Category Archives: Environment

WCC NEWS: “Water means life,” says German advocate for sustainability.

Andrea Müller-Frank works as the Right to Food officer at the Policy Department of the German Bread for the World. Since December 2016 she has been co-chair of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Water Network (EWN), which fights for water justice worldwide.

At university, Andrea Müller-Frank did her global studies with regional foci on Europe and Africa, concentrating on development cooperation and the globalization of social movements.

This likely stands her in good stead for her role working for water justice as co-chair of the EWN International Reference Group, to which she was elected in December 2016.

“Water means life – for people and animals and our entire planet,” Müller-Frank said in an interview. “However, in many regions of the world it is overused, groundwater levels fall and natural vegetation and water circuits are destroyed.”

Before joining Bread for the World, the German Protestant development service that is part of the Act Alliance, in September 2015 Müller-Frank worked in lobbying and communications for different civil society organizations and networks. Some of the issues she engaged in were related to public health and environmental protection in Mali.

“I was also engaged as an advisor to lobby and advocacy campaigns of the West African Fisheries Federation and the food campaign of the Fellowship of Christian Councils in West Africa,” explains Müller-Frank.

She notes that, “We cannot overcome the hunger and poverty in the world without changing our life styles and our economic activities. Raising awareness for this is a key objective of the work of Bread for the World.”

Germany is the world’s third biggest virtual water importer, just behind the United States and China. And Brazil is the number one exporting country of virtual water to Germany, especially agricultural products – soya bean, for the meat industries, coffee, sugar and biofuels, Müller-Frank says.

“Also, more than 20 percent of the paper and cardboard used in Germany comes from Brazilian eucalyptus plantations. In parallel to the increasing consumption of paper by popular mail-order services in Germany, monoculture plantations destroy natural vegetation with disastrous consequences for water resources in Brazil,” she says.

More and more water flows into the industrial production of food, the production of consumer goods and energy. Through wasting, contamination, weather extremes of climate change, lack of water has become a curse to many people who regularly suffer from droughts, floods, pollution.

Water conflicts between communities and countries are on the rise and are causing migration and wars. It is a major concern for all of humanity. Issues of distribution, social and environmental justice are at the heart of the solution to end the protracted water crisis.

“Many churches and faith-based organizations in Germany are concerned and labor on the issue of food and water justice,” says Müller-Frank.

“Beyond the celebration of creation worship, churches encourage a lifestyle that upholds the core values of justice and sustainability – the ‘ethics of sufficiency’ or the ‘ethics of enough’. Many churches and faith based organizations maintain social and environmental procurement practices and engage in dialogue with policy makers.”

Explaining her affirmation and vision for the EWN, she said, “the network is a powerful vector and raises awareness of the ongoing human rights violations towards vulnerable populations and expose their claims for sustainable solutions.”

“The network together with  Bread for the World can provide visibility and room for political engagement for its partner organizations grounded in local level struggles laboring for sustainable farming practices and food security”, she added.

14 March 2017

 

 

Latest news from the National Justice and Peace Network Environment Group

 Actions/comments from 43rd Meeting of the National Justice and Peace Network Environment Group, November 23rd 2016

COPP Talks in Morocco – Please read Sally’s Tyldesley blog for a comprehensive view. Main highlights – over 190 countries have agreed to ratify, a majority of these countries have already signed so far, including the UK. A ratchet system has been proposed to monitor/regulate conditions. The 2018 conference likely to be held in Poland.

Fracking – The group will review the current situation and produce an updated statement.

Diocesan Environmental Policies – We are continuing to push policies within the diocesan context. 2 dioceses, Caritas Salford and. Arundel and Brighton are progressing well.

Disinvestment from fossil fuels – On 19th November, a group representative attended a joint meeting held by Operation Noah and the Quakers updating the present Bright Now and Ethical Investment campaign. See the Bright Now campaign.   

Climate Change – A statement welcoming the UK commitment to ratify the Paris agreement was issued in November. Next Year’s Climate week will take place July 2nd to July 9th

Paper on consultation with the Bishops’ Conference over environmental structure – A paper outlining our proposals has been agreed and sent to Bishops Conference.

NJPN Conference July 2017 – The conference will be on Laudato Si’ and the economic issues it has raised- Maria Alana and Ellen Teague are the groups representative on the steering committee.

Live Simply Award Update – 23 parishes now have registered for the award + one university chaplaincy, 15 dioceses are involved, 7 schools also. The group are continuing to encourage and monitor progress.  See the CAFOD website for more.

CAFOD Campaigning – CAFOD will be promoting green heart stickers, along with a children’s liturgy and video

There will be an emphasis on Energy in April. Wednesday Jan 25th a talk on Faith and Climate

Season of Creation – Interest is definitely building on the Season of Creation, partly due to the excellent work of the Global Catholic Climate Coalition. The global picture is available here. The Environment group will compile resources produced this year for making available next year

Other items of interest:

Green Christians campaigns – Joy in Enough – another conference is planned for Autumn 2017, Way of life – there will be a day held on January 28th At St Aloysius, Euston. See the website more information 

Future Events

28 January – Green Christian Way of Life Day at St. Aloysius, Euston

28 January – Arundel and Brighton J&P Assembly, DABCEC, Crawley “Am I agood Neighbour – Globalisation and the Fair Society; Speakers: Fr Augusto Davies CAFOD and Jenny Sinclair Together the Common Good – www.dabnet.org/courses

21-23 July 2017 NJPN annual conference. Working title: ‘Sabbath for the Earth and Poor; The challenge of Pope Francis’

Next Meeting: Wednesday 22nd February 1-4pm at CAFOD

 

NJPN Environment Group: Useful resources

Resources for Creation Time – 1 Sept – 4 October

http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=28212

 

Cambridge Carbon Footprint has produced an excellent leaflet giving details of eco homes in the area that people can visit. See www.openecohomes.org

 

The London Mining Network, chaired by Catholic Richard Solly is a good source of information on mining company activity and its impact on local communities globally.

http://londonminingnetwork

 

Global Catholic Climate Movement

http://catholicclimatemovement.global/

 

Catholic Climate Covenant (US-based)

http://catholicclimatecovenant.org/

 

Green Christian website

http://www.greenchristian.org.uk

magazine at http://www.greenchristian.org.uk/publications/green-christian

 

‘Climate Change and Conflict’ DVD

A Climate Change and Conflict film has been produced by the Movement for the Abolition of War and Kevin Mayhew Publications. Vandana Shiva, Mary Colwell and Mary Robinson all appear in it.

http://www.kevinmayhew.com/conflict-and-climate-change-book-and-dvd.html#.VTDB28t0yM8

 

Link to the Catholic Bishops’ website Environmental section:

http://www.cbcew.org.uk/environment.html

 

Read more about climate change, theology, ethics, spirituality and advocacy on the

website of ECEN, the European Christian Environmental Network.

http://www.ecen.org/content/climate-change-and-climate-justice-ecumenical-ethical-aproach

 

The Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale is at http://fore.research.yale.edu/ You can sign up to receive their excellent monthly newsletters by e-mail.

 

Ecojesuit – Ecology and Jesuits in Communication

Ecojesuit is an online newsletter that promotes global collaboration and networking on ecology.

To subscribe Ecojesuit and obtain access to articles and stories twice a month, visit:

http://www.ecojesuit.com/

Update from Green Christian

Lots of things happening at Green Christian.

For a list of the upcoming  green  Church events  this autumn  please visit the recently updated Green Christian  Whatson page http://www.greenchristian.org.uk/whats-on