Faith leaders to tackle climate change

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MANILA, 21 May 2015–Religious leaders will meet next week to discuss how to tackle climate change from a faith-based perspective.

The Interfaith Dialogue on Climate Change will be held at FVR Gymnasium, Department of Education, Military Cut-off Road in Baguio City on May 26.

Under the auspices of the Climate Change Commission, the conference, which is the first of the series this year, will jumpstart the needed preparations for the crucial Paris summit in December.

Organizers said the meeting aims to develop interfaith unity and action on common local and national climate change challenges.

The outputs collated from the participants during the

Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, SJ

workshop proper, they said, will be the main component of the report that will be presented in the UN summit.

“Climate change and poverty kills. There must be social justice and national transformation. There should be inter-generational justice for all, decisively and immediately,” said Jesuit Archbishop Antonio Ledesma of Cagayan De Oro.

The archbishop, who currently chairs the CBCP’s Commission on Interreligious Dialogue, is the lead convenor of the Climate Change Congress of the Philippines (CCCP).

Along with Ledesma, the dialogue is convened initially by former senator and now Climate Change Commissioner Heherson Alvarez, Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches National Director Bishop Noel Pantoja, Department of Environment and Natural Resources Sec. Ramon Paje, and Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy President Amina Rasul-Bernardo.

“We consider each church member as a daily ambassador of climate change. Each member shall therefore perform acts involving climate education and information to help in evangelization and discipleship,” they said.

Expected to attend the dialogue are also representatives from the government, the academe, youth, non-government organizations, and indigenous peoples.

“Our Interfaith Dialogue is part of a concerted international action to help maintain the balance of nature, created over a million years, and which is now in danger of being severely degraded by human beings over the next 77 years,” said Alvarez.

“It is not too late to take action. As people of faith, God entrusted His creation for us to nurture and develop,” Pantoja said. (CBCPNews)

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