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EDITOR’S NOTE: A special assembly has been announced in a bulletin issued by the Vatican: “In accordance with the proclamation by Pope Francis on October 15, 2017, the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, called to reflect on the theme: New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology, will take place in October 2019. New paths for evangelization must be designed for and with the People of God who live in this region: inhabitants of communities and rural areas, of cities and large metropolises, people who live on river banks, migrants and displaced persons, and especially for and with indigenous peoples.”
In preparation for the synod, Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI, Director of OMIUSA JPIC, has assembled the following resources.
The following three resources (1 article and 2 videos) are excellent resources as we enter the final phase of preparation for the forthcoming synod; “Amazonia, New paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology”
- In the article Mauricio Lopez locates the Synod within the context of the encyclical Laudato Sí and identifies some of the opportunities that the synod offers to the universal church and to each of us: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/church/news/2019-06/the-pan-amazon-synod-walking-together-in-an-ecclesial-kairos.html
- The ‘love-the Nature’ film is a very attractive and engaging meditation on the Story of the Cosmos and how we have come full circle in absorbing the lessons of the natural world and building on those insights through our research and imagination: https://uplift.tv/2019/love-thy-nature/
- The PBS video tells the story of the Amazon bio region and its inhabitants and why we must be very careful in the choices that we make about its future: https://www.pbs.org/video/the-amazon-xs6uil/
100 Years in the Amazon Basin October 18th, 2012
A recent trip to the Peruvian Amazon served to remind me of the vast expanse of the region and the great diversity that lives within its boundaries. While I was ready for the heat and humidity that Iquitos is known for, I was hardly prepared for the great network of major rivers that are an essential part of transportation in the region…
Dr. Maurice Schroeder, OMI Honored with Doctoral Degree September 16th, 2012
The University of Waterloo conferred an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree on Dr. Maurice Schroeder, OMI, on June 14th, 2012. Dr. Schroeder, a medical doctor, was recognized for his global citizenship work and, in particular, his leadership of a mission hospital in the Amazon Basin of northeastern Peru. The hospital has served over 20,000 mostly indigenous people living in villages along the Napo River.
Threat to Water from Mining in Peru Mobilizes Masses February 5th, 2012
Thousands of Peruvians from the Amazon to Lima have mobilized against a serious threat to the water in the Cajamarca region of Peru. Residents there, mostly indigenous peoples, are deeply concerned about the threat to their water from a proposed mining development by the American company, Newmont Mining. Oblates in the US have engaged Newmont about the impact of their operations on communities where they have mining operations. The Yanacocha mine has been a priority in those conversations though the recent turmoil in the Cajamarca region is related to the proposed development of Minas Congas and extension of the Yanacocha project. The Oblates in Peru are supporting the March for Water that has been organized by civil society in the impacted areas.
The movement claims “the right to be consulted, to be respected and heard in decisions about its development model, for socially-just participation in economic growth, the prohibition of mining in the headwaters of rivers, and a stop to mining with cyanide and mercury that is causing so much damage to land and water.” The marchers are proclaiming their human right to water, and drawing support from churches and civil society alike in a several day march from Cajamarca to Lima. The Great National Water mobilization began on February 1st and will conclude with a convocation in Lima on February 9-10.
Read a full description of the mobilization (in English translation):
Stop the Belo Monte Dam Project in the Amazon October 1st, 2010
Watch a ten-minute video on the BELO MONTE DAM project on the XINGU RIVER in the AMAZON which contains 1/5 of the worlds fresh water flows and sustains the livelihood of 25,000 Indian populations and innumerable species of plants and animals. It would be the 3rd largest hydro-electric dam in the world.
The $17Billion complex would generate electricity for aluminum, copper, tin, gold, bauxite and iron ore smelters, while diverting the Xingu River and flooding 200,000 hectares of land. Sixty dams are projected over the next twenty years including dams in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. The Amazon basin would become a stagnant reservoir.
- Amazon Watch
- International Rivers
- Belo Monte Dam Tour: Sigourney Weaver Narrates New Google Earth Animation on Brazil’s Controversial Belo Monte Dam
Companies Respond to Consumer Demands on Environment July 1st, 2010
Activist campaigns targeting corporations have been surprisingly successful in changing corporate behavior and “greening” supply chains, particularly with regard to timber and beef products. For continued success though, consumers need to signal a clear preference for sustainably produced goods.
A Yale Environment 360 article details one campaign’s success:
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