Environmental love in India

In 1988 Robert Athickal SJ began ?Tarumitra? (Friends of Trees) in Patna. Staff members visit schools to speak about environmental concerns; the students take action such as resisting the felling of trees, protecting migratory birds, campaigns for reducing pollution and protecting biodiversity. Building on this tradition of Jesuit environmental activism in India, sixty delegates from nearly all the Provinces and Regions in India met in March at the Anglade Institute of Natural History in Shembaganur (Tamil Nadu) for a four-day workshop on the environment — the first such Assistancy level meeting in the Society of Jesus. Every age group and ministry was there, including the most scientific of scientists and the most active of activists. The Green Paper, ?We live in broken world,? which elaborates GC 34?s environmental decree, served to structure the reflection on environmental attitudes, thinking, prayer and practices. It became abundantly clear that environmental concern must be coupled with competence, and thus came a renewed call for young Jesuits to study natural sciences, and for all Jesuits and colleagues to become environmentally aware and benefit from the rich expertise already developed. Big issues such as the greenhouse effect, the destruction of marine life and many plant and animal species came up, along with the fact that the immediate and persistent victims of this destruction are the poor and indigenous peoples. Lamentations aside, there are also impressive and successful responses such as managing watersheds and the Tarumitra project. Communicating ecological awareness to the poor and the young is especially important (HL00204). The manual ?We live in a broken world? is available in English, French, Italian and Spanish, from the Social Justice Secretariat [HL10602]