by Rev. Paul Lansu, Pax Christi International
Pax Christi International recognises the links between peace and sustainability. Pax Christi International is increasingly aware of the links between environment and peace building work, and therefore seeks to encourage more dialogue and cooperation between these two fields at the international level.
There is an urgent need for global action to address our current ecological crisis. Our societies and globalised world are confronted with different interlinked challenges: a great imbalance in wealth and poverty, hunger and malnutrition, climate change, biodiversity losses, resource use and other ecological crises, financial crises, excessive military expenditure, public debt in many countries, and high (youth) unemployment.
While resource scarcity does not inevitably lead to violent conflict, it can act as a conflict multiplier by exacerbating existing social tensions. Meanwhile poor resource management can worsen marginalisation, particularly among the poorest social groups. Top-down policies can fail to take local needs into account, large-scale agricultural investment can displace and disrupt small farmers, and hydropower dams, while positive in terms of cleaner energy production, can have a negative impact on both downstream and upstream communities.
International negotiations to establish universal mechanisms to achieve key goals - such as a limit of CO2 temperature rise - are vital. Nevertheless, action programs can and must be implemented at local, national, regional and international levels.
Click here to read this entire article.