The Secretariat for On-going Formation, in collaboration with the Secretariat for the Evangelization of Peoples and Justice and Peace, has prepared a formation document on the theme: Cultivating environmental concerns with Our Lady (cf. CG 2007, n. 37a).
Since the Second World War and more particularly since the 1970s many attempts have been made by theologians and Christian thinkers to recover the Biblical teaching on creation and to develop new approaches to the ‘rest’ of creation. There has been ‘a flourishing of eco-theologies’. A wealth of new insights has been gained in recent decades. In the beginning of new millennium, the Order has been in constant dialogue with every friar, community and the rest of the Servite family regarding this important issue. Many literatures have been written, and meetings organized to keep our friars updated and informed as part of their integral and on-going formation.
Relevant reflections and questions were asked on this regard: What do we understand by Creation? How do we see our role as human beings in the created world? The questions evoke an urgent clarification in order to respond adequately to the current ecological crisis. Creation is a necessary consequence of the Love of God – Creator. In the Christian faith neither man nor nature is the center of reality – God is. In a conference given by Fr. Clodovis M. Boff, OSM (UNIFAS Meeting 2010 – Brazil), he mentioned a very important affirmation for a well-grounded ecological view: God is the measure of all things, of both man and nature. They exist only through His love and for His glory and in His glory they find fulfillment. It is true that nature comes before and is greater than man – in one sense nature may be our mother but ultimately she is our sister because she too was created by God. What is man’s legitimate place in creation? Neither at the summit nor at the bottom – rather in the middle: between God and the world, between the Creator and creation.
When God created the earth, the trees, the animals, the birds … we are told in the Scriptures, “God found them all very good”. According to the Priestly account of creation (cf. Gn 1,1 – 2,4), God tells human beings: ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven and all the living creatures that move on earth.'(cf. Gn 1, 28). God entrusts his creation in trust to human beings, not to destroy it, but to have ‘dominion’ over it, that is to ‘humanize’ the earth. The mandate given bestows on human beings the vocation of being responsible stewards of God on earth and that mandate given must be exercised under the covenant he established. Human beings have, indeed been given a central role which they are called to fulfill; therefore, human beings today have a special responsibility to contribute to the reconciliation of all things. amidst this pervading problem of ecological crisis.
In the recent years, the ecological crisis raises the problem of survival. The knowledge that life forms are interdependent has deepened our concern, and raised ethical questions about the effects of human activity upon the survival of human beings themselves and of all other forms of organic life..
I.STATE OF THE PLANET
How do we respond to the present ecological crisis? Fundamental changes have occurred in our understanding of nature, including the nature of human beings. Much irreversable ecological destruction has already occurred. With the recent developments and occurrences of natural disasters all over the world, one can simply observed that the earth’s situation is drastically changing in these recent years. The occurrences of earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, volcanic eruption and climatic change can attest to this fact.
The ecological issue is a global issue, just as we are a part of the problem; we are also part of the solution. We are called to respond to today’s challenges. How do we assess the present ‘state of the planet’ and its future? Education is a tool to eradicate our poverty in terms of awareness of the recurring and actual ecological issues. As friars we need to educate ourselves of the present state of the earth. Nowadays, information is readily avalailable through modern means of communication. The study made by the United Nations Environment program. is the primary basis and resources of information:
• More than 10 billion tons of pollution flows into the world’s oceans in the form of silt, clay, sewage, nutrient salts, poisonous chemicals, radioactive substances, oil, etc. Most of the world’s wastes are dumped into coastal seas – the place containing most of the world’s fishing waters.
• Major ocean fisheries, most of which are within exclusive economic zones, are already using a high proportion of the total available primary production, amounting to 25 percent for upwelling areas and 24-35 percent in shelf systems, leaving little or no possibility for further increases in these most productive fisheries (Pauly and Christensen, 1995). On the contrary, 70 percent of marine fisheries are so heavily exploited that reproduction cannot or can just barely keep up.
• One effect of the shifts in ocean conditions produced by the El Niño/Southern Oscillation, possibly assisted by global warming, is the bleaching of corals and other animals on tropical coral reefs. Coral reefs, which nurture more than 25 percent of all marine life, are among the world’s most fragile ecosystems. If their destruction continues at the same rate, 70 percent of the world’s coral reefs will die in the next 40 years (27% have already been lost).
• While climate negotiators keep meeting and working hard to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate against climate change, the rest of the world is learning to adapt to climate change impacts on the ground. Foremost among those impacts are escalating extremes in fresh water: too much or too little, too suddenly.
Those extremes will be the order of the day, as new patterns of rainfall and changes in the availability of fresh water disrupt supplies across the planet. 40 percent of the world’s population has no access to safe drinking water. 80 percent of disease in two-thirds of the world is related to poor drinking water and sanitation. Over two million people, most of them children, die each year of diarrheal disease linked to inadequate or unclean water supply. Although these patterns are complex and hard to predict, some have already been observed and are expected to become more apparent in coming decades.
The World Commission on Dams is an independent body sponsored by the World Bank to review the performance of large dams and make recommendations for future planning of water and energy projects final report provides ample evidence that large dams have failed to produce as much electricity, provide as much water, or control as much flood damage as their backers claim. In addition, these massive projects regularly suffer huge cost-overruns and time delays. Furthermore, the report shows that:
Large dams have forced 40-80 million people from their homes and lands, with impacts including extreme economic hardship, community disintegration, and an increase in mental and physical health problems. Indigenous, tribal, and peasant communities have been particularly hard hit. People living downstream of dams have also suffered from increased disease and the loss of natural resources upon which their livelihoods depended;
Large dams cause great environmental damage, including the extinction of many fish and other aquatic species, huge losses of forest, wetland and farmland; and
The benefits of large dams have largely gone to the already well-off while poorer sectors of society have borne the costs.
• Indigenous populations, whose livelihood disappears with the destruction of the forests, inhabit most of the areas covered by rainforests. At the same time their valuable knowledge about the plants and animals of the rainforest is also lost.
• Rainforests form the world’s oldest ecosystem and contains 60% of the plant and animal species. Land half the size of San Francisco contains 545 kinds of birds, 100 species of dragonflies, and 729 types of butterflies. 205 kinds of mammals, 845 types of birds, and 10,000 different varieties of plants inhabit the Costa Rican rainforests.
• The rainforest contains such a plethora of life that humans have been unable to classify and name all of it. Many species are becoming extinct without their existence ever being recorded. Tropical rainforests provide between 25% and 40% of all pharmaceutical products. Three thousand plants have anti-cancer properties; of these, 70% inhabit the rainforests.
5. . DESERTIFICATION
Land degradation has affected some 1900 million hectares of land word-wide. In Africa an estimated 500 million hectares of land have been affected by soil degradation, including 65% of the region’s agricultural land. The rate at which arable land is being lost is increasing and is currently 30-35 times the historical rate. The loss of potential productivity due to soil erosion worldwide is estimated to be equivalent to some 20 million tons of grain per year. And this is happening worldwide, not just in Africa or Asia
6. . BIO-DIVERSITY
• The effects of human activities on biodiversity have increased so greatly that the rate of species extinctions is rising to hundreds or thousands of times the background level. These losses are driven by increasing demands on species and their habitats, and by the failure of current market systems to value biodiversity adequately. Paleontologists recognize six previous mass extinction events during the past half billion years. Researchers of bio-diversity agree that we are in the midst of the seventh mass extinction. 25% of the world’s 4,630 species of mammals and 11% of 9,675 birds are at “significant risk” of extinction; 20% of freshwater species have vanished or have been driven towards extinction in recent decades; 976 tree species are classified as critically endangered. Half the species of plants and animals would be gone by the end of the 21st century. Throughout history, people have cultivated or gathered 7,000 plant species for food. Today only 20 species provide 90% of the world’s food: maize, wheat and rice supply more than half.
7. . OZONE LAYER
Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) contribute 23 percent of the greenhouse gases. They are doubly hazardous because they contribute to global warming and deplete the ozone layer. CFCs are increasing in the atmosphere by 7% each year. The ozone layer is thinning all over the earth but is the most depleted around the Polar Regions. The ozone layer in the stratosphere (about 12-45 km above the ground) shields the Earth’s surface from the Sun’s damaging ultraviolet (UV-B) rays. Exposure to increased UV-B radiation at the Earth’s surface is known to result in skin cancer and unpredictable damage to plants, algae, the food chain and the global ecosystem.
• 8. GLOBAL WARMING
Global warming is one of the most critical issues of today
• Temperature can go up by 5.8°C (10.4°F) during this century: the past decade has been by far the hottest on record; and the rise in temperature has been greatest in Polar Regions and around cities.
• Greenhouse gases that have been locked safely in the Arctic’s permafrost for millennia are now being released because of global warming. Permafrost has acted as a carbon sink, locking away carbon and other greenhouse gases like methane, for thousands of years. But there is evidence that this is no longer the case, and the permafrost in some areas is starting to give back its carbon.
• The effects of greenhouse gases on the atmosphere include climate changes that cause more severe typhoons, hurricanes and floods, plus the bleaching of coral reefs, the melting of polar ice caps …
• Sea level has risen during the past century between 3.9 and 10 in. (10 – 25 cm) because of the thermal expansion of the oceans, and scientists estimate that with current trends, they could rise by an average of 5 cm per decade over the next 100 years. Some estimates suggest that sea levels could rise by almost a full meter by the year 2100.
• Humans and other members of the life community are already suffering from climatic changes. Scientific projections point to an increase in the breadth and severity of such suffering: heat stress, an increase in insect-borne tropical diseases, food insecurity, etc.
However, not all societies have been contributing equally to the problem. Over 80% of the CO2 emissions, which have accumulated in the atmosphere over the past 150 years, have come from the richer northern countries. But the hardest hits are the poor countries and small-island nations.
II: THE SERVANTS OF MARY AND ECOLOGY
As Servants of Mary we cannot be indifferent to environmental crisis around us. We must respond to the very serious aggression the Earth endures through the savage exploitation of its resources. This exploitation puts the very existence of humanity at risk. Unbridled greed could risk the death of the whole planet. Painful examples of this tragedy include global warming, pollution, privatization of water resources, waste and the destruction of the Amazon Rainforest.
In the solitude of Monte Senario, our first Fathers respected nature and saw the environment as a gift of God (cf. LO 41). Today as well, some Servites are promoting ecological responsibility; others are defending the earth’s resources. All of our communities must join them and grow in love and respect for the environment. They can do this by embracing a sober life-style, being careful in their use of water and energy, and giving witness against consumerism. (CG 2007, 16)
Our Order arose among the evangelical-apostolic forms of religious life that began in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. St. Francis of Assisi (+ 1226), proclaimed patron of ecologists by John Paul II, (See John Paul II, Inter Sanctos, AAS 71 (1979): 1509-1510). is a strong and original figure of that era. His life was an admirable example of “genuine and deep respect for the integrity of nature.” (John Paul II, Peace with God the Creator, Peace with All of Creation).
The ecological insight of St. Francis exerted a salutary influence on other religious movements similar to his and founded about the same time and in the same area. In this connection it is a pleasure to recall the story of Monte Senario where our First Fathers decided to settle and begin our Family. It is a story in which admiration, respect and a religious understanding of nature are essential elements. (In the spiritual interpretation of the Legenda de origine Ordinis, Monte Senario is presented as a “new Eden,” a place of unspoiled beauty. See A. Serra, “Il Senario, dei Servi di Maria: Un suggestivo midrash della Legenda de Origine Ordinis Servorum (ca. 1308),” in A. Serra, Nato da donna..: Ricerche bibliche su Maria di Nazaret (1989-1992) (Milan-Rome: Cens-Marianum, 1992), 309-355).
The author of the Legenda describes the crest of Monte Senario in a way that reveals what we could call today ecological sensitivity. He says: “They found at the top a delightful level area, a spring of very fine water off to one side and a surrounding grove of trees so well-arranged that it might have been planted by hand.” (Legenda, 41). Centuries later, in 1713, the pine woods are still so dense that friar Francesco M. Poggi (+ 1720) notes with satisfaction that “said woods” are “filled with thick pines” planted “not carelessly and without order as in other woods” but rather lined up like “a well ordered militia.” (Francesco M. Poggi, Memorie della vita del Servo di Dio p. Giulio Arrighetti fiorentino… raccolte e descritte (nel 1713) da Francesco M. Poggi (Pistoia, Italy: Alberto Pacinotti, 1920), 62). This is due not to chance but to the detailed and severe instructions found in the Constitutions of the Hermits of the Sacred Hermitage, a text inspired by awe-filled respect for nature.
Father Rector and the Custodian will see to the maintenance of the hermitage’s woods by having a good number of pines planted each year. Since no one is allowed to cut wood without permission of the Chapter, so as not to ruin the attractiveness of the place, whoever cuts green trees without the permission of Father Rector or the Chapter will fast on bread and water, once for each tree. (Regola del Padre Sant’Agostino e Costituzioni de’ Romiti del Sacro Eremo di santa Maria de’ Servi de Monte Senario, 40 (Florence: Stamperia di Bartolommeo Sermartelli, 1613), 121).
The italicized phrase “so as not to ruin the attractiveness of the place” states the purpose of the prohibition to cut down young trees. The love for nature at Monte Senario will be passed on to the other hermitages founded from there. (Among these is the hermitage of St. George in Lunigiana, in the construction of which the friars are “all busy as bricklayers and workers…. in an idyllic and Franciscan peace…, in a positive relationship with nature that surrounds them and that they’ve made their own.” O. Jacques Dias, “L’amicizia tra due eremiti dei Servi in una lettera del 1632 sull’eremo di San Giorgio in Lunigiana,” Studi Storici OSM 34 (1984), 221).
The Family of Servants of Mary in its zeal to continue the dialogue regarding the present ecological crisis has decided during the VII UNIFAS Assembly in Rome (May 14-17, 2009) to celebrate the VI International Convention of the Servite Family in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (July 7 – 14, 2010). The convention discussed “Servites and Preservation of the Environment.” It focused on the study of the sacred mystery of creation as an inter-connected totality – all the work of God.
The Convention did raised consciousness in the Servite Family about the need to protect the work of God, the Creator. In line with the Servite charism of compassion, we must work to limit degradation of the environment and its impact on the poorest and most vulnerable. In this way we can re-establish a proper balance in creation. This subject was especially appropriate for a Convention held in Brazil where Servites have been involved for decades in the struggle to preserve the Amazon Rain Forest and to defend the life and livelihood of the native peoples who live in the forest.
III. PARADIGM SHIFTS: TOWARDS A DEVELOPMENT OF ECOLOGICAL AWARENESS AND SPIRITUALITY AND THE SERVITE RESPONSE
There was a time when we thought that ecological crisis was not a serious problem in the poorer countries. The real problem, it was assumed, was confined to poverty and economic exploitation, and the environmental issue was rejected as a “luxury” of the industrialized countries. Today we realize how urgent this issue is for rich and poor countries alike- in fact for the whole world. The threat is to life in general. There is an urgent need of seeing the whole situation in new perspective towards a more renewed and committed defense and preservation of life.
1. ECOLOGICAL JUSTICE
The ecological crisis should be seen as a justice issue. Ecological justice, that is, right relationship with the environment, is not possible in a socially unjust world. A serious concerted effort aimed at protecting the environment and at promoting development will not be possible without directly addressing the structural forms of poverty that exist throughout the world. This will require a courageous reform of structures, as well as new ways of relating. As Jurgen Moltmann in his book, The future of Creation, states; “We shall not be able to achieve social justice without justice for natural environment; we shall not be able to achieve justice for nature without social justice.”
The religious author of Leviticus 25 stipulated that every 7th year should be a Sabbatical Year, during which the land had to be left fallow is indicative of the fact that the land was being over-exploited and abused, and this also means that slaves and animals were over-employed and exploited. In the same passage, the law says that whatever grows on it on its own during the seventh year will provide sufficient food for the whole family, for the slaves, for the guests, and even for the animals. The biblical concept of the Sabbatical Year has social and ecological dimensions. Such a law was in view of helping them to review their relationships not only with the land, but also with God, with others, especially the poor. Where there are no right relationships, there is injustice, violence and destruction.
As Servite friars we must acquire an ecological consciousness that includes respect for and attention to nature, as well as solidarity with groups committed to preventing environmental deterioration. (We wish to express here our solidarity with the Servite friars working in the Amazon who have received repeated death threats because of their defense of the natives and their opposition to the destruction of the forest. See General Chapter 1995, Message to the Servite Family), General Chapter 2007, 17)
2. SPIRITUALITY OF INTERCONNECTEDNESS
The ecological crisis has led to a profound understanding of the interconnectedness of all forms of life, and of our interdependence. If we are all connected it follows that we are dependent on each other, not only for survival but also for wholeness and integrity. Every nationality and culture, every race and tribe, every ethnic and linguistic group; everything that has life, has its place in God’s creation. This new perspective affirms our interrelatedness one to another and nature. We have to develop what John Paul II calls a sense of “ecological responsibility.” This includes “responsibility for oneself, for others, and for the earth,” (Paul II, Peace with God the Creator, and Peace with All of Creation). and requires “a genuine conversion in ways of thought and behavior.”
3. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
This principle concerns justice between generations and safeguarding the environment. Nor can the moral character of development exclude respect for the beings which constitute the natural world (cf. Sollicitudo rei socialis, 34).The demands of the ecological crisis raise fundamental questions about the validity of the present economic system. The commitment to constant economic growth tends to exploit resources without realistic consideration of the ecological consequences. Environmental measures have little impact, as long as the overall course of production and consumption continues to be pursued at the present rate. The notion of sustainable development must not be used (or rather misused) to make the present system more acceptable by slight ‘ecological corrections’. The ecological crisis demands a radical change of orientation. Economic activities must be guided by the recognition of ‘scales’ of exploitation. The notion of sustainability must be supplemented by the notion of sufficiency. )
Part of the life-long development of the Servants of Mary isthe acquisition of the capacity to speak and dialogue with the contemporary times (cf. OSM Cost. 107) thus enabling him, in the spirit of charity to be open to himself and to all human needs. This creative interaction with the global environment could only be achieve through on-going formation in the field of justice and peace and integrity of creation A Contemporary friar could not separate himself from the society and the global environment he is in contact with. Therefore the responsibility of engaging in a critical analysis of the present system is a call he has to answer This also involves a critique of the utilitarian considerations governing environmental debates –
4. STEWARDS OF CREATION
The natural environment has been of great concern to humanity, for nature has been the “source of human life” as well as a threat to it at times. In recent years, this concern has been rekindled because of the advancement of humanity’s ability to control and manipulate natural forces by means of science and technology that has created life-threatening situations – pollution, nuclear weapons and intervention in natural processes – with unforeseen consequences. The issue of the relationship between human life and Nature is not merely the question of how to deal with the natural environment but that of the total Creation,
We have to recall, too, the epilogue to our Constitutions which bids us to “have only relationships of peace” (Cost. OSM 319) with all creatures. It is the peace which comes as a gift of Christ and the Spirit and which excludes every kind of violence and pollution and all arrogance, vulgarity and banality in our dealings with whatever creature – man or woman, plant or animal, earth or water.
We can no longer see ourselves as names and rulers over nature but must think of ourselves as gardeners, caretakers, mothers and fathers, stewards, trustees, lovers, priests, co-creators and friends of a world that while giving us life and sustenance, also depends increasingly on us in order to continue both for itself and for us.
5. BUILDING A FUTURE FOR THE GENERATION AFTER US
In particular, the ecological crisis directs our ethical consciousness to the needs of future generations. While in the past Christian ethics were primarily concerned with relation among human beings of our life time, today’s threats to the future have compelled us to extend human responsibility to future generations. It is not enough to insist that the claims of future generations be protected. Many hold that they need to be protected in juridical form. Future generations have a right to live. They are entitled to a sufficient amount of natural renewable resources. Interference with the environment, in particular interference with eco-systems of animals and plants and genetic manipulation require justification. The cultural heritage and as well as other elements of the human heritage must be protected by law.
Some go even further and speak of the necessity to recognize rights of nature. Several attempts have been made in this direction. They are based on the conviction that the common origin of human beings and nature must be heeded. Nature also has a right to exist. Living beings must be protected and their propagation assured.
When the friars of Monte Senario . planted pine trees and took care of the preservation of the forest, they were aware of the fruits to be harvested in the future: ecologically balanced environment, clean air and fresh water. Such fruits could still be tasted as one climbs up Monte Senario. Even up to these days dwellers of the city of Florence savor its benefit as they escape the heat of summer in the city and find solace and rest in the mountain.
6. A RENEWED LIFE STYLE
In 1990, Pope John Paul II, in his January 1st Peace Day Message, speaking of the ecological crisis said it was a moral and spiritual crisis. “Modern society will find no solution to the ecological problem unless it takes a serious look at its life style. It entails a genuine conversion in ways of thought and behavior. In many parts of the world society is given to instant gratification and consumerism while remaining indifferent to the damage which these cause … Simplicity, moderation and discipline … must become a part of everyday life…” (# 13). Consumerism is an evil, for it destroys our human dignity and spirituality. Uncontrolled greed does not help relationships with God, with other people nor with the rest of creation. Linked to consumerism are the sins of accumulation and waste.
The OSM Constitutions n.57c states that, The simplicity of our life style, insofar as it removes whatever sets us apart from others, allows us to enter into communion with those we are called to serve and become one with them in Christ Jesus. Living in harmony with nature and keeping our needs to a minimum, should send the message that the earth is the Lord’s and that it should not be indiscriminately used to satisfy human avarice and greed. It could also be, a powerful protest against a wasteful life-style that is devoid of any responsibility to the world of nature
IV. WHAT CAN WE DO
In order to realize our resolved and developed in our friars and communities the commitment of safeguarding our ecological patrimony, I will suggest the working method inspired and as described in the words Paul VI pronounced when the Justice and Peace Commission was established (April 20, 1967): In our eyes you represent the realization of the Council’s final vote (Gaudium et Spes, 90). In other times – and even today – once a church or bell tower was built a cock was placed at the summit, a symbol of watchfulness in faith and of the whole of Christian life. Similarly at the very summit of the spiritual building of the Council was placed this Commission; its only mission is to keep the Church’s eyes open, her heart sensitive and her hands ready for the charity she is called to perform in the world.
1. Eyes Open. (See):
Means the ability to see and analyze the reality of our world. We could add ‘ears open’ if we are to be truly present in the world. It is a question of paying attention to life, to what is going on, to see and hear the noise of the world in which we live, to look at life with God’s eyes and to be aware of the work of the Spirit in our world.
a. . Listen, gather information and analyze it.
b. Analyze the situation around us and the world at large to discover the causes and dimensions of problems.
2. Sensitive heart. (Judge):
We must see, know and understand the reality of the world. This is not something we can do from afar, aloof, remaining in our offices. If our understanding of reality is going to move us to work for its transformation we must become involved, we must plumb its depths personally and with our heart, we must experience compassion.
a. Study the real situation in the light of the Gospel and the Church’s social doctrine, and at the same time mindful of our charism and identity.
b. Choose to confront those problems that best fit our own spirituality.
3. Hands ready for transformation (Act)
We must be ready to put in action our reflection and plan of action.
a. Provide information and offer the results of our analyses (suggestions and reasons to act).
b. Link up with the JPIC of the Congregation, the Religious Conferences and the Church.
c. Cultivate relations with communities and individual friars (visit priories, appoint a delegate in each community …)
d. Begin with projects that all agree upon and avoid those things that would provoke the greatest resistance. Denunciation and proclamation.
e. Concentrate on what is positive. Propose small but specific steps: grassroots strategies.
a. Work closely with the provincial team.
f. Link up with other non-governmental groups, network.
g. Formation programs should include and intensify information campaign to create awareness regarding creation and its preservation.
h. Creation of Servite Family programs on safeguarding creation.
IV. SUGGESTIONS FOR REFLECTION IN SMALL-GROUPS
a. How can we promote awareness in our Order about the present state of the planet?
b. How can we motivate our friars for action?
c. How can we promote in our Order a simpler life style?
d. How can we include education to Ecology in all our formation houses and in pastoral ministries?
e. Is Ecology an integral part of our mission today?
f. How can we work in collaboration with NGO’s, parishes, communities at the local, provincial and national levels.
V. RESOURCES FOR FURTHER EDUCATION AND FORMATION
1. Web Pages
http://www.grid.unep.ch : United Nations Environment programme; analyses key environmental issues and trends with country and regional overviews and case studies with useful links to other sites.
http://www.webofcreation.org : an excellent web site. It includes information, news bulletins, articles and talks on creation theology and spirituality.
http://www.infohabitat.org : information habitat: is a project of the Communications-Coordination Committee for the United Nations, and is a non-governmental organization in special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). It includes reflections on eco- spirituality.
http://www.envirolink.org : information on environmental issues, sustainability, educational resources, links to other environmental groups and campaigns.
http://www.creationethics.org : a Religious Campaign for Forest Conservation; building an Interfaith Forest Ethic.
http://www.earthcharter.org : The Earth Charter recognizes that humanity’s environmental, economic, social, cultural, ethical and spiritual problems and aspirations are interconnected. It is about freedom, justice, participation and peace, as well as environmental protection and economic well-being.
http://www.hds.harvard.edu/cswr/ecology: http://www.religionsandconservation.org : On religion and Ecology
http://www.ipcc.ch/ http://www.unfcc.de : http://www.wmo.ch/; http://www.climatevoice.org: Climate change.
http://www.climatenetwork : international solidarity
http://www.unep.org/ozone: http://www.uneptie.org/ozonaction.html : Ozone Depletion
http://www.gpa.unep.org : http://www.unep.ch/seas : Oceans/Freshwater
http://www.worldwaterday.org : Water
http://www.irn.org : Dams
http://www.globalforestwatch.org/ : Forests
http://www.chem.unep.ch; http://www.basel.int : Chemicals and Hazardous Waste
http://www.biodiv.org : Biodiversity/Bio-safety
http://www.worldwatch.org World Watch Institute
http://www.myfootprint.org My ecological footprint
http://www.iccr.org Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility
2. Reading Materials
2.1. Talks delivered during the UNIFAS Meeting 2010 in Brazil
• – I Servi e la cura del creato, parole di apertura del Priore generale, fra Ángel M. Ruiz Garnica, OSM
• Ecology from a Nihilist Point of View: For an Ecology that is Open and Transparent by Fr. Clodovis M. Boff, OSM
• Giuliana e Alessio; Innamorati di Dio Creatore e della sua creazione, by Fr. Gino M, Leonardi, OSM
• Deep Incarnation: Prepare to be Astonished by Elizabeth A. Johnson, CSJ
• Giver of Life Whirling through the Cosmos in Pain and Hope, by Elizabeth A, Johnson, CSJ
2.2 Talk delivered during Seminario di Ricerca organized by the Uffico Nazionale per I Problemi Sociali e il Lavoro..servizio Nazionale per il Progetto cultural della CEI, La Creazione come Dono: Dono o e debito; tra scienze umane e teologia, by Fr. Martin M. Lintner, OSM
2.3. Servi del Magnificat, un documento pubblicato in occasione del CCX Capitolo Generale dell’Ordine dei Servi di Maria
2.4. CCXII Capitolo Generale 2007 dell’Ordine dei Servi di Maria. Documento Finale del Testo Approvato.