Wednesday 28 September 2016

Global Integrity 18

Creation Integrity
Moral Wholeness for a Whole World

Integrity is moral wholeness—living consistently in moral wholeness. Its opposite is corruption, the distortion, perversion, and deterioration of moral goodness, resulting in the exploitation of people. Global integrity is moral wholeness at all levels in our world—from the individual to the institutional to the international. Global integrity is requisite for “building the future we want—being the people we need.” It is not easy, it is not always black and white, and it can be risky. These entries explore the many facets of integrity with a view towards the global efforts to promote sustainable development and wellbeing.

‘Creation Integrity” refers to the wholeness and health of the world—nature--of which humans of course are part. It requires humans having integrity at all levels (global integrity) in order to preserve the integrity of the earth. Here are seven items/quotes over the past 25 years that deal with this important topic: our integrity for creation integrity. Some also represent movements that have merged and morphed into other earth-ecological emphases. Note: See also World Day of Creation  on 1 September--short video message from Desmond Tutu

World Council of Churches (written in early 1990s, quote from website)
“Over the years, an emerging conviction that justice, peace and creation are bound together has found expression in such World Council of Churches' study and action programmes as the Just, Participatory and Sustainable Society (JPSS), the conciliar process for Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation (JPIC) and…the Theology of Life (TOL) programme. The quest, in the 1970s, for a "just, participatory and sustainable society" was a response to growing recognition of the persistence of poverty and misery and of the limits of and threats to the earth's capacity to sustain human life. Between its sixth (1983) and seventh (1991) assemblies, the WCC appealed to the churches to make public commitments and undertake common action on the threats to life in the areas of justice, peace and integrity of creation as part of the essence of what it means to be the church. Since 1991, this effort has centred on articulating a "theology of life".  In a series of 22 case studies, local groups from around the world have examined one of ten affirmations made by a 1990 world convocation on JPIC, and have sought to understand both what it implied in their own context and how these local elements fit into a global analysis. These programmes, each of which built on the insights of its predecessor, sought to encourage the churches to make costly commitments to justice, peace and creation. They also sought to identify and make the connections visible, and to encourage churches to keep them in mind when addressing justice, peace and creation issues.”

World Council of Churches (current, quote from the website)
“The WCC has a long tradition of addressing the links between Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation. Today, this approach is applied and updated in regard to some of the most urgent global challenges. The WCC work on eco-justice is implemented through the Ecumenical Water Network, the Climate Justice project and the Poverty, Wealth and Ecology project.

Eco-justice – what is that? The “eco” prefix comes from the Greek word oikos for “house” and is part of the etymological roots of economy and ecology, but also ecumenism. In linking environmental and social justice issues the environmental justice approach, “eco-justice” in short, challenges both humanity’s destruction of the earth and the abuse of economic and political power which result in poor people having to suffer the effects of environmental damage.”

Pope Francis (2016)
“13. The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change. The Creator does not abandon us; he never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us. Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home. Here I want to recognize, encourage and thank all those striving in countless ways to guarantee the protection of the home which we share. Particular appreciation is owed to those who tirelessly seek to resolve the tragic effects of environmental degradation on the lives of the world’s poorest. Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded.

14. I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all. The worldwide ecological movement has already made considerable progress and led to the establishment of numerous organizations committed to raising awareness of these challenges. Regrettably, many efforts to seek concrete solutions to the environmental crisis have proved ineffective, not only because of powerful opposition but also because of a more general lack of interest. Obstructionist attitudes, even on the part of believers, can range from denial of the problem to indifference, nonchalant resignation or blind confidence in technical solutions. We require a new and universal solidarity. As the bishops of Southern Africa have stated: “Everyone’s talents and involvement are needed to redress the damage caused by human abuse of God’s creation”. All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents.”

Earth Charter Initiative (2000, current)
 “The Earth Charter Initiative is a global movement of organizations and individuals that embrace
the Earth Charter and use it to guide the transition towards a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world.” (quote from website)

“We stand at a critical moment in Earth's history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations. Earth, Our Home Humanity is part of a vast evolving universe. Earth, our home, is alive with a unique community of life. The forces of nature make existence a demanding and uncertain adventure, but Earth has provided the conditions essential to life's evolution. The resilience of the community of life and the well-being of humanity depend upon preserving a healthy biosphere with all its ecological systems, a rich variety of plants and animals, fertile soils, pure waters, and clean air. The global environment with its finite resources is a common concern of all peoples. The protection of Earth's vitality, diversity, and beauty is a sacred trust. (excerpt from Preamble)

Ecological Integrity [4 of the 16 Principles in the Charter]
--5. Protect and restore the integrity of Earth's ecological systems, with special concern for biological diversity and the natural processes that sustain life.
--6. Prevent harm as the best method of environmental protection and, when knowledge is limited, apply a precautionary approach.
--7. Adopt patterns of production, consumption and reproduction that safeguard Earth's regenerative capacities, human rights and community well-being.
--8. Advance the study of ecological sustainability and promote the open exchange and wide application of the knowledge acquired.”

Earth Day Network (quote from website)
“Earth Day Network’s mission is to broaden and diversify the environmental movement worldwide and to mobilize it as the most effective vehicle to build a healthy, sustainable environment, address climate change, and protect the Earth for future generations. Growing out of the first Earth Day, Earth Day Network is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, working with more than 50,000 partners in 196 countries to build environmental democracy. We work through a combination of education, public policy, and consumer campaigns.

The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. The passage of the landmark Clean Air ActClean Water ActEndangered Species Act and many other groundbreaking environmental laws soon followed. Twenty years later, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.”

United Nations (2015) (excerpt below from text of the agreement)
“The Parties to this Agreement,
--Being Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, hereinafter referred to as "the Convention"
--…being guided by its principles, including the principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances….
--Emphasizing the intrinsic relationship that climate change actions, responses and impacts have with equitable access to sustainable development and eradication of poverty,
--Recognizing the fundamental priority of safeguarding food security and ending hunger, and the particular vulnerabilities of food production systems to the adverse impacts of climate change,
--Taking into account the imperatives of a just transition of the workforce and the creation of decent work and quality jobs in accordance with nationally defined development priorities,
--Acknowledging that climate change is a common concern of humankind, Parties should, when taking action to address climate change, respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on human rights, the right to health, the rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, migrants, children, persons with disabilities and people in vulnerable situations and the right to development, as well as gender equality, empowerment of women and intergenerational equity,
--Recognizing the importance of the conservation and enhancement, as appropriate, of sinks and reservoirs of the greenhouse gases referred to in the Convention,
--Noting the importance of ensuring the integrity of all ecosystems, including oceans, and the protection of biodiversity, recognized by some cultures as Mother Earth, and noting the importance for some of the concept of "climate justice", when taking action to address climate change,
--Affirming the importance of education, training, public awareness, public participation, public access to information and cooperation at all levels on the matters addressed in this Agreement,
--Recognizing the importance of the engagements of all levels of government and various actors, in accordance with respective national legislations of Parties, in addressing climate change,
--Also recognizing that sustainable lifestyles and sustainable patterns of consumption and production, with developed country Parties taking the lead, play an important role in addressing climate change,

Have agreed as follows:” [29 Articles, 27 pages]

United Nations (2015)
“This Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom. We recognise that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. All countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership, will implement this plan. We are resolved to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet. We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path. As we embark on this collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets which we are announcing today demonstrate the scale and ambition of this new universal Agenda….

--Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
--Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
--Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
--Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss."
--Which of the above items would you like to study further?

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