Laudato Si’ Goals launched for “total sustainability”

The Vatican officially launched the Laudato Si’ Goals as part of the week-long celebrations of the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’s landmark encyclical on 16 May.
Published May 25, 2020

The Vatican officially launched the Laudato Si’ Goals as part of the week-long celebrations of the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’s landmark encyclical on 16 May.

The seven goals, grounded in the Laudato Si’s concept of integral ecology, include: response to the cry of the Earth; response to the cry of the poor; ecological economics; adoption of simple lifestyles; ecological education; ecological spirituality; and emphasis on community involvement and participatory action.

Within the Laudato Si’ goals are roughly two dozen indicators, indicative of caring for the Earth and “total sustainability”. Benchmarks include carbon neutrality, biodiversity protection, upholding climate and social justice for the marginalized sectors, and divestment from fossil fuels and other environmentally-destructive practices.

During a webinar on Sustainable Development Goals and Laudato Si’, Rodne Galicha, Executive Director of Living Laudato Si’ Philippines, praised the launch of the Laudato Si’ Goals as it can provide complementary context to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Inspiration, hope and values are necessary to achieve our SDG aspirations,” he said.

The announcement is a part of the “Special Laudato Si’ Anniversary Year” that will run until 24 May 2021, as announced by the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. Plans for the special anniversary year include the 2021 launch of the “Laudato Si’ Action Platform”, a seven-year plan invites Catholic dioceses, religious orders, schools, and other institutions to commit towards a grassroots-based ecological conversion.

Fr. Joshtrom Kureethdam SDB, coordinator of the dicastery’s sector on ecology, stated that “in this way we are planning to grow a Laudato Si’ inspired network that continues to expand and grow exponentially each year”.

He added that the Vatican hopes to arrive at a “critical mass” required for a drastic societal transformation, inspired by the Laudato Si’.

As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, Galicha added the necessity for adopting ecological solidarity as part of the “new normal”, stating that “ecological solidarity requires paradigm shift, a moral imperative and spiritual conversion”.

Also launched were the Laudato Si’ awards, which seeks to recognize individuals, families, faith and educational institutions, and initiatives that embody the messages of the encyclical. Other projects for the anniversary year include reforestation in Africa, a Laudato Si’-inspired art installation, collaborations with the Plastic Bank, and a Laudato Si’ documentary.

Watch the webinar here with Fr. Joshtrom Kreethdam SDB announcing the Laudato Si Goals:

Written by John Leo Algo
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JL is an advocate of climate change education, just transition to renewables, promoting energy efficiency, nature-based solutions, cleaner air quality, sustainable lifestyles, and climate justice who has represented the Philippines and the youth sector in different capacities during the global and regional UN climate conferences since 2017. He is also a citizen journalist, writing climate and environmental stories that have been published in international and local media platforms such as The Huffington Post, Asia Sentinel, Rappler, Sun Star, and The Manila Times. He is a two-time fellow of Climate Tracker, the world's largest youth-led climate journalism network. He is one of the co-authors of the first Philippine Climate Change Assessment Report series, the local equivalent to the IPCC reports. He is the recipient of the Miguel R. Magalang Climate Leadership Award during the ceremonies in the Philippine Senate and named the SDG 15 Youth Champion by the 2030 Project in 2017. He earned his MS Atmospheric Science degree from the Ateneo de Manila University in December 2018.
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