The goal of Ecojesuit, an ecology network of Jesuits and partners from around the world, is to facilitate engagements among Jesuit social, educational and pastoral institutes, as well as other religious congregations and the Church to address Laudato Si’s broad call for action and collaboration with others in reconciliation in the world. Ecojesuit seeks to encourage, share information and approaches to support the Conferences as they carry out their mission.
Climate change is but one of nine planetary boundaries[i] and while all are interrelated we have to tackle each one at its source. The planet’s boundaries, when put on the landscape are easier for people to see where they connect and can make a contribution.
Climate change, air pollution, and ocean acidification are all due to the use of fossil fuels that will trigger very complex changes as we cross these boundaries. The use of fossil fuels is not a planetary boundary but a boundary of the global economy as designed, both as finite resources and the source of derailing the climate as we know it. Other driving forces beyond fossil fuels are land use change and novel entities (10,000 compounds) many of which add to the threats to agriculture and biodiversity. These three key boundaries affect the stability of all other boundaries of the planet and also the marginality and migration of the poor.
[i] Rockström, J., W. Steffen, K. Noone, Å. Persson, F. S. Chapin, III, E. Lambin, T. M. Lenton, M. Scheffer, C. Folke, H. Schellnhuber, B. Nykvist, C. A. De Wit, T. Hughes, S. van der Leeuw, H. Rodhe, S. Sörlin, P. K. Snyder, R. Costanza, U. Svedin, M. Falkenmark, L. Karlberg, R. W. Corell, V. J. Fabry, J. Hansen, B. Walker, D. Liverman, K. Richardson, P. Crutzen, and J. Foley. 2009. Planetary boundaries: exploring the safe operating space for humanity. Ecology and Society 14(2): 32. [online] URL: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol14/iss2/art32/
Discussions for action on global challenges today need to begin with and integrate an understanding of the reality of a world at risk. Science already shows us the planetary boundaries of our natural and physical world and where we exceed the thresholds, even if there is still much be better measures. These boundaries are experienced in the landscapes where we live, in cities or natural communities, in temperature or tropical areas.
Step 2: University of Namur, November 2014
Ecojesuit, formerly known as GIAN-Ecology, coordinates the Stockholm Dialogue on Sustainability Science and Values, for which the initial step was taken when a core working group met in Malaybalay, Bukidnon in Mindanao, Philippines after the International Conference on Transformative Land and Water Governance in May 2014. The second step of the dialogue is now pursued through a meeting with Spanish Jesuit universities and German scientists in Namur, Belgium in November 2014, after which a series of activities in 2015 will follow.
Water Sharing and Water Safety Programme aims to reflect on water issues, firstly by raising awareness among the Jesuit network of the global water crisis; secondly, by seeking ways to promote reflection beyond the network. This learning-by-doing process will contribute to transmission of values on this topic (and other environmental concerns such as climate change) as there is a real demand for this within the scientific community. Sharing water is a key point to resolve the global water crisis.
A further initiative of GC 35 is the promotion of the Global Ignatian Advocacy Network (GIAN) that emerges from SJES. The creation of GIAN (2011) is a response to the concern of disconnectedness within our society. It seeks to build our capacity to influence public policy and strategy in favour of the common good and of those marginalised.