(Vatican Radio) Bishops of the Amazon region are working together to support new projects and initiatives that aim to safeguard and care for the Amazon biome.
The Amazon biome, which covers parts of Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana contains the Amazon rainforest, an area of tropical rainforest, and other ecoregions that cover most of the Amazon basin and some adjacent areas.
This vast natural and cultural resource of the Earth is experiencing devastation and isthreatened by concessions transacted by nation states to transnational corporations. It is in this context that the Latin American Catholic Church has come to support farmers and Indigenous Peoples who deal with abuses by the extractive industries sector in the Amazon, which in turn are damaging the environment.
Currently ongoing is the third Meeting of the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network "REPAM-Colombia" which opened in Leticia on June 19 and scheduled to run until June 24. During the meeting the some 100 participants aim to define the most appropriate strategies for working together for the care of the Amazon biome,
The meeting, focusing on the reality of the Colombian Amazon, also aims to strengthen the identity of REPAM-Colombia in the light of Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Sì”, as a path for reconciliation and protection of the Colombian Amazon.
It also aims to strengthen ecclesial work in communion, to be more effective as a network and to agree on the implementation of a common action plan.
The meeting opened with the celebration of Holy Mass in suffrage of the victims of the landslide that devastated the town of Mocoa at the end of March.
According to the programme for the meeting, the focus is on the situation of the territories and local churches in the three sub-regions of the Amazon.
Environmental experts and religious leaders will take to the floor and the event will conclude with the intervention of Antalia Ti Jachi Kulluedo, Chief of the Uitoto people, who will propose a reflection on reconciliation between indigenous peoples and the Church.
A concrete action plan will be drawn up in response to the major challenges of host nation Colombia’s Amazon region.