The following is a guest post from Denzil Prato, Communications Manager of the Don Bosco Green Alliance, an international movement of young people from the Salesian Family institutions, who contribute to global environmental action, thought and policy.
The mission of the Don Bosco Green Alliance (DBGA) is to create an environment that is safe and caring for all life on the planet while building up a new generation of environmentally committed citizens and leaders.
Don Bosco Green Alliance Priority Areas
In his encyclical Laudato Si´, Pope Francis uses his words beautifully to call all the people of the world towards environmental change, be it individualistic or at a community level.
The encyclical coincides with the four major priority areas that we at the DBGA emphasize: Ecological Education, Ecological Spirituality, Youth Campaigns and Green Campuses.
We believe that focusing on these priority areas will help improve and enhance the efforts of our members in their activities, not only in addressing the climate crisis but also in responding to the cry of the poor.
Along with these four priority areas, we conduct campaigns on the major environmental dates that match with the direction of our network, such as the ongoing 2022 World Environment Day campaign #OnlyOneEarth.
Laudato Si’ Action Platform — Insights & Ideas
The Laudato Si’ Action Platform (LSAP) has many experts in their respective fields and many more resource persons that have provided us with valuable insight into our campaigns.
Our representative to LSAP, Shawna Rebello, has been instrumental in assisting with our correspondence with the Platform. Many of our network’s goals are overlapping with the LSAP, so many resources have also been obtained through the Platform as well.
“The DBGA has gained a lot of insight and ideas from the Laudato Si’ Action Platform.”
Urgent and necessary action needs to be implemented now. There is a saying that goes something like: For those people who are not affected by the state of the environment, it is just climate change. For those people who are directly affected by the state of the environment, it is a climate crisis.
Every individual needs to reflect and ask themselves honestly, How does climate change influence my daily life?
Subsequently, this would give them an appropriate self-reflective answer.
Stopping and Listening to Nature
Modern urban lives are hectic, stressful and a cat-and-mouse game. People are focused on what matters for themselves and not what their fellow neighbor might also want and need.
With such an individualistic approach to daily life, no time is prioritized for the things that matter more, like good health, mental stability and socializing with your peers.
“If we only care for ourselves, how can we stop and give time for someone or something else, such as our neighbors and nature?”
The living world and the material world go hand in hand. Both will fail without the other. Integral ecology is interconnected with the many spheres of life: personal, social, communal, regional and on the global level.
I come from a background in Environmental Science, and I have learned through that experience the interconnectedness of the web we are entangled in. But what clearly shows as we work towards integral ecology is that when you try to solve a problem from any of the spheres of life, it ultimately ends up holistically improving the other spheres of life as well.
The Urgency of Advocacy
The issue we have today is not the lack of action, it is the lack of ground level advocacy. We are going through cycles of repeated awareness and action, but never is it followed up by advocacy.
DBGA emphasizes the importance of both advocacy and the big impact of small actions. Our members undertake their activities with pride and joy all over the world. The activities that they conduct start as what’s best for their local situations and then it exponentially grows from there.
Never underestimate the prowess of a small initiative.