One Planet. One Human Family: A Pilgrimage Heading To Paris

One Planet. One Human Family: A Pilgrimage Heading To Paris

For the 10th anniversary of “Giornata per la Custodia del Creato,” FOCSIV launches the Italian itinerary for The People's Pilgrimage.

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Wednesday 02 September 2015 at 17:49
One Planet. One Human Family: A Pilgrimage Heading To Paris

In occasion of the 10th anniversary of “Giornata per la Custodia del Creato”, a religious campaign to raise awareness for environmental concerns, FOCSIV is promoting a new project: “One World, One Human Family, Heading For Paris,” that drafts out the Italian itinerary of The People’s Pilgrimage from Rome to Paris, an interreligious initiative, led by Filippino activist Yeb Saño in order to raise awareness for the dramatic environmental and social implications of global warming.


Rome – 01 September 2015. It’s the anniversary of “Giornata per la Custodia del Creato,” the international day of prayer for the guardianship of Creation, that has been held by the Orthodox church for 10 years. This month, dedicated to protection of the Creation and an environmentally responsible ecology, FOCSIV promotes “One Planet, One Human Family. Heading For Paris,” the Italian itinerary of The People’s Pilgrimage from Rome to Paris, a movement of people from all faiths and countries that have united for this journey to Paris to peacefully express their concern about climate change and its implications for the future of the world and mankind, particularly regarding the poorest and most vulnerable.

Gianfranco Catai, president of FOCSIV, stresses: “Despite years of lethargy and indifference on the side of the world’s governments and industries, lined out in Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Sii”, the supporters of a climate justice agreement for the peoples start moving, setting out for pilgrimages from different symbolic places, all coming together in Paris for the UN Climate Conference COP21. FOCSIV is taking care of the Italian part of the pilgrimage, certain of the participation of various organizations and associations of Civil Society. How Ghandi, a great walker himself, reminds us, we have to be the change that we wish to see in the world.”

“And this pilgrimage can represent a powerful instrument to change our lifestyles as well as the economic and financial structures that keep them up.”

The promoter of The People’s Pilgrimage is Yeb Saño, former Filipino climate ambassador, who, during the UN conference in Warsaw 2013, announced a hunger strike to protest against the slow pace and the inefficiency of the negotiations, after having emphasized the link between human carelessness regarding environmental concerns and natural disasters like Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated the Philippines in 2013. Last April, Yeb Saño renounced his position as negotiator and took up the role as spiritual ambassador of OurVoices, an international and interreligious campaign, composed of activists that blend spirituality and social commitment, as well as leader of The People’s Pilgrimage.

Thanks to its commitment in the organization of the “Una Terra. Una Famiglia Umana” march on 28th June, FOCSIV was asked to organize the Italian itinerary of The People’s Pilgrimage, heading off with an initial group of 30 persons, among them Yeb Saño.

The group will depart from Rome on 30th September, walking on average about 25 kilometers a day, and arrive in Paris the first week of December, during the “hot phase” of the climate negotiations. During the journey, other hikers will join the group (activists, citizens, representatives of associations and religious communities) to thereby state their commitment for the environment and a more just society.

The pilgrimage is open for everyone to join, everybody can walk along, even just for a couple of kilometers.

The pilgrimage is the expression of a movement that aims to open the world leaders’ eyes for the injustice and poverty that is caused by the effects of climate change. It is the demand for a fair and ambitious climate agreement, in line with the key messages of Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Sii,” which promotes a changing style of living and economic as well as financial structures in favor of an environmentally responsible ecology. Like previously in the march of June, “Coalizione Italiana per il Clima” has ensured it’s full support for the pilgrimage, along the way.

For FOCSIV, the organization of this pilgrimage offers the possibility to continue its own effort to raise awareness for the effects of climate change, not least in view of COP21, as well as the opportunity to seize its role as an organization capable of uniting different institutions of various faiths for the sake of a good aim: A fair life on a planet in solidarity.

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Image via Ismo (Flickr Creative Commons)

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