Vatican City, Jun 4, 2021 / 12:00 pm
Pope Francis said Friday that environmental degradation is “a clear outcome of economic dysfunction.”
In a June 4 message marking the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, the pope underlined the importance of protecting the environment and reforming the global economy.
“The current environmental situation calls us to act now with urgency to become ever more responsible stewards of creation and to restore the nature that we have been damaging and exploiting for too long,” the pope said.
“Otherwise, we risk destroying the very basis on which we depend. We risk floods and hunger and severe consequences for ourselves and for future generations.”
His message was addressed to Inger Andersen, executive director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and Qu Dongyu, director-general of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
He said that the celebration would have a “special significance” in light of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, which was approved by the UN General Assembly in 2019 and runs from 2021 through 2030, the deadline for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The pope applauded initiatives to protect the environment around the world.