INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE: Salesian Missions highlights Don Bosco Green Alliance “Keep it Clean” campaign
(MissionNewswire) Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, joins humanitarian organizations and countries around the globe in recognizing the International Day of Peace, observed on Sept. 21 each year. The United Nations General Assembly declared the International Day of Peace as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.
This year’s theme is “Climate Action for Peace” and highlights Sustainable Development Goal 13 Climate Action, which is a “call for immediate action by all to lower greenhouse emissions, build resilience and improve education on climate change.”
The UN notes that this year’s theme draws attention to the importance of combating climate change as a way to protect and promote peace throughout the world. The UN indicates, “Climate change causes clear threats to international peace and security. Natural disasters displace three times as many people as conflicts, forcing millions to leave their homes and seek safety elsewhere. The salinization of water and crops is endangering food security, and the impact on public health is escalating. The growing tensions over resources and mass movements of people are affecting every country on every continent.”
In support of the International Day of Peace’s theme, the Don Bosco Green Alliance has launched a seven-week campaign “Keep it Clean – World Cleanup Day 2019” that seeks to encourage alliance members to adopt zero waste management practices. The campaign has launched a series of thematic activities like “Food does not belong in the trash!” and “No plastic is not drastic!”
The campaign leads up to World Cleanup Day, which also falls on Sept. 21 and coincides with the International Day of Peace’s theme. The first world clean-up day was celebrated on Sept. 15, 2018. More than 18 million people from over 158 countries took part and collected more than 88,500 tons of waste.
The Don Bosco Green Alliance is an international Salesian network of youth from Don Bosco institutions who contribute to global environmental action, thought and policy through three priority areas: combating pollution, reducing global warming and eliminating disposable plastic. The Alliance includes 151 Don Bosco institutions and organizations from 43 countries that are engaging youth in green campaigns, fieldwork, events, workshops and other activities.
“The Don Bosco Green Alliance is an important part of our Salesian youth ministry today,” says Father Savio Silveira, the convener of the Alliance. “Young people feel very strongly about the environmental crisis since they understand well the impact it has on their lives and their future. Accompanying young people as they seek solutions to environmental issues has to be an aspect of our youth ministry. Care for God’s creation is very definitely an integral element of our Salesian youth spirituality.”
Don Bosco Green Alliance members work to create an environment that is safe and caring for all life on the planet while building up a new generation of environmentally committed citizens and leaders. The Alliance’s priorities are combating pollution, reducing global warming and eliminating disposable plastics. In each of these areas, it aims to partner with ongoing global campaigns promoted by the United Nations Environment Program (UN Environment) or other international organizations.
Members of the Alliance have also undertaken such initiatives as environmental education to increase green areas and planting trees, the reduction of the use of non-degradable materials, promotion of organic agriculture and home gardens, preservation and conservation of water, and increasing the use of renewable energy sources.
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