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“FUTURE GENERATIONS MUST BE ENCOURAGED AND TAUGHT TO SAVE THE EARTH”, SAYS NATIONAL DIRECTOR OF CARITAS SRI LANKA – SEDEC
“Simple lack of knowledge is also a cause for Global warming”, said Rev.Fr. George Sigamoney, National Director of Caritas Sri Lanka SEDEC in his keynote address at the Awareness Session on “Global Warming and Climate Change Adaptation” held on 24th April 2012 at the Caritas SED Gale Auditorium in Galle. This session was designed and facilitated by Prof. W.M. Wilson and Prof. Ranjana Piyadasa of the University of Colombo and it was one of the components of the 4 – day Community Based Disaster Preparedness (CBDP) Workshop organized by Caritas Sri Lanka – SEDEC in collaboration with Caritas SED Galle. Among those present on the occasion were Rev.Fr. Michael Rajendram – Diocesan Director of Caritas SED Galle, Rev.Fr. Charles Hewavasam – Episcopal Vicar of Galle Diocese and Rev.Fr. Damian Arsakularatne – former Director of SED Galle.
(See below for full text of Fr. Sigamoney’s keynote address)
“Today we are gathered to discuss one of the most important concerns in mankind’s modern history. Global warming and climate change are, in fact, top concerns in the world today, even more than global wars, global poverty and global terrorism.
We already know that the impacts of global warming and climate change can be many.
Rising sea levels may inundate islands, low-lying cities and fresh-water marshlands.
Changes in rainfall patterns may create droughts and fires in some areas and flooding in other areas.
Extreme events such as hurricanes and cyclones are more likely to happen.
Spread of disease may intensify.
Some animal populations may vanish due to loss of habitats.
Farming and food production may decline badly.
The poor and the marginalized may become the worst affected victims of these outcomes.
So, what must we do? That’s the challenge before us.
Caritas, at Asian and International levels, has made this subject one of its strategic priorities. Here in Sri Lanka Caritas will help to explore the steps we can jointly take to avert an impending disaster. That is why workshops like the one we are going to have today will give us the opportunity to share knowledge and develop new ideas with which we can work our way forward.
Simple lack of knowledge is also a cause for global warming.
On the other hand, we must develop the skills to adapt ourselves to climate change. That is the second challenge before us.
I hope that today’s sessions will throw up new ideas. That’s important because we already know that we must plant trees, reduce, reuse, recycle, walk more and cycle more and so on.
We need to teach our children to share knowledge and stay informed on environmental issues. Future generations must be encouraged and taught to save the earth.
If we can do this successfully, EARTH DAY does not have to be observed only on one day of the year.
Every day can be EARTH DAY.
I wish you all a fruitful workshop and I look forward to working closely with all of you to develop a good action plan which Caritas Sri Lanka can contribute to the national discussion on this vital subject.
Good luck to all of you”.