“Necessary cooperation”

Vatican Gardens: Tree tops in front of the dome of St. Peter's Basilica © Kiriusku (shutterstock)

At a study session at the Vatican, the importance of engaging indigenous peoples was stressed. Their fight against the destruction of their habitat serves "all humanity".

"Their knowledge is a key to managing the resources of this planet appropriately," said Mattia Prayer Galletti of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Rome. The senior technical specialist of IFAD spoke on Saturday evening at an event in the Vatican about "the necessary cooperation of international organizations and the Catholic Church" for the Amazon region.

Cooperation with indigenous representatives worldwide is very enriching for IFAD, Galletti said. These peoples urgently need greater protection, partly because they are disproportionately victims of violence. According to Galletti, 80 percent of all murders of indigenous people currently take place in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and the Philippines.

Study session organized by the Vatican Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI Foundation.

The half-day study session was organized by the Vatican Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI Foundation. within the framework of the Amazon Synod, which is currently taking place at the Vatican. Foundation President Federico Lombardi justified the event by saying that the impulses of Pope Benedict XVI. (2005-2013) for a holistic ecology for nature and mankind. In addition, he said, it is necessary to show the continuity of the Magisterium to Francis. It is sometimes forgotten, he said, that Benedict was dubbed the "green pope" toward the end of his term in office.

Rene Castro-Salazar, Deputy Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), made an urgent appeal for people to change their own lifestyles. "All countries and all people are responsible for climate change," said Costa Rica's former environment minister. This is "not a question of ideologies, but of survival".

As examples of how to mitigate the effects of climate change, Castro-Salazar cited various reforestation projects and alternative economic practices in his home country as well as elsewhere. The technical means and ways are available, what is missing is the political will of those responsible and the moral will of many people.

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