The Franciscan Participation in COP23

The Franciscan delegation has participated in COP23, in Bonn, Germany, from Nov. 3 to 10. In 2015, the 21st COP(Conference of Parties) in Paris has produced the Paris Agreement which is the land mark in international effort to fight against global climate change. COP23 is very important because the delegates of the Parties should discuss, negotiate and make agreements on the Paris rulebook in detail, which will be approved in COP24 in Warsaw, Poland, next December. 

The participation was planned by the JPIC Office of the General Curia, the Franciscans International(FI) and the Missionszentrale der Franziskaner(MZF). The Franciscan delegation included Br. Rufino Lim OFM, Br. Benedict Ayodi OFM Cap., Br. Joseph Blay OFM Conv., Budi Tjahjono(from FI) along with Franciscans in Germany such as Sr. Beate Krug, Fr. Markus Fuhrman, and Fr. Francis Kaviyil(from MZF). The objectives of the participation was to show Franciscan solidarity with the people affected by climate change, with the civil society, and with other religious communities, to mobilize local Franciscans, and to raise consciousness on the issues regarding climate change within the Franciscan family itself. The delegation has participated in some of the official negotiation sessions as well as various side events of the civil society, the climate march, public protests with NGOs, and interfaith/ecumenical events.

Once the Paris rulebook is given an official approval in COP24, Warsaw, the Paris Agreement will become legally binding. However, since the issues such as Adaptation fund and Loss and Damage are not the priorities for the Parties, the religious communities and NGOs need to push them to take the human rights issue in the center of this course of negotiation. The delegation decided to continue to raise awareness in the Franciscan family and mobilize them in this direction.