The Ideas

As alliance to defend
the planet

03 September 2022

There is a de facto alliance between women and the Church to defend the planet. There is a profound agreement in the fight against climate change that threatens the human family.  There is a bridge between the commitment to the environment, which with Francis’ pontificate has become both central to the action of the Church, and that of the many women who in the most distant and often poorest countries struggle and seek concrete solutions so that the common home does not suffer irreparable damage.

In this issue of Women Church World, we have sought out those who for some time, and at the so-called periphery of the world, have been trying to protect the environment, the air, the forests, the fauna, the lives of humans, and to offset the degradation. Despite conventions, conferences and declarations of goodwill to halt the enormous damage, the richest countries, are unable to stem its progress. We have found stories that are more eloquent and more moving than many words can express, experiences that are already bearing fruit.  In addition, we have discovered an indomitable will to go on despite the many difficulties.

Here we have the story of Vandana Shiva who, in 1995, founded a community seed bank to combat land abuse. As the founder of the Navdana farm communicates her conviction, it is women who will save the earth, who will prevent intensive exploitation of the soil, and who will preserve the seeds.

There is the story of Sister Patricia Daly, who holds a chair on the boards of directors of large companies. She uses a package of shares entrusted to her by investors of the Catholic faith to direct corporate policies towards the fight against climate change and environmental protection.

In addition, there is the article on Kenyan activist Wanjira Maathai who is following in the footsteps of her mother Wanjara Maathai, the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for her commitment to sustainable development. With her Green Belt Movement, she is doing everything possible, because - she argues - it is from one’s own daily life that one must start. “In my own small way I plant trees” her mother used to say, a phrase that has become a call for change.  From Uganda comes the story of Vanessa Nakate, the African face of the Rise Up Climate movement, the student who travelled with Greta Tumberg to international summits to ask the leaders of the world’s richest and most powerful countries to stop the race towards self-destruction. We tell these stories in September’s issue, because this is the month of Creation, and while the preparations for COP 27 on climate change are underway.  Many more we have written on for this month’s issue. Nevertheless, it is already consoling to know that in many parts of the world women are trying. That they are the champions of the earth; in addition, there is the unconditional support of the Church.