Updated: November 29, 2019 10:09 AM GMT
Leaders of religions and faith communities attend a gathering in Manila for discussions on the climate crisis. (Photo supplied)
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.