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Mindanao reflects on damaged environment

DAVAO (Agencies) : The Global Catholic Climate Movement jumpstarted its grassroots campaign in various parts of Mindanao between August 4 and 7 in a bid to raise awareness among people on the need to protect their environment in the light of Catholic social teaching.

“Mindanao suffered much from the abuse of the environment. Many Church people, priests, religious and lay leaders offered their lives in defence of the forests and the island’s rich resources. But until today, profit is still valued over people. Rather, it should be people over profit,” Brother Tagoy Jakosalem, said at a workshop for people from Davao and Cotabato, as well as Tagum, Kidapawan and Digos.

Focussing on the grassroots, Brother Jakosalem explained that in order to mobilise the climate petition, the group aims to collect as many as 10 million signatures ahead of the climate conference to be held in Paris this December, by empowering the local Church through community conversations on the care for creation.

“We aim to reach the 10 million signatures along with grassroots environmental education,” CBCP News reported Lou Arsenio, the co-founder from the Ministry on Ecology in Manila, as saying.

Social action directors, staff, ecology desk campaigners, indigenous community organisers and religious representatives were all out in support for the campaign, vowing to help the ministry generate the target number of signatures.

“We intend to reach the hearts of our people to care for our future,” Rodne Galicha, national manager of The Climate Reality Project, said.


At the end of the workshop, people came out with grassroots reflections on the encyclical of Pope Francis on the following questions, “What have we done that contributed to the destruction of creation? What have we committed wrong? What have we done right? What do we need to do?”