Global emergencies fueled by environment, Cardinal Tagle says

Disappearing land, overdevelopment adds to Asia's woes, cardinal says

April 14, 2016
Climate change and emergency situations are linked, but global emergencies are also caused by people, said Philippine Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila.

Natural disasters are now more brutal and deadly in his country, said the cardinal, president of Caritas Internationalis, reported Cardinal News Service.

"When I was growing up, I do not recall floods. But now, even rain that is not heavy can pose a threat of flood. … You have now long periods without rain. But when it rains, a whole day of rain can give an amount of water equivalent of one month's rainfall," he said.

But these phenomenon are caused in part by human activity, the cardinal added.

"In Asia, we see a distorted idea of development progress. It could be one of the causes. Because land is disappearing. There is no more soil to absorb water. Available land becomes concrete, becomes cement. Rivers are given new routes, are derailed, become narrow," he said.

"We understand that a country must develop. But we must ask: What type of development do we need?" he said.

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