Indonesian environmentalists: the Pope's encyclical, 'huge' step in defense of water and agriculture

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Sister Alphonsa Triatmi, a bio activist, urges the Indonesian Church to organize courses and seminars on “Laudato sì". The female religious battles against "evil and destructive" lifestyles. The encyclical gives "great support" for the struggle in defense of nature.

Laudato sì " is a step "huge" in defense of the environment, the importance of which should not, however, be limited to the "general euphoria" that followed the publication in recent days.


The Catholic Church in Indonesia "should work to promote his spirit through workshops, seminars and learning processes" involving first of all the faithful.

This is what Sister Alfonsa Triatmi, an expert on the environment and at the forefront in the promotion of organic farming among the farmers of Central Java, tells AsiaNews commenting on the encyclical of Pope Francis.

Creator and supporter of a sustainable agriculture program for Christian and Muslim farmers, the religious sister agrees with the pope's request to "custody the land", Creation, which Bergoglio defines as our "common home".

The nun recalls her activities among peasants and farmers, the first to "nourish the earth" and to use "non-chemical fertilizers" to "create life from the ground." She appeals to all people of good sense, to use " all forms of energy wisely: electricity, water" and encourages others "to join groups or activities that are aimed at protecting the environment."

From her experience in the environmental field, Sister Alfonsa says that today the state of conservation and protection of the environment and nature "is very meager." She emphasizes the gradual global warming "due to the massive illegal logging" and the extensive use of pesticides. "Nature is hurting – she warns - because our lifestyle is evil and destructive."

Among the leading experts on environmental issues in Indonesia is also Fr. Vincentius Kirjito, priest of the Archdiocese of Semarang at the forefront of the defense of water resources, winner in 2010 of the Maarif prize.

Thanks to his numerous initiatives, he has been able to rise to people's awareness of the importance of rainwater in areas where there are few sources. "What I do - he tells AsiaNews - is to protect nature, helping people to use rainwater." In this context, he adds, the publication of "Laudato sì" has promoted the idea that "everyone should seriously protect, nurture and care nature."

Among environmentalists and ecologists Dwi Widyatmojo, an activist among farmers from the Diocese of Purwokerto, in central Java, also welcomes the publication of the "Laudato sì" that provides "a great support" to the activities of those working for the protection of nature. "I firmly believe - he adds - that the way we produce our livelihood, rice, is in line with the concerns of the Pope: nourish and care for the earth."

Water and soil, the environmentalist added, are "the source of life. The quality of human life depends on these two essential elements. " If the water and earth are healthy, he adds, they can generate "plants, trees, vegetables which, in turn, generate oxygen which is the basis of survival of human beings and animals."

Indonesian environmentalists: the Pope's encyclical, 'huge' step in defense of water and agriculture

Mathias Hariyadi
Source: (July 2, 2015)