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Faith leaders unite in lead up to Glasgow


Scientists, religious leaders and experts joined Pope Francis at the Vatican last month, taking a united stand for the protection of the environment ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit now underway in Glasgow.

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Convened by the Holy See and the British and Italian embassies, the October 4 meeting was the culmination of a series of virtual meetings held throughout this year in which 40 faith leaders and 10 scientists were able to share their concerns and propose changes for the future of the planet.

Chair of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC), John Lochowiak, participated in these virtual meetings and took the opportunity to convey Indigenous peoples’ strong connection to the land, also highlighting some of the issues being faced by Indigenous Australians due to the climate crisis.

He outlined how NATSICC is working with State councils to address significant environmental issues and to create awareness about the impact climate change will have on the entire planet – on humans, animals and plants.

“It was an honour to speak at these meetings and explain how our relationship to the land underpins Aboriginal law and spirituality,” he said.

“I was able to share how we have lived in harmony with the land for so long and that our relationship with the land is fundamental to our identity.

“We are all connected with the land, the trees, birds, waterholes and water through our totems and we believe everyone is connected on the same level.

“We also believe it is our cultural obligation to care for our common home.”

While Mr Lochowiak was unable to attend last month’s meeting due to other commitments and his involvement in the Plenary Council, the Australian Ambassador to the Holy See, Chiara Porro, has requested a Zoom meeting with him for follow up discussions.


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