Environmental emergency: data and solutions from Sant'Egidio meeting in Rome: "Young Africans at the forefront"#peaceispossible
The humanitarian needs of the world are increasing. 300 million people are in need of assistance, 200 million people are suffering from hunger. We are experiencing floods in Pakistan, where 1 million homes were lost, and one third of the country has been devastated. We have a similar situation when it comes to the floods in Somalia. Michael A. Kohler (European Commission) draws a realistic picture of the effects of the climate crisis at the Sant'Egidio convention 'The cry for peace' in Rome. Yet, we are not trying to paint an apocalyptic picture. In fact, we ask: why not transform the environmental crisis into a recovery? Many plastic recycling start-ups were born in Africa with the objective to overcome the energy crisis in a social way. “Young Africans can be at the cutting edge of environmental resilience”, warns Kpakilé Felemou (Sant'Egidio). “The environmental emergency in Africa - he explains - creates a social emergency. There is a clear link between land abuse and poverty. We need to repair both the environment and the social fabric of society. The lack of arable land has led many to live with nothing in the suburbs. The disruption of the ecosystem leads to the arrival of diseases such as Ebola”. One can invest in education and schooling as an education for peace and ecological conscience.
"The cry of the earth and that of the poor are one cry" explains Juan Grabois, founder of the Confederation of workers in the popular economy (Ctep) in Argentina. "Common goods and raw materials, a gift of God, are instead in the hands of multinationals, and anyone who disputes this is accused of terrorism. We have created shower centers for those who live on the street, we help the poor by creating centers of recovery, we help prisoners to reintegrate into society. Our social struggles have led to great achievements”.
Gillian Kingston (World Methodist Council) uses an effective image: “The poor are the ones most affected by the climate crisis. We are all on the same sea but some of us have solid boats, others have makeshift rafts”.