Keep Environment Central During Pandemic Recovery, Says Young African

The head of an African network for young Catholics warned against prioritizing economic interests over social and environmental concerns as nations work to recover from the COVD-19 pandemic.

Allen Ottaro, executive director Catholic Youth Network for Environmental Sustainability in Africa, spoke to Catholic News Service during Laudato Si’ Week, May 16-24 celebrations to mark the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical on “our common home.”

“As countries look to the post (COVID-19) recovery phase and restarting economies, there is a huge risk that economic considerations will be placed ahead … ultimately, this could lead to much higher level of pollution and carbon emissions (than) before the pandemic,” Ottaro told CNS. “However, there is also an opportunity to take a different trajectory and ensure our economies in a green way, an eco-friendly way.”

Ottaro said the pandemic has not stopped the global climate crisis, and its effects were making it difficult to respond to the disease. Read more…

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