Wednesday 11 May 2016 at 21:391.5°C To Stay Alive
by Diácono Alirio Cáceres Aguirre, Dra. Arianne van Andel, and Rev. Dra. Neddy Astudillo,
As people of faith from Latin America, we invite you to take part in Tierra Sagrada (Sacred Earth, Sacred Trust) - a global day of prayer and action for creation on June 12.
June 12 marks six months after the Paris Climate Agreement and joins in the celebration of International Environment Day (June 5) and the first anniversary of the publication of Pope Francisco’s Encyclical "Laudato Si'" (June 18).
A record 175 countries have already signed the Paris Climate Agreement.
Yet, in spite of this, we are set for temperature rises well above the critical 1.5 ° C limit that governments agreed to, and that scientists, activists and vulnerable communities are fighting for with the cry of ‘1.5 to Stay Alive’. We must stand with them.
The participation of each and every one of us at this point is key, not only to pressure governments to comply with the Paris Agreement but to increase their commitments and the chances of survival for human beings and many other species that are God's creation.
Plans are kicking off all over Latin America, including:
In Santiago de Chile, the Ecumenical Coalition for Creation Care is organizing a major interfaith Earth act simultaneously denouncing the alarming situation of communities in socio-environmental conflicts in the regions.
In Colombia, Bogota’s Interfaith Ecotheology Group will host a major event at a metropolitan park and will share it through an new and interactive social media network created for the purpose of promoting integral ecology.
In the Dominican Republic, the Capuchins will hold a course about the encyclical Laudato Si' and will join the many voices that profess the earth is sacred and therefore, the earth connects us with the immense love of God and sends us in mission to care for one another.
And in Brazil, a handful of local groups are preparing for a day of public activities that will mobilize local groups and raise attention to the work of local religious actors in the Climate Change agenda, focusing around the theme of “Sacred Waters”We invite you to join this campaign for an Earth that is sacred.
She is our mother and welcomes us. She is our home, from which we all depend on to exist and live our faith.
In the coming years, we need a change of vision, both by governments and each and every one of us. To keep the Paris Agreement alive, each country needs to adopt, improve and carry out its national plan to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 2020. Our cautious monitoring, support in prayer and creative actions from everyday life, community witness and the impact on public stages, are a step forward and in the right direction.
Let us unite in a day of action and prayer for the Earth, let us give thanks for her many blessings, share our amazement at how wonderful the planet is and our outrage at the extent of its destruction. Let us celebrate with the creatures, show how much we care, denounce what is hurting the planet!
We invite you to a profound conversion of respect and care for our Mother earth, our common home, sustainer of our dreams, our faith and our hope!
Ask yourself, What does it mean to say that “The earth is sacred?" What does it mean for your personal choices and your family, your religious, social or environmental organization? What does it mean for your city, your country, for humanity?
Ask yourself the meaning of Sacred Earth, and share it with others. Look beyond the obvious. Seek to retrieve the value of life in all its complexity. And communicate it, express it, manifest it, report it. This is a time to "proclaim that sorrows have an end in this world of destroyed butterflies and human rivers of indifference and exclusion!"
Join us on June 12 in a moment of celebration for the earth, and however your interrupt Sacred Earth, join the call to protect the vulnerable and share an image of 1.5 at the end. You can paint "1.5°C to Stay Alive" in the sand, on a mural or in a video, post it using #SacredEarth2016 and we will help share them with the world.
Header Image by Sean Hawkeye, LWF via Flickr