justice Fund has been welcomed by international development and environmental organisations in Scotland. The fund was launched by Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, alongside former President of Ireland Mary Robinson. SCIAF, the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund, a member of the global Caritas Internationalis network of Catholic development agencies, is among the groups welcoming the news. The new fund to help people living in some of the world's poorest countries affected by the changing climate, such as more frequent and severe droughts and floods, has cross-party support in the Scottish Parliament. The Climate Justice Fund will be a good example to bring to the Rio+20 summit in June of how the rich world can face up to its historic responsibility for climate change and its substantial negative impact on many of the world’s poorest people. Philippa Bonella, Head of Communications and Education at SCIAF, said, [...]
Caritas is hosting a congress on Global Hunger and Sustainable Food Security - 1st and 2nd of June 2012 in Vienna Live stream from the Future without Hunger Conference. Cardinal Rodriguez about to speak. | Read the key note speech by Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga (pdf) 925 million people worldwide are starving. Every 12 seconds, a child dies of hunger. Hunger is not a natural event; it has social, economic and political causes. It is a global tragedy, more so because it is avoidable. Through this congress, Caritas is uniting people to start fighting together against hunger. The event will gather public authorities and decision-makers, academics, journalists and civil society representatives from the whole world. It will discuss all the challenges to food security today, such as the chronic causes of global hunger, global agricultural trade, armed conflicts, the effectiveness of development aid, food price speculation, land grabbing and agro-fuel policies, climate change, food waste, sustainable lifestyles [...]
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 [...]