Target: Pope Francis
Goal: Support the Vatican’s new efforts to conserve Brazilian Amazon and promote peace in the region
Pope Francis recently returned to the Vatican City following a week-long trip to Brazil, during which he made a point of encouraging both the Catholic church and local governments to take a larger role in preserving both Brazilian rainforests and the general peace of the region. The pope is an extremely influential international figure, and his support could significantly improve conservation efforts. We should support the Vatican’s efforts in this matter, so as to better foster an international culture of environmental concern.
In addition to meetings with a variety of mainstream Brazilian cultural and political figures, the pope also made a point to visit leaders among the indigenous people of Brazil’s rainforests. He expressed sympathy towards their cause, and urged the church presence in the region to assist them in their campaign to preserve their native land. In a separate meeting, he encouraged bishops the world over to “respect and protection of the entire creation which God has entrusted to man, not so that it be indiscriminately exploited but rather made into a garden.”
The protection of the Amazon has always been a dangerous proposition: rich landowners often prefer to use violence and intimidation to force the indigenous people to vacate their lands, and support is hard to find. Tensions reached a peak in 2005, when Amazon land-rights defender Dorothy Stang was murdered by two local ranchers. Unfortunately, incidents like this are not uncommon, but many conservationists hope that they will become less prevalent following the pope’s decision to focus on the region.
In this dark time for Amazon conservationism, the help of an ally as large and internationally respected as the Catholic church is greatly appreciated. We should thank the pope for his decision, and hope that the rest of the church follows this new, pro-conservation policy.
Dear Pope Francis,
We write to thank you following your trip to Brazil, during which you made significant headway for the Amazon conservation movement. In particular, we wish to applaud your decision to meet with the leaders of indigenous people and pledge to them the support of the Catholic church in their cause.
In this dark time for Amazon conservationism, the help of an ally as large and internationally respected as the Catholic church is greatly appreciated. We thank you for this new policy, and hope that more assistance will be forthcoming in the future.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Tânia Rêgo via Wikimedia Commons