June 21, 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 […]
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.
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 […]
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’.
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.
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. [...]
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 [...]
December 12, 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 [...]
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 [...]
By Patrick Nicholson An insurance policy covering loss and damage to your property if there is hurricane or flood isn’t an option if you are poor. But one of the smaller issues discussed at Durban is how to provide communities with just such coverage through a ‘loss and damages’ fund. Dr Anwara Shelly from Caritas Bangladesh is taking part in the UN conference in Durban wearing two hats, both as Caritas and on the official Government of Bangladesh delegation. On the details of negotiations in the conference centre, Caritas experience in the field can have a real impact. At a session on the loss and damage fund, Dr Shelly raised her hand to urge that fund not be targeted at the national level, but at the local or district level where it can be most effective. “My 24 years of experience with Caritas Bangladesh has shown me that in a disaster, [...]
November 30, 2011
By Patrick Nicholson Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez of Honduras met UN officials today as talks in Durban on climate change continued. The Cardinal is representing Caritas Internationalis at the UNFCCC meeting along with Caritas members from South Africa, Kenya, Bangladesh, and the British Isles. Some 25,000 government officials, lobbyists and scientists are expected to attend the two-week conference that is seeking a new deal to follow the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Cardinal Rodriguez met with UNFCCC Chief of Staff Daniele Violetti to discuss the impact of climate change on the world’s poor and the importance of faith leaders in mobilising support for action. Violletti stressed the importance of bottom-up pressure from civil society and faith groups in combating climate change. This Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI’s called for delegates at the climate talks to agree a responsible and credible deal to cut greenhouse gases. “I hope that all members of the international community agree on a responsible [...]
Joseph Kabiru of CAFOD talks about African perspectives on climate change at the We Have Faith rally (Durban, 28/11/2011)
Hundreds of people from all over Africa are joining a “Caravan of Hope”, which is covering more than 4,000 miles and 10 countries en route to the UN climate talks in Durban, South Africa. The coach convoy set off from the Burundian capital, Bujumbura, on 9 November, and is picking up people all along the journey’s 17-day route, passing through Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Botswana and South Africa. Follow Joseph Kabiru on the Caravan of Hope on the CAFOD (Caritas England and Wales) blog
CAFOD response to Final G20 communique CAFOD's lead economics analyst Christina Weller said: The kindest interpretation of the results of the Cannes summit is that it’s a work in progress; a more realistic one is that when it came to critical global issues the richest nations on Earth decided to decide later. The communiqué is short on substance, ideas and commitments – saved, in part, only by the ambitious agenda of the French presidency which meant some critical issues at least got an airing at the G20 table. As a result the G20 discussed two important reports on innovative financing – the World Bank and International Monetary Fund report on climate finance and the Gates’ report on innovative finance, but the only real commitment is to return to them again later. We are thankful that the door on these issues is still ajar, and perhaps pushed a little wider open, but it isn’t the [...]