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Lenten Reflections on Water February 24th, 2012
The World Council of Churches offers a unique Lenten practice, in solidarity with half the world, for whom water is scarce, whose waters are polluted or who have difficult access to water. This resource is available through the WCC-sponsored Ecumenical Water Network, a network of churches and Christian organizations promoting people’s access to water around the world.
Praying, reflecting and acting for a just economy of WATER:
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):
Religious Community Calls for Clean Water Act Protection October 19th, 2011
The Oblate JPIC Office has joined religious groups in calling for protection of the Clean Water Act in a letter sent to Congress and the Obama Administration.
U.S. Grassroots Effort to Ban Fracking Ramps Up September 14th, 2011Environmental Justice and Health Groups Solicit the UN to Recognize Fracking as a Human Rights Issue; Over 5,000 Calls Made to the White House from Citizens Concerned About Fracking
Concern about the impacts of hydrofracking for natural gas on the integrity of water supplies in affected areas has been strong for some time. Last year, the New York City Council voting unanimously to block fracking in the New York City watershed. Faith-based investors have been raising concerns at the corporate level about the pollution of local water supplies by this method now commonly used in natural gas drilling. But there has not been a national outcry at the grassroots level – until now.
Yesterday, over 5,000 Americans from all 50 states flooded White House phone lines yesterday to tell President Obama to ban the polluting, dangerous practice. Spearheaded by the national consumer advocacy group Food & Water Watch, United for Action, and Center for Health, Environment and Justice, nearly 50 organizations across the country and individuals in every state called on Obama to ban fracking.
“President Obama has got an energy problem on his hands,” says Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch. “Citizens, many of whom helped to get him elected, are becoming increasingly worried about fracking and other dirty energy schemes the administration is assessing, like the Keystone XL pipeline. Our water resources should not be sacrificed for energy, and he’s hearing this in no uncertain terms from people all over the country.”
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JPIC Distance Learning Program Now Available! September 12th, 2011
The Spiritan-owned Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania launched a JPIC Distance Learning Program in mid August 2011. The program, available in English, was designed by the Spiritan’s former JPIC Promoter in Rome, John Kilcrann CSSp, and has been in a testing phase for the past year.
This year the program will present four courses:
- Foundations of Theological Reflection
- Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding 1
- Economics and People
- Water, Environment, and Development
In subsequent years, additional JPIC-linked courses will be added, covering eventually more than 20 central areas of JPIC concern. This will ideally provide pastoral workers, clergy and religious with a ‘tool-box’ of skills to minister more effectively in this important pastoral area.
The course is self-learning in design; the level is pitched at post high (secondary) school level and is in English. Participants set their own pace during each course, studying at a speed suitable to their already busy schedules. When participants complete a required number of courses they will be awarded a certificate by Duquesne University. Registration in the course will also enable participants to use Duquesne’s vast electronic library services free of charge and so permit them to access and download hundreds of thousands of articles in many disciplines from a wide selection of journals, as well as book chapters.
The course is offered free of charge and is the first of its kind available via the internet. Prerequisites include a reasonably good internet access and an adequate fluency in English. You can find detailed information on the program and contact details at http://www.duq.edu/jpic.
The Poor in Detroit Struggle to Cope with Water Shutoffs July 12th, 2011
As the world’s growing population hits up against an increasingly limited supply of fresh water, local communities are suffering. Poor residents of the city of Detroit are among those struggling to cope with water shutoffs. This reality continues despite passage of the UN Resolution declaring water as a human right last year.
Students at the University of Michigan have studied the growing water crisis in Detroit and peoples’ efforts to do something about it. Read their report. (Download PDF)