STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF THE CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE IN PARIS | December 18, 2015

In the midst of  so many alarming  news of violence  we  the Friends of  Zamboanga  Watersheds Movement  led by the Silsilah Dialogue  Movement,  with many partner groups and individuals of Zamboanga City,  are happy to share our solidarity  with the  United Nations (UN)  Climate Change  Conference  in Paris  from November 30 to December  11, 2015. In the midst of  so many alarming  news of violence  we  the Friends of  Zamboanga  Watersheds Movement  led by the Silsilah Dialogue  Movement,  with many partner groups and individuals of Zamboanga City,  are happy to share our solidarity  with the  United Nations (UN)  Climate Change  Conference  in Paris  from November 30 to December  11, 2015.For a very  sad but joyful coincidence  Paris  was  under attack recently through  cruel plans of violence, but now this conference will be  the city of hope where  leaders of the world will meet  to give special attention to  the alarming  reality of  Climate Change  caused by the so many  irresponsible  forms of “progress”  done  in the past up to now  guided only by vested interests without  listening to the CRY OF THE EARTH our COMMON HOUSE , as Pope Francis calls it in his   recent encyclical  letter “Laudato Si’”. On the 21st session, the conference will present, for the first time, over 20 years of UN   negotiations, a binding and universal agreement   on climate, from all the  nations of the world. This event is historical.  The Friends of the Watersheds Movement wishes to participate with our voice and our commitment.  We wish to  remind all, especially those who have  power  to police, to consider this event as a  commitment for all in the city of Zamboanga where we still have some  very alarming issues against climate change and  conservation of our  waters, like  mining  problems of the past and of the present,  deforestation, and power coal plants. These and other problems   urge us   to be more in solidarity with those who will sign the historical agreement in Paris. It is time to say to ourselves  and others “ stop any form of  abuse of the  earth” and move  to  understand and work together for an effective “dialogue with creation”. The slogan: “think globally and  act locally”  can be   one of  our   points of reference. All of  us  in  our area and in  all parts of the world   have  reached the limit of  abuse of mother earth and we have to stop,  reflecting on what we can do in the family, in society and  in all aspects of  educational, religious and  business sectors,   guided by  a right, ethical, and moral   understanding of the   respect for creation. We have to be ready, if needed, to  renounce some forms of progress  that   are a clear sign of blindness that do not allow  many to  see the needs of those who suffer most and the poor of the world who do not have  the minimum  to sustain their life.      To support this point of our concern we quote here what Pope Francis mentioned in his encyclical letter Laudato Si’:  Some forms of pollution are part of  people’s  daily experience. Exposure to atmospheric  pollutants  produces  a broad spectrum of health hazards, especially for the poor, and causes millions of  premature deaths. People get sick, for example,  from breathing high levels of  smoke from fuels used  in cooking or  heating.   There is also pollution that affects everyone, caused by transport, industrial fumes, substances which contribute to the acidification of the soil and water, fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides and agro toxins in general. Technology, which, linked to business interest, presented as the only way of solving these problems, in fact proves incapable of  seeing the mysterious network of  relations between things  and  so sometimes solves  one problem only to create another. This  commitment for us is also an occasion to remind all that we  are brothers and sisters created by the same God with the same  human and spiritual aspirations  and  the difference of cultures and religions   have to be  revisited by all to reaffirm that we have to respect each other  in our  deep aspirations  as human beings  created by the same God.    At this time where we have groups in our area and in other parts of the world   ready to justify violence in the name of their religion, we have to be more united and support each other   to work for   harmony, solidarity and peace. We are called to rediscover the deeper meeting of dialogue that is not a strategy in favour of a person or a group only, but for the common good. A dialogue that helps us to rediscover that dialogue must be an expression of love. This is urgent in this society that is destroying itself without appreciating life properly.  We hope that   leaders of the world in Paris, and leaders on the local and national levels, remember the wisdom of Gandhi that reminds us: “ The world  can  answer to the needs of all, but not to the greed of all”. Where are we and what can we do more to try with our life and action to a genuine care for the earth? It is not too late, but we have to start  from where we are. For this  reason  we reaffirm our commitment for the mission that we started and  we invite   all to move  with  open eyes  to the new reality of the  world and to the  alarming and fearful issue of climate change.

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