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Development and Peace supports the bishops of Africa and Madagascar’s statement for COP27

Flooded rice fields in Andringitana, Madagascar, in the wake of Cyclone Ava in January 2018. (Development Council of Andohatapenaka)

As the leaders of nearly 200 countries have gathered for the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, being held in Sharm el-Sheikh from November 6 to 18, 2022, Development and Peace — Caritas Canada is adding its voice to that of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) to unite the struggles for climate justice and land justice.

People in African countries depend on access to land and other natural resources for their means of subsistence. However, many intensive forms of production deplete resources, and access to land is hindered by a system of unjust business and property relations. By prioritizing profits, companies and government institutions violate human rights. To ensure the livelihoods and rights of local communities, climate solutions cannot be based on the commodification of resources.

Development and Peace therefore supports SECAM’s Statement on COP27, which promotes a new culture based on integral ecology by putting peasant agroecology at the heart of adaptation and mitigation solutions. SECAM is an association of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of Africa and Madagascar whose mission is to network and speak with one voice on matters pertaining to the Church in Africa. Its statement is the result of work with Catholic and non-Catholic members of civil social under the African Climate Dialogues.

Development and Peace stands with its partners, including in Africa, walking together for integral ecology as our members want. We see that the mobilization of leaders in the Catholic Church in Africa is already producing results, such as this very inspiring statement, which will have an influence on COP27, but especially on national public agendas, in favour of climate justice and human dignity. — Cécile Famerée, Program Officer, Development and Peace

Development and Peace’s partner in Madagascar, the Development Council of Andohatapenaka (CDA), is also participating in COP27, thanks to an accreditation from the Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale (AQOCI). We have been working with the CDA since 1994 and have been supporting its climate change adaptation projects in Madagascar since 2017 with the support of the Government of Quebec.* Hanta Manana Rarivoarinoro, the CDA’s lead on these projects, is joining several delegations, including the SECAM and AQOCI delegations, in order to influence COP27 in favour of climate justice in Africa.

*Under Quebec’s international climate cooperation program (Programme de coopération climatique internationale du ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques).

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