(Vatican Radio) The annual World Food Day is being observed this Sunday October 16th and has as its theme "the climate is changing.” In a message issued Friday to mark the occasion, Pope Francis said everyone has a responsibility to protect the planet for future generations.
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In his message to the Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization, José Graziano da Silva, Pope Francis focused his attention on the theme for this year’s World Food Day, "the climate is changing. The Pope said that this theme, "leads us to consider the fight against hunger as a goal even more difficult to achieve, in the presence of a complex phenomenon such as climate change.
The Holy Father again stressed the importance of being stewards of creation, adding that, “we must first admit that the various negative effects on our climate have come from the daily conduct of persons, communities, peoples and states.”
He underlined that ethical and moral choices were not enough to protect the planet. What was also needed, he said, was political action, and that meant making the “necessary choices to discourage or encourage behaviors and lifestyles, for the benefit of the younger generation and those to come.
In his message, Pope Francis paid particular attention to those who suffer as a direct result of climate change, including, whom he called climate migrants, those who work in the fields, farming, small-scale fisheries, forests, or those live in rural areas in direct confrontation with the effects of climate change. But the Pope noted that much can be learned from rural communities, such as, adapting a lifestyle “that can help defend against the logic of consumption and production at all costs.”
The Holy Father also cautioned against overlooking the cycles of the seasons or improperly modifying the different species of animals and plants. Producing quality, he said, “that gives excellent results in the laboratory, may be advantageous for some, but can have disastrous effects for others.”
Speaking again about the culture of food waste, he said “world production levels are sufficient to ensure food for all, provided there is an equitable distribution.” But, he also spoke out about destruction of food simply for economic reasons.
Concluding his message the Holy Father said he echoed, “the desire of so many in hoping that the objectives outlined by the Paris Agreement do not remain pretty words, but that they would become courageous decisions.”
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