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News Story

Cecilia Calvo and
Pedro Landa are in Bonn this week for the COP23-Fiji U.N. Climate Change
Conference. Calvo works in Washington, D.C., as the senior advisor on
environmental justice at the Office of Justice and Ecology of the Jesuit
Conference of Canada and the U.S., while Landa, from Honduras, is a member of
the Jesuit Justice and Mining Network, among other roles. They are just two
members of Ecojesuit, a delegation in Bonn representing the Jesuits’ worldwide ecological
network. Following is their report.

Pedro Landa and Cecilia Calvo in Bonn.

November 15, 2017 — During the opening days of the
COP23-Fiji in Bonn, we have listened to many challenges facing our common home
and contributing to climate change, including the destruction of the Amazon,
the extraction and privatization of natural resources, the displacement of
local and indigenous populations and the contamination of their water and
lands, as well as the criminalization of environmental and human rights
defenders. These are all part of a throwaway culture that prioritizes profit
over the common good.

Pope Francis in Laudato Si’ makes clear that care for
creation is not an optional part of our Catholic faith but a requirement and a
responsibility of every person on the planet. He declares that we cannot
ignore “the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” in light of the
environmental and social crisis facing humanity today. The magnitude of this
crisis demands a multifaceted and integral response.

As representatives of the Society of Jesus on ecology, we
have come together at the COP23 climate change conference to contribute to the
dialogue on the urgency of addressing this global challenge confronting the
human family and implementing the goals of the Paris Agreement and the
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in light of Pope Francis´ vision for integral
ecology. Our delegation brings perspectives on ecology from the Jesuit network
in Africa, Latin America, Asia, Europe and North America.

As a Jesuit network, we are convinced that we face a
historic moment in history where we have the opportunity to turn away from our
current throwaway culture and model of consumption. And as Ecojesuit
Coordinator Pedro Walpole shared in a meeting with students at Aloisiuskolleg,
a Jesuit school in Bonn, we need to “take down the carbon wall and instead
build a culture of solidarity.”

This is a moment of ecological conversion. We can redirect
our steps and choose a sustainable path forward rooted in gratitude, generosity
and the protection of our common home and destiny.

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