On 17 April 2023, the first Sister-led dialogue will focus on the needs and challenges of the most
vulnerable people affected by climate change, pollution and the loss of nature and biodiversity.
2022 marked significant political commitments for the environment, its safeguard and the
protection of the people most affected: a loss and damage fund was established, the UN General
Assembly recognized the universal right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment,
negotiations for an international legally binding instrument to end plastic pollution started and the
Framework to protect and revive biodiversity by 2030 year was adopted in Montreal.

UISG believes and promotes an integral, integrative and inclusive approach to environmental issues:

  1. Integral: we are holistic in tackling social and environmental issues, advocating from a vision that is both human and spiritual as we seek sustainable solutions.
  2. Integrative: we build bridges to bring people together, focusing on our shared humanity as we journey towards a safe, just and peaceful future for all.
  3. Inclusive: we leave no one behind, knowing that the world’s most marginalised communities can teach us all the resilience required to confront the challenges of our time.

This approach is at the heart of the Statement “Sisters for the Environment” issued by UISG on 3 November 2022. The Statement was built around Catholic Sisters’ experience of activism and advocacy in the framework of the UISG’s environmental campaign Sowing Hope for the Planet, for the promotion of the Laudato Si’ Pope Francis’s encyclical letter published in 2015 and for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

In line with the priority areas for action and principles set forth in the Statement, three thematic areas have been identified to structure the conversation during the first Sister-led dialogue on the environment:

  1. Integrate responses to climate change and biodiversity loss, recognising the interconnected
    nature of ecological challenges, and in particular the cascading impact of adaptations to climate
    change on biodiversity and the exploitation of natural resources.
  2. Integrate care for people and our planet, rejecting the anthropocentric vision that underpins
    habits of destructive consumption, and recognising the inextricable link between our
    environment and ourselves.
  3. Integrate vulnerability from the margins in leadership and decision-making, ensuring the
    voices of those most affected by environmental breakdown are at the centre of global
    conversations on resilience and recovery.
  4. For each of the topics identified, the following aspects will be explored:
    – Research findings
    – Grassroots experience
    – Challenges, needs and opportunities, globally and for specific realities