Tuesday, February 2, 2016

2/16 Creation Cor.: Global and Local summits for the environment

From Global Summit to Local Summit: Efforts to Improve the Environment

     “Think Globally, Act Locally” is a slogan appropriate to our time, and can be illustrated by two recent efforts, one from international faith communities at the recent Conference of Parties 21 United Nations Climate Summit, and the other from bioregional watershed groups at the annual Watershed Summit sponsored by the Susquehanna Chapter Trout Unlimited in Lycoming County, PA.

     In Paris in late 2015, four faith-based networks presented signatures from 1.8 million persons on behalf of the effort toward climate justice at the international summit to stabilize the climate from further global warming.  These faith-based climate campaigners had on-site representatives, holding “Faith in Climate Justice” signs, present their petitions to principals of the summit.

     The four networks were

1.     The Global Catholic Climate Movement, representing thousands responsive to the 2015 papal environmental encyclical on “Our Common Home”;
2.     Religions for Peace, established in 1970;
3.     Our Voices, composed of the UK Conservation Foundation and the U.S. Green Faith; and
4.     ACT Alliance (Act Now for Climate Justice campaign).
     The ACT Alliance consists of 140 global churches and faith-based organizations, including Bread for the World, Baptist World Aid (USA), Christian World Service, Lutheran World Federation, the ELCA, and the World Council of Churches, among others.

     Among the comments posted:  “We need to have citizens engage and mobilize to protect the world’s common heritage, the planet”; “Defend Life!”; “This is a responsibility we cannot walk away from”; “Here is a deep urgency”; “We must have solidarity as one human family”; “This is a spiritual and moral issue”.

     Locally, and exemplifying efforts across the United States in other locales, a Watershed Summit hosted by the Susquehanna Trout Unlimited (TU) chapter recently provided examples of on-going efforts and accomplishments to help preserve, protect and enhance our area streams and watersheds.  Thus, in north-central PA, and especially Lycoming County, testimony was given from the local TU group, that has as its mission the preservation and restoration of cold water fisheries.

     It partners with, and heard from at the summit, the Susquehanna River Greenway Partnership, the  watershed creek groups (Pine, Muncy, Loyalsock, Lycoming, Larry’s, Black Hole), the Lycoming College Clean Water Institute (CWI), the USDA county Conservation Districts, the county Planning Dep’t., the Northcentral PA Conservancy (NPC), the Waterdale Environmental Education Center, the Endless Mountains Resource Conservation and Development Council (EMRCD), Loyalsock State Forest bog research, and the state DEP Growing Greener Program.

     Local readers are encouraged to support one or more of these regional efforts.  Readers beyond this region are encouraged to support those watershed groups in their areas that also have conservation/preservation/restoration efforts.

     To read more of the local effort, see below, and scroll down to the Watershed Summit summary: