“We human beings are not only the beneficiaries but also the stewards of other creatures. Thanks to our bodies, God has joined us so closely to the world around us that we can feel the desertification of the soil almost as a physical ailment.” Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium
Caritas strives to raise awareness amongst communities and help them adapt to climate change to sustain their livelihoods, prevent and manage environmental disasters and accompany them as they raise their voice against injustices affecting their lives and their living environment.
We promote the importance of global policies that protect the most vulnerable populations. Caritas brings the voices of those affected by climate change and environmental damage to high-level international fora to make sure decision-makers hear them and act upon them.
Caritas urges government leaders of all countries to implement the Paris Agreement in ways that achieve social justice, especially for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, and adopt strong and sustainable actions to ensure transition towards low-carbon economies and societies.
Our action is inspired by St Francis and guided by the Catholic Social Teaching under the moral leadership of Pope Francis, with a view to ensuring that in the garden of the world there’s a place for everyone to flourish.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Caritas carries out church advocacy work in the spirit of Laudato Si’ to stop the government from petrol drilling and hold it accountable for the harm caused by the damage; We also advocate for the protection of one of the largest forests in the country, and set up a church commission to study the effects of mining at a national level;
On the grassroots level, we train local partners on Laudato Si’ and work with Catholic schools on tree planting and reforestation projects.
Caritas brings the teaching of Laudato Si’ to the national government while also working at diocesan level on soil conservation and water management. Archbishop of Mombasa and Caritas Kenya launched a tree-planting programme in Mombasa.
Caritas together with local bishops raise awareness on Laudato Si’ and promote activities that help people adapt to the effects of climate change.
Caritas makes use of a reflection on how to implement Laudato Si’ in the context of migration.
Caritas runs a project to protect the forest of Makalombi against illegal logging and works with local communities to rehabilitate the forests.
Caritas raises awareness of the threat of the Genetically Modified Foods and fertilisers by giving support to small-scale farmers that practise sustainable agriculture practices.
Caritas launches programmes on resource management, watershed management and installation of solar pumps
Caritas raises awareness of the need to collect, dismantle and recycle electronic waste safely. We also train young people in the professional handling of electronic waste which can improve their livelihood in the long run.
Caritas distributes environmentally friendly stoves and encourages the use of solar lights.
Also through training, sensitisation and distribution, it encourages the use of reusable sanitary products. On the grassroots level, Caritas Nigeria provides organic farming training.
Caritas together with the Asian Bishop’s Conference developed a pastoral handbook on Laudato Si’ for religious leaders in Asia. The handbook is being translated into 10 major Asian languages and aims to raise awareness on climate change.
Caritas together with the local government are engaged in Laudato Si’ inspired initiatives such as tree planting.
Caritas organises workshops on integral ecology. With small-scale farmers, Caritas Bangladesh encourages farmers to use organic fertilisers and composts.
Caritas promotes programmes that favour small-scale farmers.
Nepal, Thailand and the Philippines
Caritas incorporates Laudato Si’ into a national framework for programmes on climate change and sustainable agriculture.
Caritas brings forward the message of Laudato Si’ and the urgency of transformation at individual, social, economic and political levels to address the environmental crisis and social injustice.
Caritas together with other local NGOs organise campaigns that demand climate change to be included as an important element of national elections.
Caritas promotes the implementation of Laudato Si’ at the parish and diocesan level such as reducing plastic use and promoting clean beach collection days.
Caritas together with the Bishops’ Conference and Global Catholic Climate Movement produced a prayer card campaign that reached 10,000 parishes.
Caritas takes part in the Catholic Schools Climate Week with the biggest outreach to every school. On the parish level, Caritas introduces eco-parishes with significant interventions looking at sustainability projects at diocese and parish level.
England, Ireland and Scotland
Caritas introduces reflection and engagement guidelines on Laudato Si’ to bring about change at a personal, community and international level, including guidance on how Laudato Si’ can shape national climate policies.
Caritas produces a research and analysis report on migrations that are caused by environmental disasters, following the appeal of Laudato Si’.
On the regional level, Caritas produces a guideline on how to advocate and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals from the perspective of Laudato Si’.
Caritas Internationalis together with our partners organised a conference in the Vatican on the third anniversary of Laudato Si’. It also held a workshop on rethinking agriculture in the light of Laudato Si’.
Caritas brings Laudato Si’ to the local communities and local leaders in rural areas where the church has taken on the role of the state as a service provider. Together with local communities, Caritas plays an active role in the protection of natural resources.
Caritas promotes Laudato Si’ as an excellent advocacy tool in Colombian Amazon and accompanies local communities in their fight against deforestation and human rights violations.
Together with the local Bishops’ Conference, Caritas organises workshops and forums to raise awareness on Laudato Si’. Caritas also runs different programmes with focus on sustainable agriculture and reforestation.
Caritas creates resources to bring attention to climate change and raise awareness on Laudato Si’
Caritas integrates a “youth and education” project that holds learning sessions about environmental matters. The project also includes other activities that provide mandatory information and knowledge for sustainable development.
Caritas pioneers a broader reflection around the impact of climate change on the environment and migration. There are over one million refugees in Lebanon, many of whom concentrated in informal settlements, which have caused depletion of firewood and access to fresh water.
Caritas carries out projects for the construction of wells and underground cisterns in the desert areas targeting drought-affected communities. It organizes as well awareness sessions on the proper management of water resources to avoid wasting or contamination.
Caritas puts efforts on creating work chances, especially for youth, through trainings, and we organise orientation sessions on economic growth. Caritas encourages productivity, import and export and creates employment strategies in cooperation with the government and ILO.
Caritas conducts several training sessions on permaculture/agroecology, natural resources management and sustainable development targeting agricultural producers and market gardeners. Caritas also leads awareness raising activities on combating climate change with local communities including mainly youth and women.
Caritas organises a fishing school that aims at conducting a sustainable fishing training and the construction of a fish processing plant.
The second level of trainings puts importance on the involvement of women and includs lessons on fish processing.
Caritas provides reflections on the vision of Pope Francis’ encyclical. It also disseminates a pastoral statement that challenges the Catholic community to contribute to the ecological wellbeing of their state and makes suggestions for action.
Caritas devised several resources for peer-led, faith-sharing groups about Laudato Si’, such as a searchable series of webpages with awareness-raising materials on Laudato Si’ and information on the effects of climate change on poor and vulnerable people around the world, resources for clergy and individual reflections. This includes advocacy resources such as lobbying letters, petitions.
Together with other members of Caritas Oceania, Caritas New Zealand produces the Caritas Oceania State of the Environment that highlights Laudato Si’ thinking in promoting integral ecology. This is in line with our support of the government target of aiming for net zero by 2050. For young people, Caritas produces a pastoral letter that addresses their concerns and school material with ideas how we can all care for creation.
Caritas will launch a new national climate campaign, called Living Laudato Si’. It will also introduce different programmes on climate resilience and disaster risk reduction strategies in the Pacific Islands.