Home Church in Action Asian bishops’ Climate Change Desk holds ecology conference in Philippines

Asian bishops’ Climate Change Desk holds ecology conference in Philippines

More than 30 church workers from various bishops’ conferences in Asia gathered in the Philippines for a three-day workshop on building climate-resilient communities, starting on April 14.

The workshop, organized by the Office of Human Development – Climate Change Desk (OHD-CCD) of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC), was hosted by Caritas Philippines in Tagaytay City.

Participants engaged in thorough discussions on prevailing climate trends and the sustainability issues facing the region. They also shared best practices and action plans in battling the impacts of the climate crisis. 

Bishop Allwyn D’Silva of Mumbai, chairperson of the OHD-CCD, said the Catholic Church must get “more involved” in various environmental concerns because “Asia is a home to many of the countries that are vulnerable to climate change.”

The prelate challenged churches in Asia to ”build up a network” of advocates and “like-minded actors” to spearhead climate actions, all dedicated to fostering climate-resilient communities.

During the workshop, Dr. Benedict Alo D’Rozario, president of Caritas Asia, discussed how the Catholic Church’s social action and humanitarian arms are trying to collectively defend and empower communities against the impacts of the ecological crisis. 

In one of the sessions, lawyer and environmental policy expert Antonio La Viña urged Catholic communities to take urgent climate actions because “we are running out of time, not for the world to end, but the end of humankind and other creatures”. 

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Participating bishops’ conferences are from the Philippines, Myanmar, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and India.

Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, president of Caritas Philippines, described the “gathering of minds and hearts” from various Catholic Churches in the region as a significant step forward in “developing a more comprehensive and effective response to the ecological crisis”. 

Bagaforo said that the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines is prepared to share its initiatives, best practices, and plans in response to the ‘Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor.’

“Let us work towards building climate-resilient communities throughout Asia, guided by our faith and our shared responsibility towards God’s creation,” he told the forum during the opening program.

The FABC is a voluntary association of episcopal conferences in Asia that was established with the approval of the Holy See.

It aims to foster among its members solidarity and co-responsibility for the welfare of the Church and society in Asia.

It comprises 17 episcopal conferences and two synods of Oriental Churches in Asia.

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