Faiths and Nature Conservation: a week to remember



Posted on 06 September 2013  | 
During the World Youth Day, WWF participated with videos, interviews and panel discussion about the relationship between faith and nature conservation.

From 23 to 28 July 2013, the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro was the stage for the biggest Catholic event in the world. The World Youth Day (WYD) - in Portuguese, Jornada Mundial da Juventude (JMJ) – gathered together two millions of pilgrims from different nationalities for a week of activities, including the Pope Francis’ visit.

WWF was present at WYD and, in partnership with WYD organizers, demonstrated, through videos, interviews and panel discussions, the need for a stronger understanding of the important relationship between faith and nature conservation and the possibilities of WWF collaboration with the faith leaders interested in nature conservation and sustainable development.

In this six-minute video Faiths and Nature Conservation: a week to remember  you can get a summary of the week and highlights of the discussions panels about faith and environment conservation.

The WYD week began on July 22th, in the Catholic University of Rio, with a presentation by Cláudio Maretti, leader of WWF’s Living Amazon Initiative, about the importance of the Amazon biome to the world and the responsibility of us all in delivering a good world and open choices to the youth and the next generations.

On Wednesday, July 24, WWF, the State of Rio de Janeiro and WYD hosted a panel discussion on Faith and Conservation on the first day of the Social Forum ‘Youth Alive’, held in the Manguinhos community.

Dekila Chungyalpa, director of the Sacred Earth program, the WWF program that connects religions and conservation in several different regions, recalled the origins of the work in the Himalayas.

Marcia Chame, member of Fiocruz, a health research foundation in Brazil, explained the clear links between our actions to protect the environment and human health and nutrition.

Following Marcia Chame’s speech, Laécio Vieira, youth from the Rural Pastoral Youth group, stressed the importance of soil, forest and water for small farmers.

During the Pope´s meeting with civil society also attended by WWF, representatives of Indigenous Peoples claimed more attention to the increasing threats to their territories and delivered a manifest to the Pope. (Adriano Carajas interview)

The Pope had given an important talk to all the Bishops gathered, reminding them of the important connection between Catholicism and the Amazon and calling on them and all Catholics to protect the Amazon basin (News: Pope asks young people to be happy and protagonists of their future)

The World Youth Day in Brazil is over, but the message of faith and protection of nature, and the importance of the Amazon, will remain.

Five Reasons to Care for the Amazon and Five Things You Can Do to Help





Forum Social de la Juventud Viva
© Denise Oliveira/ WWF Living Amazon Initiative Enlarge
Claudio Maretti, Leader of the Living Amazon Initiative
© WWF Brasil Enlarge
WYD Pilgramage in the Corcovado, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
© Claudio Maretti / WWF Living Amazon Initiative Enlarge
Indigenous Peoples waiting near Municipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro, where they met Pope Francis, during World Youth Day 2013, in Brazil.
© Denise Oliveira / WWF Living Amazon Initiative Enlarge
Pope Francis
© Denise Oliveira / WWF Living Amazon Initiative Enlarge

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