Tuesday 2 April 2024

Humanity Care--UPGs and SDGs 27


Global Integration Updates 
Special News--February 2024
Issue 92
View this email in your browser

 Global Integration Updates
Common Ground for the Common Good 
Be the people we need--Build the world we need

Special News--February 2024
Conversations on Creation Care
Contemplating Laudate Deum and COP28

Creation in California USA--Image courtesy and © ENOD
Pondering the health of our planet?


In this Update (#92), we invite you to join us in getting further informed about the current and future state of our planet as we discuss creation care. We welcome our long-time friend and colleague, Dr. Ania Grobicki, as the Guest Contributor, who for over 40 year has been actively involved in leadership, training, and advocacy in environmental-climate and development issues (see her bio towards the end).

One of Ania's current activities is co-facilitating the Climate and Spirit Group, a multi-faith group meeting on-line and in-person for spiritual conversations on climate issues (more information below). Thank you, Ania, for being with us and sharing your insights and resources in this crucial area!

Specifically we feature two new documents for your consideration--for contemplation and conversation:

  • Pope Francis'  Laudate DeumAn Apostolic Declaration to all People of Good Will on the Climate Crisis (October 2023)--noting the earlier document Laudato Si’ (2015). 
  • The United Nations COP28 Declaration on Climate Relief, Recovery, and Peace (December 2023)--noting the agreed-upon decisions in the COP28 outcome document).
We have intentionally only focused on these documents in this Update (one faith-based, Christian and the other secular-based, United Nations). Our hope is that you can take the time to read them carefully and further explore and engage in the crucial area of creation care.

We conclude the Update with some personal perspectives on being "people of faith-hope-love" in the Christian tradition who embrace "common ground for the common good." It is an inclusive approach which encourages active learning and collaboration with a diversity of colleagues on behalf of wellbeing for all people and the planet.

Suggested Applications--Making It Personal

  • Review the two main materials belowLaudate Deum and the COP28 Declaration. Take notes on any thoughts-feelings that get stirred up for you. 
  • Reflect on their implications for your life, world, and future generations. Are there things you strongly agree with, disagree with, or want to learn more about?
  • Have conversations with some family members or friends about these two documents. What other materials have you found to be helpful about creation care and safeguarding the people-planet nexus?
  • Contact Ania for more information about the Climate and Spirit Group.
  • Share this Update with your colleagues, organization(s), and network(s). Discuss practical applications for your life and work.
See these Global Integration Updates:

Warm greetings,
Kelly and Michèle


Featured Resources
Conversations on Creation Care
Contemplating Laudate Deum and COP28

Eolia, Harkness Park on the Atlantic Shoreline, CT USA
Image © KOD

Greetings from Dr. Ania Grobicki
And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
Genesis 1:2

I am delighted to join with you all as we contemplate and converse about the wellbeing of our precious planet—creation care. In our lifetimes, we have witnessed how human beings have inadvertently altered the balance of our two great and inter-connected planetary cycles, the carbon cycle and the water cycle, leading to increasing climate instabilities and human suffering worldwide. The ongoing proliferation of extreme weather events such as droughts, floods, and storms are causing increasing losses and damages to people, communities, and ecosystems. We now know that 2023 was the hottest year in recorded human history, by a long way, following a series of record-breaking hot years over the last decade, and that this global heating has been largely caused by our development of the fossil fuel economy. Changing human dependence on fossil fuels will be a long process, and in the meantime, climate impacts will get worse before they get better. 
As a person of faith in the Christian tradition, I am eager to explore how God’s Spirit is moving in our times. Where are the sparks of hope, where are the solutions, where are the needed social and personal transformations taking place? How can we contribute in the best way to the many climate-wise choices, decisions and actions that must be made everywhere over the coming years?

Certainly, I and many others have been inspired by the two papal encyclicals that have been published on the subject, Laudato Si’ (2015) and Laudate Deum (2023), both of which I would warmly urge to read. I have been involved with working for water all my life (over the past 40 years), from practical local projects to national, regional, and global levels. In the past 15 years I have become more deeply involved in climate issues, with my first COP experience being at COP15 in Copenhagen, in 2009.

The snail-like COP process is based upon a flawed multilateral convention (the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, or UNFCCC) ​which links together most of the world’s countries. Despite (or perhaps because of) its focus upon climate change, the convention mechanisms have been overly influenced by the oil-rich countries, with the latest annual event (COP28) being held recently in the United Arab Emirates. Nevertheless, the major COP28 outcome (termed the “Global Stocktake”) has now finally stated, for the first time in the Convention’s 30 year history, that humanity needs to make global efforts to “transition away from fossil fuels in energy systems, in a just, orderly and equitable manner” (paragraph 28). 

I would like to encourage you to get together with friends, family, and colleagues to explore the documents in this Update and the overall topic of creation care. There will likely be different opinions and concerns expressed which hopefully would be shared for mutual learning and support. I recently met online as part of a new multi-faith group to discuss spiritual and climate issues using Laudate Deum and COP28 materials as a springboard for contemplation and conversation. More on this group which I co-facilitate--The Climate and Spirit Group--below!

Wishing you all the best as you safeguard and care for our wonderful world,

Creation in Connecticut USA--Image courtesy and © KOD
Pondering the code red for humanity?

Pope Francis' Laudate Deum--An Apostolic Declaration to all People of Good Will on the Climate Crisis (October 2023). This faith-based document builds on Pope Francis' longer and foundational Laudate Si'--On Care for Our Common Home (2015)It is in 10 languages and includes 73 concise paragraphs organized into six sections: The Global Climate Crisis, A Growing Technocratic Paradigm, The Weakness of International Politics, Climate Conferences: Progress and Failures, What to Expect from COP28 in Dubai?, and Spiritual Motivations. Here are five excerpts to launch you into the document.

5. Despite all attempts to deny, conceal, gloss over or relativize the issue, the signs of climate change are here and increasingly evident. No one can ignore the fact that in recent years we have witnessed extreme weather phenomena, frequent periods of unusual heat, drought and other cries of protest on the part of the earth that are only a few palpable expressions of a silent disease that affects everyone. Admittedly, not every concrete catastrophe ought to be attributed to global climate change. Nonetheless, it is verifiable that specific climate changes provoked by humanity are notably heightening the probability of extreme phenomena that are increasingly frequent and intense.
33. In conscience, and with an eye to the children who will pay for the harm done by their actions, the question of meaning inevitably arises: “What is the meaning of my life? What is the meaning of my time on this earth? And what is the ultimate meaning of all my work and effort?”
55. Despite the many negotiations and agreements, global emissions continue to increase. Certainly, it could be said that, without those agreements, they would have increased even more. Still, in other themes related to the environment, when there was a will, very significant results were obtained, as was the case with the protection of the ozone layer. Yet, the necessary transition towards clean energy sources such as wind and solar energy, and the abandonment of fossil fuels, is not progressing at the necessary speed. Consequently, whatever is being done risks being seen only as a ploy to distract attention.
69. I ask everyone to accompany this pilgrimage of reconciliation with the world that is our home and to help make it more beautiful, because that commitment has to do with our personal dignity and highest values. At the same time, I cannot deny that it is necessary to be honest and recognize that the most effective solutions will not come from individual efforts alone, but above all from major political decisions on the national and international level.

73. “Praise God” is the title of this letter. For when human beings claim to take God’s place, they become their own worst enemies.

Note also Paragraph 3 in Ladaute Deum which includes references with links to three other documents by the bishops in the United States, the Pan-Amazon region, and Africa.

The United Nations COP28 Declaration on Climate Relief, Recovery, and Peace (December 2023). This UN document builds of previous COP declarations and agreements and in particular the Paris Climate Accord from COP21 (2015). It includes a short preamble and conclusion with 13 concise paragraphs in-between that are organized into three sections: Enhanced financial support for climate adaption and resilience, Understand and improve good practice and programming, and Strengthen coordination, collaboration, and partnerships. Here are five excerpts to launch you into the document.

...Recognizing that many of the people, communities, and countries threatened or affected by fragility or conflict, or facing severe humanitarian needs, are on the frontlines of the climate crisis, and are among the least resourced to cope with and adapt to associated shocks and stressors...
Continuing to substantially scale-up financial resources for climate adaptation and resilience building in such situations, emphasizing the need for public and grant-based resources, as well as mobilizing a variety of financing sources, while recognizing the importance of environmental and social safeguards...
7. Investing in the design, piloting, delivery and scaling up of climate adaptation programming that is informed by the most vulnerable and hard to reach populations and communities, including through preparedness and prevention, early warning and anticipatory and early action, and disaster risk finance mechanisms; ecosystem restoration, protection, and sustainable use; sustainable agriculture; building climate-smart infrastructure and resilient food, water, and energy systems; and strengthening shock-responsive and inclusive social protection systems,
14. Strengthening operational partnerships and synergies across governments, international and regional organizations, financial institutions and mechanisms, civil society, local communities, the private sector, and other actors to tailor climate action to context and needs, and to deliver coordinated, inclusive programs and sustainable solutions for greater impact...
We commit to contribute to the operationalization of this declaration, in line with our mandates and governance structures. We will continue to raise the objectives of the declaration, including in relevant international fora, and will reconvene at the 29th UN Climate Change Conference to review progress and initiate potential additional action.

Note that it is helpful to read the COP28 Declaration in the context of the COP28 outcome document. In particular:
--Paragraph 28 which includes "transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems," etc.
--Paragraph 63 which includes adaptation and support  for water, food and agriculture, health, ecosystems and biodiversity, infrastructures and human settlements, poverty, and cultural practices and heritage sites. 

More from Ania
Going and Growing Deeper with Others

GEO-6--Going Deeper!
After reviewing and reflecting on the key documents above (which are the focus of this Update), I suggest you look over the Key Messages (in six languages) from the 6th Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-6) by the United Nations Environment Program (2019). I was honored to be the Coordinating Lead Author for this extensive report. Go deeper as you wish by reading more of the full GEO-6 report and exploring the many resources on its website. 

GEO-6 “provides a clear assessment of the current state of the environment, the challenges that we face and how well we have dealt with them, with due consideration given to gender, indigenous knowledge and cultural dimensions. The assessment lays the foundation for continued socio-environmental assessments across relevant scales...Alongside the main GEO-6 publication, there are three major advocacy products, aiming to communicate the scientific analysis in the main GEO report to Youth, Cities and Local Governments, and Business.” (quote from GEO-6 website) For starters, have a good look at the report's Key Messages (in six languages).

The Climate and Spirit Group—Going and Growing Deeper!
Together with a small new group (the Climate and Spirit Group) we are working this year to broaden the network of people co-discerning and sharing climate-wise thinking, through spiritual conversation. If you are interested  to be part of  this with us, you are very welcome to apply to join the monthly on-line discussion group (email me at ania.grobicki@icloud.com). We are also organizing two in-person workshops in Europe (both in English):
  1. A day workshop (20 April 2024, Saturday) at the spiritual eco-centre near Lyon, France called Le Châtelard–the workshop itself is free to participants, and accommodation can be arranged onsite at a small fee.
  2. residential weekend workshop (20-22 September 2024, Friday evening to Sunday) at the beautiful Ignatian Spirituality Centre in north Wales, called Saint Beuno’s. For this workshop there is an accommodation fee (see). Staying at Saint Beuno’s is an opportunity to experience the landscape that inspired Gerard Manley Hopkins’ nature poetry.
These workshops will seek to explore the question: how could a deeper spiritual understanding of the carbon cycle and the water cycle inform and energize our efforts to restore the integrity of life on Earth? Members of the on-line discussion group will be able to participate in the workshop sessions remotely.
Everyone is welcome. No prior scientific or theological training or experience is needed to join us in these spiritual conversations You only need a desire and willingness to pray through and to share thoughts about how we can co-create with God’s Spirit to bring about balance, healing and restoration, at global and local levels. 

All the best,



Dr. Ania Grobicki was born in Kenya and raised in South Africa, She is a chemical engineer by training. Ania has worked in academia, consulting, and international organizations on water, environment and development issues for the last 30 years. She holds a PhD in Biochemical Engineering as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Applied Economics.

From 2009 to 2015 Ania headed a worldwide mult-istakeholder network of over 3000 organizations, the Global Water Partnership, based in Sweden, contributing to the design of the Sustainable Development Goals (especially SDG 6). She then served as the Deputy Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, a multilateral agreement on conserving aquatic ecosystems ratified by 170 countries. Ania has written many papers, reports, and publications on science and technology policy and water resources and earth systems, most recently as a Coordinating Lead Author of the award-winning 
6th Global Environmental Outlook (United Nations Environment Program, 2019).

Currently Ania is a Non-Executive Director of AFC Capital Partners, the private sector arm of the Africa Finance Corporation, a Director and Trustee of the UK charity Dig Deep (Africa), and the Senior Water Advisor to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Previously she served as Deputy Director of External Affairs at the Green Climate Fund, which finances climate adaptation and mitigation projects in developing countries worldwide.

Ania is a co-facilitator of the Climate and Spirit Group, a multi-faith group supporting on-line and in-person spiritual conversations on climate issues. 

Personal Reflections
Being People of Faith-Hope-Love

California Coastline USA--Image courtesy and © ENOD 2016

"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.
This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”

Martin Luther King Jr. Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, 1964

As people of faith who practice Christian spirituality, we are committed to responsibly engage with others in the challenges facing our world, locally through globally, while holding firmly to our belief that we are in God's hands. We pray that God's purposes "will be done on earth as they are in heaven;" acknowledge that prayer, repentance, and relationship with God are key to human-planetary wellbeing; and live in hope for the time when God through Jesus Christ will decisively intervene in human history with equity--righteousness and justice--to restore all things. And in the meantime, we seek to embrace lifestyles of integrity that prioritize a deep, practical love for truth, peace, and people--and this includes being willing to acknowledge, resist, and confront evil in its many forms (starting with ourselves, etc.)

We do not want to further problematize our world's plight by focusing primarily on the negative. Rather we want to also promote the many examples of the good going forward, as people of integrity find common ground for the common good.

Finally, we want to highlight that the despair and disillusion that result from seemingly intractable problems like climate, conflicts, poverty, and corruption can also be quite positiveThey can embody a crucial existential message about reality that can be "revisited"--explored and heeded--rather than simply "resisted." They can point us to Someone who is bigger than ourselves, the SDGs, humanity, and our world--the knowable, Eternal One who is both in and beyond space-time and who loves us all dearly. 

The above thoughts build upon the Personal Reflections in Perils, Paralysis, Hope: Sustainable Development-Sustainable Destruction? (Global Integration Update, October 2022).

Member Care Associates

Member Care Associates Inc. (MCA) is a non-profit, Christian organization working internationally from Geneva and the USA. MCA's involvement in Global Integration focuses on the wellbeing and effectiveness of personnel and their organizations across sectors (e.g., mission, humanitarian, peace, health, and development sectors) as well as global mental health and integrity/anti-corruption, all with a view towards collaboratively supporting sustainable development for all people and the planet. Our services include consultation, training, research, resource development, and publications.
Click on these items below to access our:

Global Integration
Global Integration (GI) is a framework for actively and responsibly engaging in our world--locally to globally. It emphasizes connecting relationally and contributing relevantly on behalf of human wellbeing and the issues facing humanity, in light of our integrity, commitments, and core values (e.g., ethical, humanitarian, human rights, faith-based). GI encourages a variety of people to be at the “global tables” and in the "global trenches"--and everything in-between--in order to help research, shape, and monitor agendas, policies, and action for all people and the planet. It intentionally links building the world we need with being the people we need.
Our Global Integration Updates are designed to help shape and support the emerging diversity of global integrators who as learners-practitioners are committed to the "common ground for the common good." 2015-current (90+ issues). 

Global Pearl
The Global Integration image used in this Update (the global pearl) is a cover detail from our edited book, 
Global Member Care (volume 2): Crossing Sectors for Serving Humanity (2013). William Carey Library. 
Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability;
it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be coworkers with God,
and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. 

Martin Luther King, Jr., 
Letter from a Birmingham Jail (April 1963)

No comments: