Religious Voices on Biodiversity

VIVAT members host side events at the Convention on Biological Diversity, Nagoya, Japan

The tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP10) was held in Nagoya, Japan from December 18 – 29, 2010.  There are many VIVAT members working in Nagoya, so we decided to participate in the COP10, to raise our voices on biodiversity from the religious point of view. This was the first time for the three member congregations of VIVAT in Japan, namely SVD, SSpS and OMI, to gather as VIVAT in Japan.

To make this opportunity more fruitful, a month ahead of the COP10, we held a workshop at a local parish to introduce the importance of biodiversity and the Catholic meaning of biodiversity. Then during the COP10, we held two side events from the perspective of different religions, youth, gender and local communities. We invited priests, monks and lay people from Shintoism, Buddhism and Christianity as speakers. A Buddhist monk said that we have to realize that we can’t control nature, but we live as a part of nature. I believe we could successfully express the importance of biodiversity, not because of its economic value, but because of its religious value such as the integrity of creation. We thank VIVAT Executive Team for their support which enabled us to participate in the COP10.