A smoke filled forest produces rays of light from the rising sun as it shines through trees and foliage onto a jungle village. ( God rays / Crepuscular rays ). The Bayaka, also known as Aka tribe are a nomadic Mbenga pygmy hunter gatherer tribe found in the south western jungles of The Central African Republic.

God rays from the sun stream through jungle trees. Photo: Timothy Allen / Stone via Getty Images

The guide is the product of a collaboration initiated in 2020 by the Swedish Ambassador to the Holy See. SEI and the Dicastery worked closely together, with SEI contributing its scientific and communications expertise, while the Dicastery grounded the messages in the Catholic faith, meant for individuals, faith-based groups and communities. The booklet covers key topics to spotlight – climate change, biodiversity, water, food production, air pollution, sustainable consumption, and links between sustainability and social justice.

“We are at a critical historical moment where actions today will determine the fate of generations to come.”

— Cardinal Michael Czerny, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.

“The challenge ahead is monumental; we need nothing short of a ‘bold cultural revolution’ (Laudato si’ 114) to respond to it adequately. For this reason, the guidebook we offer today to local churches and community groups represents an important and hopeful collaboration between two great sectors: that of science, and that of faith. While starting from complementary worldviews, what we hold in common is what matters – science and faith share core values and purpose capable of healing the world,” said Cardinal Michael Czerny.

This is SEI’s first-ever collaboration with the Vatican, but Executive Director Måns Nilsson said the project fits well with SEI’s mission to bridge science and policy to advance sustainability.

“In all we do at SEI, we have a dual mission to produce robust, trustworthy science, and communicate the results so they are clear, compelling and actionable.”

— Måns Nilsson, SEI Executive Director.

“Robust evidence is as crucial as ever, but what drives people’s actions is their values, and their sense of their place in the world. By combining our organizations’ respective strengths, we have produced a booklet that I believe will be very compelling and useful to readers. At a time when many people feel hopeless, like they can’t possibly make a difference, this guide shows they can – both individually, and by advocating collectively for systemic change,” said SEI Executive Director Måns Nilsson.

The guide, released today at a virtual event, is available in English, French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish, as a 20-page printed booklet, and online at sei.org/ourcommonhome/. In both formats, it combines beautiful photography and graphics with succinct summaries of the science on each topic, a clear outline of what needs to change, and ways to take action. Quotations from Laudato si’ introduce each section, and the Pope’s “prayer for our earth” from the Encyclical accompanies the conclusion.

The Dicastery is distributing more than 500 000 print copies of the booklet to parishes around the world, and SEI and the Dicastery will work together to promote the project online and highlight the changes that it inspires. A key tool in this regard will be the Laudato Si’ Action Platform , an online hub run by the Dicastery that brings together Catholics who have mobilized to tackle ecological challenges, in line with the Pope’s call to action.

“The value of collaborating with the Holy See on global issues is, I believe, sometimes overlooked, especially in the non-Catholic world.”

— Andrés Jato, Sweden’s current Ambassador to the Holy See.

“This project clearly illustrates the importance of engaging with an actor that has an unprecedented ability to connect to people’s hearts and minds and that has a global infrastructure that allows it to reach out to every corner in the world. The Holy See is a force for positive change, in a stage of history when change is needed more than ever. Sweden is proud to have taken an active part in this collaboration and we will continue to look for opportunities to cooperate with the Holy See,” said Ambassador Andrés Jato.

For further information, please contact:

Ulrika Lamberth, Senior Press Officer, Stockholm Environment Institute, + 46 73 801 70 53, [email protected]

Claudia Di Lorenzi, Communication Office, Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, [email protected]