Indigenous Voice in Vatican Climate Talks

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John Lochowiak speaks up

John Lochowiak, the Chair of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC) will participate in a meeting of faith groups from across the globe convened by the Holy See and the British and Italian Embassies ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). 

Held at the end of Season of Creation, October 4, the meeting’s purpose is for faith leaders from different religions and spiritual traditions to share how they have been making their organisations greener and more sustainable as a whole as well as at a local level. 

“The meeting in Rome is a significant opportunity for religious leaders to once again raise their voices in defence of the future of this earth,” Mr Lochowiak said. 

Mr Lochowiak has taken part in preparatory meetings online. “Through the virtual meetings I have been explaining how NATSICC as a national body is working with State councils to address significant environmental issues and to create awareness about the impact climate change will have on the entire planet – on humans, animals and plants.”

Throughout this process Mr Lochowiak has described Indigenous peoples’ connection to the land and the importance of living in harmony with and caring for the earth. 

“As Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ outlines, ecological damage threatens all of us but particularly the poor and the marginalised.” 

Whether able to participate in person or online, Mr Lochowiak’s voice will be heard on the world’s stage, echoing the thoughts and insights of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia. 

The COP26 conference will be held in Glasgow from November 1-12 with the goal of settings targets for emissions cuts by 2030 and to strategise how countries can combat the impacts of the climate crisis.