UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News


Philippine faith communities declare climate emergency

Groups share how different beliefs and traditions look at caring for the planet

Joe Torres, Manila

Joe Torres, Manila

Updated: November 29, 2019 10:09 AM GMT
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Philippine faith communities declare climate emergency

Leaders of religions and faith communities attend a gathering in Manila for discussions on the climate crisis. (Photo supplied)

Share this article :
Leaders of various religions and faith communities in the Philippines gathered this week in Manila for a landmark declaration of a climate emergency.

The groups called for a unified stand and action against what they described is a climate crisis caused by environmentally destructive human activities.

Living Laudato si' Philippines, a lay-initiated climate movement based on Pope Francis’ seminal encyclical, led the first Philippine Interfaith Summit on Climate Emergency.

The initiative aimed to raise awareness on the pressing realities of climate change through the eyes of local faith communities.

The event provided a platform for faith, religious, and tribal groups to share and learn how different beliefs and traditions look at the morality and spirituality of caring for the "common home."

"We must fall back on the common values and ethical standards that our religions teach us," said Emmanuel de Guzman, head of the Philippine government's Climate Change Commission.

Addressing the gathering, De Guzman highlighted the role of religious communities in accelerating local climate action.

"Faith leaders play a critical role in shaping the mitigation, adaptation and resilience agenda of any nation as well as the global community," he said.

Senator Risa Hontiveros, who joined the dialogue as a reactor, appealed for support for the enactment of a Rights of Nature Bill in the Philippines.

Social development and advocacy network Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc. has been pressing for a bill that aims to recognize nature having its own legal rights just like humans.

The proposed measure stressed urgent action to protect the natural ecosystem to prevent environmental degradation.

On Nov. 23, faith-based groups signed the Philippine Interfaith Declaration on Climate Emergency.

The document states that faith leaders need to influence decision-makers to produce more "eco-centric and people-centric" outcomes to inspire people to have a unified moral action on environmental issues.

"The declaration gives voice to the situation of the Filipino people and we hope stakeholders realize they cannot but respond when presented with it," said Rodne Galicha, executive director of Living Laudato si’ Philippines. "The best we can do is to act in solidarity with the vulnerable communities, and to act now," 

Support UCA News...

As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
UCAN Donate
UCA Newsletter
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter

Also Read

UCA News Podcast
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution