The first Sister-led dialogue on the environment today in Rome launching a series of development dialogues organised by the International Union of Superiors General (UISG)
Rome, 17th April 2023 – Ahead of Earth Day on April 22nd, Catholic Sisters of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG) are gathering partners in Rome to highlight and dialogue on global development issues. The organisation, which brings together more than 1,900 Superiors General in 97 countries, representing over 600,000 Sisters worldwide, is hosting its first Sister-led dialogue on the environment to discuss the protection of people affected by climate change and biodiversity loss, with particular attention to the most marginalised.
Today’s encounter is the first in a series of dialogues organised by the UISG initiative Sisters Advocating Globally, in partnership with the Global Solidarity Fund. These dialogues will culminate in the first UISG Advocacy Forum, to be held in Rome in November 2023.
Today’s dialogue brings together representatives of international organisations, governments, civil society, Vatican institutions academia and the press from around the world to talk about three key themes: integrating responses to climate change and biodiversity loss; integrating care for people and our planet; integrating vulnerability in leadership. These three themes were outlined in the UISG statement “Sisters for the Environment: integrating voices from the margins”, launched last November ahead of the climate summit COP27. This statement is based on the experience of advocacy and community engagement that has coalesced around UISG’s environmental campaign Sowing Hope for the Planet, created for the promotion of Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si’ and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Through a series of practical guidelines for global policy, this statement clarifies the response of Catholic Sisters to the environmental challenges of our time. While addressing the urgency of the current moment, the statement also expresses a deep-rooted, faith-driven vision for ecological conversion that has inspired the mission of Sisters for many decades and continues to do so every day, all around the world.
“This is our response to Pope Francis’ invitation, in his encyclical letter Fratelli Tutti: ‘Let us return to promoting the good, for ourselves and for the whole human family, and thus advance together towards an authentic and integral growth – says Sister Patricia Murray, UISG Executive Secretary. – Catholic Sisters are part of a global movement to shape development conversations around the needs of the world’s most marginalised communities. At UISG’s first Sister-led dialogue on the environment, Sisters and partners will explore how to foster solutions to protect and empower vulnerable people affected by climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution and environmental breakdown.”
“Sisters are engaged in advocacy for the care of our common home from the global to the grassroots levels – adds Sister Maamalifar Poreku, Coordinator of Sowing Hope for the Planet. – At the global level, UISG has integrated into its strategic plans a central commitment to safeguarding people on the margins who are affected by environmental degradation, which includes working towards the implementation of outcomes from COP27 and COP15. As bridge builders, Sisters bring others together with a focus on our common humanity, to walk towards a safe, just and peaceful future for all people and all Creation. This is what gathers us today at UISG, to dialogue and share ideas on promoting the creation of a healthy environment for all people on Earth”.
To learn more about Sisters Advocating Globally: https://advocacy.uisg.org/