Ahead of COP15, Catholic Faith Communities and Organizations Across Canada Call on the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to Take Urgent Measures to Protect and Promote Biodiversity

TORONTO, ONTARIO/FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/ November 28, 2022: Ahead of the upcoming UN Conference on Biodiversity (COP15) in Montreal, the Joint Ecological Ministry (JEM) called on Catholic faith communities and organizations across Canada to unite and demand the government honors its commitment to “protect 30 per cent of its land and freshwater, as well as oceans, by 2030.” 

The letter was signed by 45 Catholic communities and organizations. 
“We know that faith communities are making a difference in moving dialogue and policy forward on the ecological crisis. But we are running out of time for decisive action, as we’ve just seen at COP27. It is essential that faith communities continue to stand up and call out for the protection of all creation. Having COP15 in Montreal is an important opportunity for us to bear witness to this urgent moment.”- said Darlene O’Leary, Coordinator of Martha Justice Ministry with the Sisters of St. Martha, Antigonish and one of the faith-based delegates at the COP15. 
Given Canada's history of failing to meet our biodiversity protection commitments, the signatories are urging the government to create strong targets, timelines, and accountability measures so the commitments made at COP 15 will be honoured.
Looking forward to the COP15, Margo Ritchie, Congregational leader of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada, strongly hopes that the conference will make real the change of mind we are called to.
“Poets and mystics have always known the inherent aliveness of each plant, each river, animal, star, and rock. They have always known that they are not simply add-ons in a human-centric world. In the 21st century, we hear voices, ancient and new, rising among us, calling us to change our minds about how we see life on this planet.”
The letter was delivered today to Hon. Steven Guilbeault. 
Link to the Letter and Signatories 
For more information (English), contact: 
Sue Wilson
Office for Systemic Justice,
Federation of Sisters of St. Joseph of Canada 
*Joint Ecological Ministry (JEM) is a collaboration of religious communities and partners using their resources to promote caring for Creation and living within planetary limits.