Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of November 6, 2006
Ecological conversion needed now – Vatican
Time is running out, archbishop says
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
While acknowledging that the international community has placed greater emphasis on developing renewable energy sources, clean technologies and sustainable development strategies, the nuncio said all nations "must do much more to stop and reverse current trends in consumption and pollution."
He added that the Holy See favours efforts at making the Kyoto Protocol effective, using strategies that meet "short and long-term energy needs, protect human health and the environment, and establish precise commitments that will effectively confront the problem of climate change."
The Kyoto Protocol, ratified by more than 160 countries, commits nations to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
While noting the world's continued reliance on fossil fuels, Migliore called for urgent "serious public investment in clean technology," especially "to diminish as fast as possible the impact of air and sea transport pollution and those sectors' continued use of outdated technology."
"Progress is slowly being made in clean technologies in other fields, including even that of car transport: but the time is now ripe for major investment in cleaner air and sea transport technologies before the ecological balance is tipped by culpable neglect," he said.
The Vatican also pointed to the growing problems of water management, desertification and rural degradation.
Noting that now one in six of the world's population is affected by growing desertification and drought, Migliore called for coordinated international "concrete actions to reverse this alarming phenomenon."
Desertification results from degradation of land, primarily because of development and the demands of increased and shifting populations.
The nuncio also said the international community needs to do a better job of "governance of water resources." The world faces a problem not of "the lack of sufficient water for human needs," he said, but rather problems of management, infrastructure, technology and finance.
The archbishop pointed to the global rural areas, within which three quarters of the world's hungry reside and which "is being ever more degraded."
"Policy makers cannot continue to treat the rural world as second class," Migliore said. "Agrarian reform and rural development (are of great importance) in combating hunger and poverty, in promoting sustainable development and food safety, in guaranteeing the promotion of human rights."
(© Catholic Online 2006, www.catholic.org)
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