Franciscans at COP21 Updates from the weekend

As part of the Franciscan Family in Paris, Franciscan Action Network is proud to bring you blog postings from some of our delegates. These blogs will be written each day by a different delegate on the ground in Paris, attending #COP21 meetings, side events and the Franciscan Delegation Meetings.

The following reflection is by Br. Benedict Ayodi, OFM, Capuchin of the Romans VI

This morning most of the Franciscan delegation at COP21 attended the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) meeting. Approximately 40 people attended this meeting and represented various agencies, organizations and religious congregations.

Picture 1, GCCM, Franciscans

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the work of the GCCM throughout 2015 and to plan for 2016. The future program of the GCCM will include three dimensions:

  1. Mobilisation – collaboration with local climate movements, grow the global climate petition with the addition of local flavour
  2. Spiritual – promote Laudato Si, the Lenten Fast for climate justice and Seasons of Creation resources
  3. Lifestyle – create a carbon footprint toolkit for use by parishes and schools

Of particular importance is the planning of local strategies rather than only global action. This includes practical grassroots efforts that will engage and mobilize members of our local communities.

For further information and regular updates from the GCCM please visit https://catholicclimatemovement.global

 

While most of the group were at this meeting, Br. Benedict was doing a presentation at another venue.

MiniCOP GINParis 2015 Conference: Cop for children

Pict. Minicop, Marymount

Given the global importance of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, it is essential that our children also be sensitized and educated about the factors that cause harm to our planet. Thus, the #MiniCOP GINParis 2015 Conference: “Caring for our Common Home” was launched in partnership with Global Issues Network (GIN) and Marymount International School, Paris. This conference was aimed at students interested in learning about developing action plans on what and how they can best respond to the challenges facing the world as a result of climate change as a unique English medium event for children during the period of the COP21 UN Conference on Climate Change. There were about 200 kids from France and many other countries. The Conference was launched on Friday 4th December by Br. Benedict Ayodi JPIC OFM, Capuchin. Benedict represented the Roman VI and the Global Catholic Climate Movement, GCCM. Benedict spoke about Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si and the call the Church makes to humanity to “Care for our Common Home.” The participants, including parents, teachers and more than 200 students, committed themselves to climate action beginning by themselves by changing their lifestyle, living simply, reducing on unnecessary consumption of things, and going green in their little ways. They said the time for empty words was over and now it’s time to act to safe our common home. The students sent a powerful and inspiring message to the COP21 summit that ‘they care for our common home’ and they demand action now.

 

On Thursday December 3, Children gave a communique ‘Act like kids! to the climate summit COP21, in Paris. This document was presented by three Children who participated last week at the Children’s Climate Conference 2015 in Sweden. This presentation took place at the inauguration of the Young and Future Generations Day.

Here is the final document from the children.

“ACT LIKE A KID! “We are kids, and we will fight to save the world! We are kids, and we see our schools float away in rising water. We see the ice melting, and starving polar bears in our land. We see our water wells drying out. And we see black smoke killing people. – But we will fight to save the world! We are kids, and we see typhoons hitting our homes. We see big people cutting down trees, and we feel how the air sometimes is hard to breathe. We see how the forest is burning. – But we will fight to save this world! We are kids, and we like to play. We like to draw, play football and read books. We like to sing and dance. – But now we will fight to save the world! We are kids, and we have to pay for mistakes that we haven’t made. You adults are giving us a world in chaos, and we are scared. But our future children should live in a better world than this. – So we will fight to save the world! We are kids, were still young and have a lot to learn. But this is the last chance to save our planet, and we don’t have the time to grow up. Our planet is dying slowly. This has to end. That’s why we’re here to tell you adults; Act like us kids – and fight to save the world”.

 

The Capuchin friars in Paris prepared lunch for the Franciscan group. This was a good opportunity to meet one of the Franciscan family in France. During the lunch Br. Eric the provincial spoke to the delegation and made a short video on why we should take care of mother earth our ‘common home’. Here is a photo of Fr. Eric:

Picture 2, meal with Caps

 

International tribunal on the Rights of Nature

In the afternoon we attended a session of the tribunal on Crimes Against Mother Earth, which featured speakers who presented evidence on the harmful effects of GMOs, industrial land use, the loss of bio-diversity and the destructiveness of extraction practices- Advocates and indigenous people as defenders of mother earth, have suffered attacks, imprisonment and criminalization for speaking out regarding their human rights for a safe, healthy environment.

audience, tribunalPicture 3, tribunal

 

 

Br. Benedict Ayodi JPIC OFMCap

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Published in: on December 7, 2015 at 10:52 am  Leave a Comment  

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