At a time of increasing urbanisation, the “irreplaceable importance” of forests is being “taken for granted and underestimated,” the Vatican’s secretary of state has said.
“We all recognise how important forests are for the whole world and indeed for the very future of humanity: They are the world’s most reliable renewable resource and are essential for integral human development,” Cardinal Pietro Parolin said at a high-level meeting at the United Nations on 23rd September.
Education about forests “is crucial so that people will regard them not merely as resources to be harnessed, but also as a sanctuary to be cultivated and constantly replenished,” he said.
The protection of forests and education about them is urgent “as the rapid destruction of forests risks the loss of species and vital relationships that could end up altering the entire ecosystem.”
The high-level meeting was themed ‘Multilateral Action in Favour of the Protection of Rainforests’ and held as part of the Climate Action Summit. Cardinal Parolin also addressed a high-level UN meeting on universal health care the same day.
Picture: Smoke billows during a fire in an area of the Amazon rainforest near Porto Velho, Brazil, on 10th September 2019. (CNS photo/Bruno Kelly, Reuters).