Committing to collaborate and communicate on Indigenous peoples’ rights, food security, and climate justice towards COP30

Committing to collaborate and communicate on Indigenous peoples’ rights, food security, and climate justice towards COP30

Agnaldo Pereira de Oliveira Júnior SJ, the newly-appointed social apostolate coordinator of the Conference of Jesuit Provincials of Latin America and the Caribbean (Conferencia de Provinciales en América Latina y el Caribe or CPAL) is keeping alive the connectivity of networks in the Conference in uplifting the voices of Indigenous Peoples.

Ecojesuit recently held a conversation with representatives from CPAL to understand activities and priorities that can shape a broader collaborative agenda from local and regional experiences and respond to the challenge to move from goodwill to shared action, especially in the care for the common home (UAP 4).

CPAL’s conversation with Ecojesuit also seeks to respond to a critical question in the 2023 De Statu Societatis Iesu (DSSI) where Father General Arturo Sosa SJ invites the universal Society to reflect: “To what extent is it possible to identify with the poor and oppressed in their struggle for justice, which inevitably involves political structures?” (DSSI, p. 77)

FatherAgnaldo emphasized the role of CPAL’s Integral Ecology Reference Group (Grupo de Referentes de Ecología de la CPAL) in coordinating the networks within CPAL, of which one is Red Solidaridad y Apostolado Indígena or RSAI (Indigenous Solidarity and Apostolate Network) that investigates the impact of mining on Indigenous communities.

For CPAL, the conversation with Ecojesuit identified three actions:

1. To understand CPAL’s 2024 activities and priorities

2. To discern how CPAL’s context connects with Ecojesuit’s emerging focus on food and water justice (agroecology), and

3. To strengthen communication with CPAL to ensure a regular exchange of local and regional stories and experiences.

In the dialogue, Father Agnaldo shared that policies favoring extractive industries often lead to displacement of communities from their territories, to land grabbing, and to disputes over land use and natural resource utilization.

Mercedes Solis, RSAI Executive Secretary, mentioned a forthcoming 2024 Expanded Team Meeting in Manaus, Brazil. The Expanded Team animates CPAL’s apostolic work and networks and articulates collaborative work in the Conference. The 2024 meeting in Manaus will bring together Indigenous peoples from Mexico, Guatemala Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and Bolivia, to speak about injustices experienced in their communities where mining activities are taking place.

Father Agnaldo and Mercedes affirm the growing concerns of food and water justice and acknowledge the importance of gathering experiences and initiatives of the various apostolic works. Social delegates, network coordinators, and social centers are invited to share these experiences as stories on food security and sustainable agriculture in the context of climate justice.

CPAL is also preparing for a possible engagement in the climate conference (UNFCCC COP30) to be held in Brazil in November 2025. This is an opportunity for CPAL’s social action centers and institutions to engage as a collective. COP30 is significant as countries would have accomplished their new round of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

CPAL’s stories and experiences are shared through an active and engaged communication network and with a deep spirit of collaboration. Their various institutional communication channels work in synergy to promote activities carried out by the apostolates.

To enable a more effective exchange with Ecojesuit global, Father Agnaldo and Mercedes identified the need to designate a focal person in CPAL to actively share stories with Ecojesuit. An interview with Ecojesuit by the CPAL team was also suggested so that Ecojesuit can promote its work across institutions and networks within the Conference.

Ecojesuit will continue to explore linkages with CPAL and opportunities for collaboration with the other Conferences to enable a more active exchange of experiences and learning in the ecological mission.

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