Being pro-life calls for an extension beyond the respect just for human life, the Environmental Justice Officer with the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice has said in the wake of a worldwide UN report.
Released this week, the report revealed one million plants and animals are now threatened with extinction, more than ever before in human history.
Catherine Devitt told The Irish Catholic: “Now we know very clearly that we depend on the global ecosystem, this is not just an issue that affects other countries, this is already affecting us here in Ireland, our water quality, our soil quality, the quality of our air, all these issues affects us.”
She said the UN report highlighted the economic impact of the “severe and rapid” ecosystem devastation, including the effect on crop productivity and ability to produce food in general.
“This is reiterating what Pope Francis tells us in Laudato Si’, that we are dependent on nature and therefore if we take this idea of pro-life, it extends to all life and I think that’s really important, that we view the world in this way and we view our responsibility as extending it to all life.”
Compiled by 145 expert authors from 50 countries over the past three years, with inputs from another 310 contributing authors, the report assesses changes over the past five decades, providing a comprehensive picture of the relationship between economic development pathways and their impacts on nature.
The study also said the trends can be halted but “transformative change” is needed in every aspect of how humans interact with nature, as the rate of species extinction is “accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world”. It was published on Monday in Paris by the Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.