How you can help resolve the climate crisis

18 March 2019

CAFOD partner run group in Colombia encouraging young people to raise awareness and act to clean their creek - Dona Josefa.

Around the world, people are fighting to restore our common home. Dana, Fiona and Proto live in Yuto, Colombia, a region which has some of the highest biodiversity in the world and which is at high risk due to climate change. They are part of a group encouraging awareness, raising actions and cleaning the Doña Josefa creek (pictured), which flows into the Atrato River.

We’re in the midst of a climate crisis. Join our new campaign, Our Common Home, and play your part to renew the earth.

Sign the petition

Dana, Fiona and Proto live in Yuto, Chocó Department in the Northwest of Colombia.  The region is among the places with the highest biodiversity in the world and is at high risk due to climate change. In 2016, the Colombian Constitutional Court in a ground-breaking ruling gave rights to the Atrato River, its tributaries and the Indigenous and AfroColombian communities living next to the River. Choco department is hard hit by Colombia’s ongoing internal armed conflict, which is fuelled by illegal economies including illegal gold mining which has contaminated much of the Atrato ruling and destroyed the traditional ways of living of the communities.

“We the Guardians of the Yuto, want to recover our source of life, which is the Atrato River.” 

Fiona

“We are making the community aware of the importance of not throwing garbage in water sources, because of the pollution that this generates in our surroundings.” - Dana

The Constitutional Court ruling, which granted rights to the river, also established the creation of the figure of “Guardians of the River”. The three young people are part of the group Young Guardians (in Spanish Guardiancitos, literally Little Guardians) of the Atrato River in Colombia.

The Guardians of the River are responding to the call of our common home. In the face of rising global temperatures, indifference, and over-reliance on depleting resources, communities like these are leading the way for renewed action.

Going further, faster

While many countries, the UK included, have made huge steps towards responding to climate change, we now need to go further, faster to prevent irreversible changes to our planet. Recycling, choosing public transport and reducing our meat intake all help but we need more ambitious political action if we are to ensure global temperatures are limited to 1.5°C.

Inspired by Pope Francis’ call to renew the earth, moved by the steps the Catholic community have already made, and fed up with inaction by distracted leaders, our new campaign, Our Common Home aims to stop the UK contributing to climate change for good. We’ll do this by petitioning the Prime Minister to ensure the UK commits to net-zero emissions by 2045 and continues to lead the way on climate action.

What does net-zero mean? Check out our climate FAQs

Get involved 

Our Common Home is also about getting communities talking about climate change and taking concrete action. Creation is God’s gift to us, so it is fitting that we are asking you to organise or attend a Creation Celebration. This is a creation-themed Mass followed by a coming together of people to share food and discuss climate change. You can also sign the petition to the Prime Minister at the event. Do encourage others to sign as well. We have a whole host of helpful materials for you to use: an Organiser’s guide with everything you need to set up a Creation Celebration, posters to inspire your parish, a Grace Cube to continue the climate conversations at home and much more.

Find out more: download Our Common Home resources 

React for Our Common Home

Whatever you do to play your part in ending climate change, now is the time to act. We can no longer take the world around us for granted. Please sign the petition to the Prime Minister and ask for the UK to lead the way to restore our common home for good.  

Sign our petition today 

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