The fate of the Amazon rainforest is tied to the fate of our planet: The vast region touches eight different South American countries plus French Guiana and is home to more than 2 million indigenous peoples from almost 400 traditional nations. Moreover, the health of Amazonia’s ecosystem is key to the ecological health of the entire world.
If nations can work in concert to protect at-risk human rights and rescue the unique biodiversity of the Amazon, then we can make great steps in advancing social peace and the common good—as well as saving our common home.
This panel of distinguished religious leaders, activists, and theologians working to heal the Amazon will discuss the current crisis and prospects for change—and reasons for hope. Many of our speakers are in New York for the March 2023 United Nations Water Conference.
Pedro Barreto, S.J., Archbishop of Huancayo in Peru, is president of the newly created Ecclesial Conference of the Amazon (CEAMA) and a member of the Board of the Amazonic University Program (PUAM). He is an outspoken defender of human rights and the Amazonian environment and works closely with Pope Francis on these issues.
Patricia Gualinga is widely known for her work as a defender of the human rights of the Kichwa People of Sarayaku, an indigenous community in the Ecuadorian Amazon. She is also vice president of CEAMA and a member of the Amazonic University Program.
Fernando Ponce, S.J., is president of the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador. He is a board member of AUSJAL, the association of 30 Jesuit universities in Latin America.
Carol Jeri is the human rights coordinator for Caritas, the Catholic Church’s development and relief network in Madre de Dios in the Peruvian Amazon, and a participant of the Human Rights School of the Panamazon Ecclesial Network (REPAM).
Christiana Zenner is an associate professor of theology at Fordham University who writes widely on religious ecological ethics. She is the author of Just Water: Theology, Ethics, and Global Fresh Water Crises.
David Gibson, director of Fordham’s Center on Religion and Culture, will moderate a discussion with the audience.
This event is organized and co-sponsored by the Amazonic University Program (PUAM), which is part of the Ecclesial Conference of the Amazon (CEAMA), and the Association of Jesuit Universities in Latin America (AUSJAL).
This event is open to alumni, faculty/staff, parents, students, and the public.