Initiated by the Swedish Ambassador to the Holy See, this project brought together SEI and the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development to develop educational materials that connect the science of climate change, biodiversity and sustainable resource use with the messages of Pope Francis’s 2015 Encyclical on the environment, Laudato si’.
The result is a 20-page illustrated booklet and companion website – available in English, Spanish, Italian, French and Portuguese – that distil the science on urgent environmental issues and explain how individuals and communities can take action to contribute to a more sustainable and socially just future.
SEI and the Dicastery worked collaboratively on the booklet, with SEI contributing its scientific and communications expertise and the Dicastery providing ideas for action for congregations and communities.
The Dicastery is distributing over 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, including through the Laudato Si’ Action Platform and during Laudato Si’ Week in May 2023.
This is SEI’s first formal collaboration with a faith organization, but far from the first time that SEI has engaged with values-based approaches to sustainability, which have long informed SEI’s work on climate equity, just transitions, adaptation and resilience-building, and many other issues. Through this project, SEI is exploring new opportunities to bring robust, actionable scientific knowledge to ordinary citizens, to inspire them to act and empower them to advocate for more sustainable and equitable policies.
SEI also recognizes that people of faith, individually and through their churches and other organizations, are already engaged in advocacy for climate action and environmental justice. Through science communications projects such as this, SEI can contribute to more sustainable outcomes by helping to ensure that advocates – and the policymakers they seek to influence – are informed by robust science.
We received financial support from the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.