IRI regional event celebrates the Escazu Agreement

The Escazu Agreement aims to guarantee access to environmental information, help protect environmental defenders and ensure public participation in environmental decisions.  On April 22nd, the agreement officially became operational.  IRI Colombia and IRI Peru celebrated this important milestone by gathering prominent voices from religious communities and indigenous peoples’ groups to discuss the impact this agreement can have in Latin America. Participating speakers included Rabino Guillermo Bronstein; Reverend Gloria Ulloa, President of the World Council of Religions for Latin America and the Caribbean, Jeque Mohamad Al Bukai, Director of Religious Affairs at Islamic National Union of Brazil; Gregorio Diaz Mirabal, General Coordinator for the Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon River Basin (COICA); Monseñor Leonardo Steiner, Archbishop of Manaus; and Andrea Sanhueza Echeverria, elected representative of the public in the regional mechanism of the Escazu Agreement.  Throughout the event, leaders pointed out the urgency of caring for the planet, especially the Amazon, a region highly threatened by deforestation. They called on their governments to ratify the Escazu Agreement as a tool to ensure life on Earth and of those who dedicate their existence to care for and defend Creation. “The Agreement must get off paper, free itself from bureaucracy, walk through the territory and see the inequality and the situation of the most excluded peoples,” stressed Gregorio Mirabal. “We call on the Congress of the Republic of Colombia to approve the bill that has already been presented by the national government and thus enter definitively into the Escazú Agreement and guarantee that we can continue to raise our voices in this country where the leaders and caretakers of Creation are murdered, threatened and persecuted,” added Reverend Ulloa.   Click here for a video of the event.