AMRSP Statement on the 2018 Season of Creation
Listen and let the earth speak to us
And hear what the world is saying to us.
70% of the Earth’s surface is water, but, the reality is that 97.5% is seawater which is unfit for human consumption. Rising populations and temperatures translate to dropping freshwater tables all over the world. The supply of water is finite. Water scarcity, exacerbated by climate change, could cost some regions up to 6% of their GDP, spur migration, and spark conflict.
The global demand for natural resources has doubled since 1996 and it now takes 1.5 years to regenerate the renewable resources used in one year by humans. By 2030, the Living Planet report predicts it will take the equivalent of two planets to meet the current demand for resources.
“What is alarming is that many of these changes have accelerated in the past decade, despite the plethora of international conventions signed since the initial 1992 Rio Summit. Climate-warming carbon emissions have increased 40% in the past 20 years, but two-thirds of that rise occurred in the past decade.”
“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” Job 12:7-10
The Season of Creation from September 1 to October 4, is a time and space for us to heed the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor. Concern for the poor provokes concern for the whole of creation, precisely because the poor are the most harmed by economies of greed and power-politics that continue to abuse the Earth.
We, the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines, at this unique moment of the Season of Creation, especially during its first Sunday which falls on September 2, plead to our people and all leaders of the world to stop environmental deterioration, by adopting a rights-based approach to sustainable development, including:
- Working together to reach a global consensus to:
* manage marine and forest resources, and ensure universal access to drinking water,
* replace fossil fuels that contribute to global warming,
* stop the production and use of one-time use of plastics,
- Promoting solar and renewable energy and adopting simple and non-consumerist lifestyles,
- Respecting the rights of nature by conducting environmental assessments before embarking on any local, national or international projects.
- Placing economic and technological development to uplift people’s quality of life.