the film 'Church Forests of Ethiopia' just makes you want to go out and plant trees, in the words of @CAugustenborg #ourcommonhome
and we're off. Please follow the hashtag #ourcommonhome we are now playing an introductory video clip with @vitaireland's history and partnerships to support communities to mitigate the impact of emissions in Eritrea and Ethiopia.
the soft tweeting of birdsong is transporting us to Ethiopia
'a church, to be a church, should be enveloped by a forest' says Dr Alemayehu Wasse - our guest on the panel discussion and also the guide to the film Church Forests of Ethiopia #ourcommonhome,
this beautiful meditative film Church Forests of Ethiopia is such a reflective start to our global panel discussion. Vita is proud to share it and grateful to the panel waiting to share their views from Ethiopia and Ireland. #ourcommonhome
'the biggest challenge is to open the eyes of the community, that these forests are disappearing, they think they are always there forever' says Dr Alemayehu Wasse in Church Forests of Ethiopia. #ourcommonhome
From Bahai to Sisters of Mercy to Dr Wasse - these are unique voices and their dialogue is a treat for ecologists. first question to Dr Wasse 'what do you see is the role of faith-based organisations in stewarding protection of forests?" #ourcommonhome
Forest ecologist Dr Wasse 'there are so many church forests, more than 35,000. It goes back to your childhood memory - I used to go there, to know the forest very well. childhood memory and adult knowledge linked together - this is my profession and my destiny.' #ourcommonhome
'spirituality is the strongest value that mankind can offer for preservation' says Dr Wasse #ourcommonhome
Carmel Irandoust: 'nature is not a place to visit, it is home' quoting poet Gary Schneider. Tying in with our hashtag #ourcommonhome
Carmel Irandoust - 'women and children are key agents of change - women are the backbone of agriculture but they don't have access to knowledge. Religious leaders have a role to empower women,' says Carmel #ourcommonhome
Suzanne Ryder from the Sisters of Mercy 'there is something to be done - nature is to be enjoyed. We have taken a long time to own the truth that everything is sacred, the inter-connectedness of life is so important. #ourcommonhome
Women religious are increasing in our age profile. 'Doing is secondary to us - ministry is only part of our lives, we are embracing more a contemplative dimension. We are moving towards realising the sacredness of earth.' #ourcommonhome
and now a question to @vitaireland's Sam Kappler - how do we keep the most vulnerable at the heart of the discussion? 'sometimes discussion about the impact of climate change - can seem hypothetical, rather than being about people.' #ourcommonhome
Sam points out that religious communities can highlight empathy and compassion, bringing human impact into the centre of the experience. 'Faith can ensure that debates are anchored in a discourse of social and economic justice' #ourcommonhome
. @CAugustenborg brings us back to the question of raising public awareness: Dr Wasse 'we have to do more - population has increased, economic demand had become v tough - religious and faith leaders must understand that the outside environment is changing' #ourcommonhome
Dr Wasse 'natural resources like forest are boundary-less. we breath from the same forest. we have to jump beyond our boundaries. religious leaders must get out of their confinement and work with conservationists, academicians, with the same goal.' #ourcommonhome
Question to @Krmel19 - what about the Bahai faith and the climate crisis? She explains that the material and spiritual balance must be in balance, according to the Bahai faith. #ourcommonhome
'We all have a gift of understanding - be it in the Holy Land or HQ of United Nations,' says @Krmel19. Everybody has a gift of understanding - every religion believes in the uniqueness, that everyone is unique.' We need to move away from 'teams'. #ourcommonhome
Suzanne Ryder of the Sisters of Mercy tells a story of two young cousins of her 'science will sort it all out - it must be a blend with spirituality. We are doing this as women religious.' #ourcommonhome
Suzanne Ryder of the Sisters of Mercy 'i have great hope in young people - Greta has been a great leader. Young people realise that they don't need these trappings between spirituality and science. It is becoming a conversation of all of us together.' #ourcommonhome
'it's not the farmers of rural Africa who need to hear the solutions to climate change, it's leaders in the west' says @VitaIreland 's Sam Kappler. #ourcommonhome
. @CAugustenborg goes back to Dr Wasse - 'when were you inspired to work on this issue?' '20 years ago, I joined the Ministry of Agriculture. Developing and conserving on government policies. We planted billions of seedlings in
ethiopia, with low success.' #ourcommonhome
Then came post-graduate studies. Dr Wasse ' the funny thing is the last 50 years - we published a lot of scientific papers on these church forests, in highprofile journals. Now I realise this wasn't reaching the local community but the church was there, teaching' #ourcommonhome
Dr Wasse 'I am really concerned - the church forests are at a crossroad - unless we help them, one day it will be too late.' #ourcommonhome
And we start to wrap up - it was honestly a lovely experience to watch those films together and share the discussion about sustainability and spirituality with Ethiopia and Ireland. Thanks to everyone for watching, link to recording to follow #ourcommonhome
You can follow @VitaIreland.
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