A Brazilian lawyer and human rights defender has travelled to the UK to meet with Hove students and speak to MPs about how the destruction of the Amazon is driving climate change and hitting poor communities.
Brazilian land rights lawyer, José Batista Afonso, from organisation the Pastoral Land Commission Marabá, travelled on Wednesday 26 June to the largest-ever environmental lobby of Parliament, supported by aid agency CAFOD, calling for urgent action to tackle the climate crisis.
Whilst there, he met with students from Cardinal Newman Catholic School in Hove - who were also at the lobby to meet with their local MP Peter Kyle.
When meeting Batista, the students had lots of questions for Batista like: "What does the Amazon actually look like?" and "What can we do to help?"
One student also wanted to thank Batista for defending the environment: "Thank you from me for protecting one of the most beautiful places on earth, and I hope that the Amazon will still exist for me to visit when I get older."
Batista, who has stood up for the rights of communities in the Amazon negatively affected by large-scale farming, mining and environmental destruction in the Amazon for many years, wants to raise awareness and show how local communities can help create change.
"We need young people to help us in this struggle," said Batista. "As students, I encourage you to study what the threats to the Amazon are.
"It is important that you understand the Amazon and its role in regulating our global climate, including maintaining the supply of oxygen, fresh water, and rainfall for this planet.
"This will help you to continue your campaigning and inform others of the threats we face globally. We need to act now to protect the Amazon, and the people who defend it for all of us".
After attending 'The Time is Now' climate lobby - which was organised by over 100 organisations that form The Climate Coalition and Greener UK, and was attended by over 300 MPs - the students have vowed to do more to help the environment like including reducing their electricity usage and shopping in smaller markets to try and avoid plastic packaging.
Find out how you can get involved at cafod.org.uk/climatelobby
We Need Your Support
ICN aims to provide speedy and accurate news coverage of all subjects of interest to Catholics and the wider Christian community. As our audience increases - so do our costs. We need your help to continue this work.
Please support our journalism by donating today.Donate