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World in need of ecological conversion to advance sustainability

VATICAN (CNS): “For a correct shift toward a sustainable future, we must recognise our errors, sins, faults and failures, which leads to a heartfelt repentance and desire to change; in this way, we will be reconciled with others, with creation and with the Creator,” said Pope Francis at the three-day international conference, Religions and the Sustainable Development Goals: Listening to the cry of the earth and of the poor, on March 8 at the Vatican.
 

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Anti-coal power campaign in central Philippines

MANILA (UCAN): Bishop Gerry Alminaza of San Carlos, Negros Occidental, the central Philippines, has expressed support for a campaign against the building of a coal-fired power plant in the province. He said local Church leaders are giving their full backing for the move, initiated by the Youth for Climate Hope group.
 
“As our youth said, we will stand against this because this is about our future,” the bishop said on Ash Wednesday.
 

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Greening the Christian heart

Brother William Ng OFM
 
The concept of ecological conversion—the idea of creating a global community that both cares for one another and the planet—could very well have come from St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment.
 








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Pushing for strong deal at climate summit

KATOWICE (CNS): “The Church is exerting pressure and showing really significant commitment. We must hope countries match this,” said Rebecca Elliott, communications director of Global Catholic Climate Movement, a coalition of more than 650 Catholic organisations, as Catholic representatives worked to keep negotiations on track for a comprehensive deal to address global warming as the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) entered its second and final week in Katowice, Poland.
 

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Protect and guarantee access to clean water

VATICAN (CNS): “Care for water sources and water basins is an urgent imperative,” Pope Francis said in his message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation on September 1, an observance begun by the Orthodox Church and now celebrated by many Christians.
 
The pope drew special attention to the more than 600 million people who do not have regular access to clean drinking water.
 

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Protecting this precious earth

In response to Pope Francis designating September 1 as the World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation (as the Orthodox Church has done since 1989), local Church organisations are organising a number of activities this month to call the faithful to engage in ecological conversion.
 
In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the importance of environmental protection. However, compared to the speed with which humanity is destroying the environment, our awareness is still in its infancy. 
 








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Environmental concerns centre stage in elections

JAKARTA (UCAN): “People should vote for candidates who care for the environment and are serious about tackling ecological problems,” said Kisworo Dwi Cahyono, executive director of the provincial branch of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (WALHI), as environmental concerns took centre stage in regional elections in South Kalimantan, Indonesia, when it emerged that the vast majority of mining and palm oil businesses in the province flout environmental laws.
 

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Law upholding rights of nature in the works

MANILA (UCAN): Polluters of the environment, including big business and government officials, will be guaranteed to face criminal charges if advocates have their way and Philippine legislators pass a bill being prepared to grant rights to nature.
 
Church and environmental advocates ended a nationwide caravan in Manila on June 5, World Environment Day, to dramatise their call for the passage of a rights of nature law.
 

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Our planet choking on plastic

It surrounds us. It is in every place we go, on the street, on the beach or the woods. We see it when we climb a mountain or go for a swim. It is there, evidence of our willful neglect or ingenious inventiveness. It is our own man-made friend and already a destructive enemy. It is causing much permanent and irreversible harm to us and also to the creatures of the planet. Yes, you guessed it, it is plastic.
 








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Illegal logging and dams as Laos grapples with its own green monsters

Vientiane (UCAN): Attapeu, a province in the southeast of Laos, is not a place that draws much attention. But a recent illegal logging incident in which a convoy of 27 trucks tried to cross into Vietnam, shone a light on the problem.
 
Illegal logging has been a major problem in the country for years so the scheme itself was far from unexpected. But the consequences were. 
 

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