Caring for Creation

Raising ethical dimensions in debate on climate justice

Climate change is impacting human life and nature in severe ways. Yet it is the vulnerable who suffer most. As the life of such people is dependent on eco-systems for survival, churches join hands with other faith based organizations to support their cause, stressing an ethical aspect in the debate on climate change.

“Faith based organizations articulate concerns of the marginalized communities and bring their issues to mainstream forums. It is obligatory therefore to address climate change and its impact on human rights, as faith traditions signify care for the environment,” says Nafisa D’Souza, a climate justice advocate from India.

D’Souza was speaking at an event on climate change and human rights titled “Bridging the Gap: Faith and Ethics Perspectives” organized by the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Geneva Interfaith Forum on Climate Change, Environment and Human Rights, in collaboration with the German Human Rights Forum and United Evangelical Mission (VEM) on 20 September 2011 in Switzerland.

D’Souza is executive director for the Laya Resource Centre, working for climate justice, with focus on indigenous people in India.

“What we have taken from the earth has destroyed some parts of it. Ethical concern means that responsibility for creation is to be taken by all of us. In a polarized world where there is an imbalance of power, faith based groups are engaging in debate on development and its impact on climate justice,” D’Souza stated.

D’Souza remains optimistic about the role of faith organizations in promoting a “pro-people” stance in the debate on climate change. “Churches and faith based organizations can relate religious ideologies to a broader ethical perspective. Religions that see themselves as part of a global reality can support the most affected by climate change. The WCC is doing this by safeguarding the ethical aspect in a debate for climate justice,” says D’Souza.

These views were endorsed by Dr Guillermo Kerber, WCC programme executive on climate change. Speaking on behalf of the WCC and the Geneva Interfaith Forum, he says, “Churches and faith based organizations acknowledge the various dimensions of climate change. They are witnessing how climate change is affecting vulnerable communities on the ground, especially those who have a strong link to nature and those who are extremely dependent on the environment. Being aware that these populations have contributed less to climate change, it becomes evident that climate change has an ethical dimension.”

Diverse perspectives on climate change and human rights were shared by other panellists. Sophia Wirsching from Brot für die Welt (Bread for the World, Germany) especially focused on climate displaced people and their rights, while Theodor Rathgeber, from the German Human Rights Forum, assessed the present negotiations of climate change and human rights at the Human Rights Council. The moderator of the discussion was Valeriane Bernard from Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University and Geneva Interfaith Forum.

Presentations were followed by discussions, where Hendrik Garcia, from the Philippines diplomatic mission brought participants’ attention to a draft resolution on climate change and human rights that it has initiated along with Bangladesh mission. Panellists appreciated the effort, while stressing their expectation of a more ambitious position from the Human Rights Council and the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

As churches and faith based organizations prepare for a stronger impact at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change conference COP 17 in Durban, South Africa from 28 November to 9 December 2011, a “Call for Action” was signed urging “responsibilities of the States in the area of climate change, adaptation, mitigation, technology transfer and funding” and “reaffirming the role of faith traditions to care for the environment and addressing climate change”.

WCC campaign for climate justice:    Full text of the Call for Action

Sustainable September Resources


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Caring for our planet through sustainable gardening practices

Open 8am – 12 noon Saturdays

The only Certified Organic Market in Western Australia !

Perth  City  Farm  Organic Grower’s  Market

Organic & Biodynamic stall holders


Perth City Farm is proud to be in its 4th year of holding the Organic Growers
Market. We are unique to Perth and the whole of Western Australia as we are the
ONLY Market that has exclusively certified Organic &
Biodynamic stall holders. Our focus is to support local organic & biodynamic
growers by making their outstanding produce available to the Perth community –
in doing so, we are reducing our carbon footprint by lowering food miles and
supporting sustainable farming practices.

As well as our customers having the benefit of buying grower direct, Perth
City Farm provides an organic retail market stall to supplement what is not
available from our farmers. This is sourced from certified wholesalers of
Organic and Biodynamic produce for the convenience of  “one stop” shopping for
our customers.

Some things you will find at Perth City Farm:

  • Certified Organic & biodynamic Fresh Produce fruit & veges
  • Organic & biodynamic dairy products
  • Organic olive oil
  • Organic & biodynamic meats
  • Organic eggs
  • Certified Organic Personal Care, Healthcare Consultation and Baby products
  • Certified Organic bulk dry goods
  • A range of organic groceries, including baby care products, face & body
  • Environmentally sensitive household products, books & seeds & Gift

So come and visit our market and our NEW Cafe.
Freshly Roasted Ruba Organic Coffee and Organic foods prepared daily.  Take a
stroll through the lovely permaculture gardens where you can check out our
aquaponics system, the nursery, the animals and art.

WHERE: 1 City Farm Place, East Perth (off Lime Street)

WHEN: 8 am  to  12 noon every Saturday inc public

CAFE:Mon to Fri  7am to 2pm      Sat  8am to 1pm