ASIA/PHILIPPINES - Bishops' Appeal: "Cherish the earth to save Mindanao"

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Kidapawan (Agenzia Fides) – It is urgent to preserve the natural environment, and save the island of Mindanao: this is a joint urgent appeal by the Bishops of the four dioceses on the island of Mindanao, in southern Philippines: Kidapawan, Marbel, Digos and Cotabato. In the appeal, sent to Fides Agency, the Bishops note that the "devastating environmental degradation in Mindanao" is due in large part to the work of man, and causes "extreme climate changes" such as droughts, floods and typhoons. With regards to the "human factor" the Bishops intend poaching, mining on a large scale, poor waste management, continuous soil erosion, air, river, lake and sea pollution, irresponsible consumption of energy sources.
The appeal notes some "moral and political imperatives": the first is to safeguard the environment, entrusted by God to man. "In the use of biotechnology, in the application of technology to exploit the natural resources, we must always protect the human rights, health and the common good," notes the text sent to Fides.
Based on these principles, the Church offers some opinions on "some hot topics' and states that if mining agribusiness does not protect environment, health and human rights are, objectively," social sins ". A special chapter is that of the mines that threaten the lands, "ancestral domain" of the local tribes, while another major concern is the modification of watersheds and other protected areas in Mindanao.
The Bishops invite government leaders and politicians and administrators to review all laws that are not in accord with the moral and social principles, and do not respect the natural environment, undertaking, as a community of believers, to promote the care and integrity of God's creation. The appeal is signed by Guillermo Afable (Bishop of Digos); Orlando Quevedo and Jose Colin Bgaforo (respectively Archbishop and Auxiliary Bishop of Cotabato); Romulo de la Cruz (Bishop of Kidapawan); Dinualdo D. Gutierrez, Bishop of Marbel. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 25/42013)