The Catholic Agency for Justice, Peace and Development

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand Calls Upon All to Care for the Earth

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Event date: 
26 Sep 2017

WELLINGTON—Wednesday, 4 October Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand will launch this year’s State of the Environment for Oceania report, Turning the Tide. The resounding message is that people’s relationships with the seas and the environment-at-large must change. The Pacific Ocean contains nearly 50 percent of the earth’s total supply of water and covers 33 percent of the world’s surface, and yet it continues to be abused. This leads to extreme weather events and changes in climate patterns. 

Caritas draws information gathered from grassroot communities and those living on the ocean’s edges to advocate for more collaborative processes with input from local communities. This is echoed in the report’s call for national governments to increase climate finance funding and ensure it reaches the most vulnerable—an issue that has persisted over the years. 

Among the environmental issues focused on in the report are: the impact and threat of further sea-bed mining and drilling on marine life and the health of our oceans; building preparedness and resilience for extreme weather events; and the shared responsibility we all have (from government to individuals) on working together to care for our oceans.

A statement released by Caritas leaders from across the region, following the recent Caritas Oceania regional forum, emphasised preparedness and resilience from the perspective of engaging the community. 

" The world-wide Caritas network is dedicated to caring for the neediest among the human family and caring for the Earth, our common home. We see that if we are to truly care for our common home we need to learn from the wisdom of the indigenous peoples of our world, and most vulnerable in our communities…we must look again at what it is to be truly ‘developed’ as people and as communities.”

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand Director Julianne Hickey, one of the Caritas Oceania leaders, will present key findings and recommendations from the State of the Environment report at the UN Climate Change conference chaired by Fiji in Bonn later this year (COP23) as part of the international Caritas delegation.

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