The ecological crisis is not simply an environmental issue, but fundamentally one of justice. Clean air, healthful food, safe water, and a stable climate are essential for each of us to achieve fulfillment, live in dignity and sustain viable communities. However, these basic human rights are becoming increasingly inaccessible for the majority of the world’s people, and it is those who are least responsible for the overuse and abuse of the Earth’s finite resources, often those already living below the poverty line and at the margins of society, who are at greatest risk from it.
With wide-ranging negative implications for food production, human health, migration, livelihoods, the frequency and intensity of natural disasters, and global prospects for peace and stability, the challenge posed by climate change and the ecological degradation of the Earth is cross-cutting and urgent. Yet, at the same time, it provides us with a window of opportunity to fundamentally re-conceive our political, social and economic relationships within an interdependent world based on principles of global solidarity and long-term sustainability – in the words of Pope John Paul II, an “ecological conversion.”
Through research and analysis, theological reflection, advocacy, creation of resources, and collaboration with national and international partners, the Ecology & Development Project contributes a Catholic Social Teaching and global common good perspective to the evolving dialogue on ecology and development, while promoting ecologically- and socially-just policy solutions.