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.