“Today we have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.” (Pope Francis: Laudato Si’)
In an increasingly complex era of climate crisis, environmental degradation and rising social inequalities, new challenges towards building a just society are appearing. In this changing environment, Jesuit Social Services has also been changing.
Ecological justice is both social and environmental justice. Ecological justice rests on the principle that ‘everything is interrelated’, and that ethical action in the environmental sphere is central to equity at a social level. This is in keeping with Jesuit Social Services’ ongoing commitment to relational ways of working as demonstrated in our service delivery models, our advocacy and with the ecology journey our organisation has been on since 2008.
Communities and individuals already experiencing social and economic disadvantage now face ecological and environmental challenges. These populations are often the least responsible for ecological risks and threats but are the most affected by their emergence. As such, Jesuit Social Services is committed to prioritising ecological justice.
Ecological Justice involves an ethical transformation where healthy relationships of exchange, sharing and co-creating become a central principle of pursuing justice. It requires a practical reconciliation of the relationship between humanity and nature, and involves a multi-party approach that includes engagement with governments, businesses, schools, indigenous groups and the wider community. Justice is holistic, it is relational.
An integral part of the journey of ecological justice involves building communities of justice. This includes activating and engaging communities and joining others’ efforts.