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Editorials

Urgency of the urgent

31 August 2018
Members of the indigenous Ifugao community share with the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines their testimonies on the impact of changing weather patterns on their planting and harvesting times, part of the National Inquiry on Climate Change that the Commission is undertaking. Photo credit: JC Yokingco

Dr. Pedro Walpole Seemingly forgotten public documents and scientific studies are revealing the extent of the fossil fuel industry’s research on climate change as early as the late 1950s along with the warnings from the industry’s scientists, but these were taken over by the cover-ups and misinformation that followed during the 1970s and 1980s.  These were surprising revelations presented during the National Inquiry on Climate Change (NICC) by the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines, conveying more urgently the urgency in addressing the increasing vulnerability of millions of people to the impacts of climate change. The Commission brings this historical record to light by listening to the reports of climate investigators who have laid out the significant work done by the oil companies and the original and credible scientific work they financed, before management decided to bury the facts.  What is also surprising is the growing body of committed people globally, experts in the legal and scientific fields, whose work is in ensuring that this information goes out to more people so that more informed action for those most vulnerable is undertaken and that responsibility and accountability are obtained. The Commission is hearing three kinds of witnesses.  First are
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Connecting and building bridges for justice and action in the Amazonia: Servicio Jesuita a la Panamazonía

31 July 2018
While its central role in promoting and sustaining life around the world is recognized, the Amazon region’s vastness and tremendous resources also attract the construction of megaprojects, massive deforestation, extraction of natural resources, and the search for oil and gas, with huge impact on its forests and rivers, its biodiversity, and its communities and cultures. Photo credit: jesuitas.lat

The Amazon region, with an area of 550 million hectares, hosts the world’s largest tropical rainforest, the world’s second longest river and its largest with more than 20% of the entire planet’s flowing water, around 400 unique cultures and communities, and a third of all known terrestrial plant, animal, and insect species.  Along with the other forests and oceans of the world, the Amazon is often described as one of the lungs of the earth for its capacity to absorb enormous amounts of carbon dioxide and is critical in reducing global warming. While its central role in promoting and sustaining life around the world is recognized, the Amazon region’s vastness and tremendous resources also attract the construction of megaprojects like the Belo Monte Dam and the Volte Grande Project, massive deforestation, extraction of natural resources, and the search for oil and gas. These have huge impacts on its forests and rivers, its biodiversity, and its communities and cultures. Deforestation of the Amazon has reached almost 20 percent, according to a 2016 study Land-use and climate change risks in the Amazon and the need of a novel sustainable development paradigm by scientists in Brazil.  In conclusion, the authors recognize the “gargantuan global
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Reflections

Vie communautaire et eau dans un village de Puerto Nariño, Amazonas, Colombie (Crédit photo: P Walpole)

Fundamental role of water in creation and human development: 2018 message of Pope Francis for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

Ecojesuit shares the message of Pope Francis for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation where he drew attention to water, its preciousness to life and fundamental role in creation and in human development, the privatization at the expense of human right to access water especially the poor, and the constant...

Villa Loyola is an agroecological farm located in the south west of Colombia in the municipality of Chachagüí.  Its Agroecological and Environmental Innovation Center promotes the implementation of strategies for the protection and sustainable use of environmental resources in Nariño, through workshops with farmers. Photo credit: J Braverman

My visit to Villa Loyola, a coffee finca in Colombia

John Braverman SJ Consumers are gaining concern over the sources of our food.  Is it farmed sustainably?  Are dangerous chemicals used, or is it produced organically?  How are the producers (farmers) compensated for their labors? With these questions in mind, I was happy to discover a Jesuit-owned coffee farm called Villa Loyola or Finca...

News and Programs

Water, ecosystems and human development in World Water Week 2018

Water, ecosystems and human development is the theme of World Water Week 2018, an annual...

Wastewater management at the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar

In the African region, the gap between water availability and water demand is growing...

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