‘Earthkeepers’ to gather ahead of COP22

“All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents.” - Pope Francis (Par. 14, Laudato Si)

Two years after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that shook Bohol, more than 150 youth leaders from all over the Philippines and invited international delegates will gather for the 1st National Earthkeepers (Ek) Summit in Bohol ahead of the talks for the annual Conference of Parties (COP22) in Morocco.

Reflect for Action

The Ek Summit is organized by the Student Catholic Action of the Philippines in partnership with the Diocese of Tagbilaran. It will be held at Mascarinas Hall of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Tagbilaran City, Bohol from November 10 to 13, 2016.

The summit will offer participants an educational and ecological exposure program that will lead towards a call to action. High school and college student leaders will reflect on Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical, Laudato Si and propose concrete plans of action for a sustainable planet.

Using Young Christian Workers’ founder, Cardinal Cardijn’s See-Judge-Act methodology, participants will get to know the adverse effects and impacts of climate change in selected exposure sites overnight. They will have first-hand interaction with people in affected islands, urban poor communities, relocation sites, communities in danger zones, and fishermen, among others.

Five plenary sessions with invited environmental advocates speakers and creative workshops are designed to inspire and enable student leaders to propose and to spearhead projects toward sustainable development, and to commit to eco-saving initiatives. These youth leaders are also expected to unleash their abilities for an Earthkeepers’ Fair featuring art exhibitions, public speaking and presentations showcasing potential projects and concepts that may address environmental issues.

The program shall end with a list of doable resolutions after a series of sessions and workshops involving critical analysis and reflection. Plenary resource speakers expected to join are Dr. Maria Noelyn Dano of the FABC-Climate Change Desk, Atty. Aaron Pedrosa of Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), Br. Jaazeal “Tagoy” Jakosalem, OAR, recipient of the 1st Al Gore Green Ring Award, Fr. John Leydon, MSSC, co founder of the Global Catholic Climate Movement and Jojo Fung, SJ of the East Asian Pastoral Institute.

Positive ‘aftermath’

Challenged by Pope Francis’ message on care for our common home the youth leaders shall go back to their respective schools and communities marking hopes of implementing their resolutions, proposals, environmental projects and initiatives.

The Ek Summit will also highlight the 80th year anniversary of the Student Catholic Action of the Philippines (SCAP) and the Diocese of Tagbilaran’s 75th Diamond Jubilee Year of Foundation.

The Student Catholic Action of the Philippines is a non-stock, non-profit, Catholic student-led organization founded by the Columban Missionaries in 1936. It is currently active in more than 200 secondary and tertiary schools around the country.

To know more about the program and the organization, visit SCAP’s official website at www.scaphilippines.org

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