By Christina Hermoso
Church and religious organizations are pushing for the setting up of more ecology desks in dioceses around the country to further strengthen campaigns against climate change.
“We strongly call on the respective diocesan bishops and religious superiors to prioritize the allocation of budget and financial support for the ecology desk,” said participants to the recently held National Convention on ‘Laudato Si’ and Climate Change. “There is an urgent need to strengthen ecology-related collaborations at all levels,” they said in a statement.
A Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) News post said, the convention highlighted Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment ‘Laudato Si’ and the CBCP’s pastoral letter on ecological conversion. The CBCP, earlier, called for the setting up of an ecology desk in all dioceses to address environmental concerns and programs on environmental protection such as waste management, anti-mining advocacy, coastal clean-up, support for the use of renewable energy, tree-planting activities, and the like.
“A strong ecology desk is needed to implement the action points raised by the bishops in their pastoral letter on ecology. Climate justice cannot wait and therefore, the Church and environmental advocates must work together with an increased level of urgency,” participants to the convention said. The group agreed to support the legislation of the Rights of Nature bill by starting discussions with local policy makers and government units until the bill is passed by Congress.
Bishop Valentin Dimoc of Bontoc-Lagawe, for his part said, “the Church has to share the burden of reinvigorating the environment. In one way or another, we have caused the death of our rivers, forests and sea beds. Therefore, it is our obligation now to restore what we destroyed,” the bishop stressed.