Ecology

A mini-forest to offset the carbon footprint of GC 36

Across the world from Rome, a mini-forest is growing to help offset the carbon footprint of the 36th General Congregation (GC 36).  As the 215 delegates from 62 countries met in the aula of GC 36 last October, members of Jesuit Service Cambodia and Banteay Prieb, a Jesuit vocational school for persons with disabilities, planted 400 seedlings of native hardwood trees, including several locally endangered species, on one-hectare of land owned by the Jesuits near the school.

Asia Pacific Jesuits in the time of Laudato si’

Environmental research and ecological action across the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific (JCAP) takes many forms, as Jesuit works are only beginning to engage these concerns and still have much to learn.  Jesuits and their collaborators are moving towards greater environmental awareness and have recognised the urgent need to communicate and work with others strategically and more broadly for the sake of greater ecological accountability and sustainability.  

Building the Philippines’ first eco-friendly school

Ateneo de Davao University is building a new campus for its senior high school that is being touted as the first environmentally responsible school in the Philippines. The campus has been designed to create a contemporary, sustainable and transformative learning environment following Pope Francis’ environmental directives in his encyclical, Laudato si’.  The groundbreaking ceremony was held on February 15 and the school is expected to be completed in May 2019.

Irish Jesuit Province commits to “Flights for Forests”

The Irish Jesuit Province has signed up to participate in Flights for Forests, the carbon-offset programme developed by the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific.  This is one of the results of the Jesuit Provincialate’s decision to commit to reflecting critically on its use of air-travel in response to Pope Francis’ invitation to us all to acknowledge our environmental responsibility.

Responding to ecological challenges in Asia Pacific

Drought and flooding are the two most significant ecological challenges in Asia Pacific, according to participants in the first Reconciling with Creation Reflection Workshop.  According to the workshop report released in October, drought was foremost in the minds of the participants, named by 11 people from eight countries.  Flooding was a close second, named by 10 participants from six countries.  But these are just two of the host of ecological challeng

A reflection on the forest walk

The experience of walking through the forest helped to set the scene of the JCAP Reconciling with Creation Reflection Workshop by immersing us in nature and helping us to reflect on the interconnectedness of all things.

Renewing life and mission in ecology

It meant three days with no Internet connection or cellular phone signal, but 35 people from 10 countries within the Jesuit Conference Asia Pacific (JCAP) happily gathered in a rural part of the Philippines for an ecology workshop in early June. They worked together, shared experiences, and developed 60 joint actions for strengthening networks, collaboration and communication as communities of practice.

Islamic principles for sustainability and the environment

The environmental problems we face today are complex and the Church’s concern is shared by other faiths. In Islam, for example, we can find some principles of environmental ethics that deal with nature and creation. These principles are: tawhîd (God’s unity), âyat (sign of God’s presence), mîzân (balance), khalifat (God’s vicegerent) and amânat (trust).

Cracks in the planet

There are “the cracks in the planet”.  As we mark Earth Day today, I am reminded of the startlingly fresh and visionary way Pope Francis called on all – not just Catholics – to be aware of the acute distress of our planet, our “common home” last year.  In his encyclical letter Laudato si’, Francis calls us to appreciate our moral responsibility to care for this wounded world even as we rejoice in the marvels of creation, the wonder of human life, the beauty of the stars, the forests and the macro- and the micro systems of our universe.

Registration opens for the JCAP conference on sustainability

The Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific is inviting Jesuits, collaborators and friends to participate in a conference on sustainability.  Entitled A Call to Dialogue on the Sustainability of Life in the ASEAN Context, the meeting will be held in Sanata Dharma University in Yogyakarta from August 8 to 10, 2016.

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