Ecology Ministry Mission Statement
The Northeast Community's Ecology Ministry promotes the Critical Concern of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas to reverence Earth and work more effectively toward the sustainability of life and toward universal recognition of the fundamental right to water.
The mission of this ministry is primarily about systemic change that is able to happen only when people come to a new understanding of their place in the universe and change their worldview. By raising the awareness of people of all ages, status, and religious beliefs to the plight of Earth and our responsibility as one Earth community, it lays the foundation of a new era where human activities bring about the healing of Earth through a mutually enhancing presence with the whole Earth community. The ministry supports ecological legislation and, in collaboration with other groups, works to bring about policy changes for the good of Earth.
(Approved Jan. 25, 2011 by Ecology Advisory Board)
We, the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas – Northeast Community and Companions believe:
The impacts of climate change around the world, from floods to droughts to disease, disproportionately affect poor, vulnerable communities, especially women, who regularly do the work of growing food, collecting water and fuel and raising children.
- We support actions and policies that educate federal legislators and others on the critical need for action on comprehensive climate change and energy, including international adaptation and mitigation.
- We choose to reduce our personal and institutional carbon footprints by 5-10% within one year.
- We choose to alter global economy by buying locally and supporting Earth friendly co-operatives.
- We choose to use renewable energy such as solar, wind and other technologies whenever possible.
- We choose alternative modes of transportation such as public, electric cars, hybrids, walking and bicycles.
Adopted April 29, 2011
We, the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas - Northeast
Community, Associates and Companions believe:
• Water is a human right and a public trust.
• All people and Earth (biospheres) have the right to high quality potable water.
• Water is a sacred gift not to be treated as a private
commodity to be bought, sold or traded for profit.
• Bottled water for profit decreases affordable water for impoverished persons and countries.
• Plastic water bottles are a hazard to human health and the health of Earth.
• Fresh water is a shared legacy and a collective responsibility.
Therefore, we support actions and policies that -
• ensure universal access to sufficient, affordable, safe water for all people, especially the most vulnerable;
• protect fresh water as a sustainable, renewal resource;
• implement the objectives of the UN Millennium Goals on water;
• prohibit profiteering through bottled water and privatization.
We oppose actions and policies that -
• endanger the world's supply of water, aquifers, lakes, rivers and oceans;
• deprive humans and other species access to adequate, safe water essential for life;
• favor the privatization of water as a commodity to be bought and sold for profit when in reality it is a heritage we all hold in common;
• encourage the use and sale of bottled water except in circumstances when potable water is not available.
May 8, 2009Water: An Inalienable Human Right & Public Trust
Water in all of its forms is a common good and access to water is a fundamental and inalienable human right.
• Access to clean water is essential for human life.
• By 2025, nearly 50 percent of the world's population will face water scarcity.
• Only 2.5 percent of Earth's total water supply is fresh water, and less than 1 percent of that is usable in a renewable fashion.
• Commodification of fresh water and privatization of water services typically decrease accessibility of clean affordable water.
• At least 90 percent of potable water in the world is ground water, and this source of water is threatened with depletion and contamination.
• The world's finite supply of accessible fresh water is so polluted, diverted, and depleted that millions of people and other species are deprived of water for life.
• About 40 percent of the world's population depends on water coming from outside its geopolitical borders.
• Lack of access to adequate fresh water increases the likelihood of violent conflicts between nations.
Since water is a public good and a right of the Earth Community, all of society should be involved in decision making regarding its protection, management and distribution. Catholic social teaching and our commitment to reverence Earth call us to take personal and collective responsibility for safeguarding the world's water, especially fresh water, and ensuring its equitable distribution.
It is an ethical imperative that we, the Sisters of Mercy Northeast Community, be engaged in the public discourse of safeguarding the world's water. This Corporate Stand on Water is our public pledge to promote the defense of the sacred gift of water, the lifeblood of Earth.