St. Francis of Assisi, from whom we get the spirituality of the Franciscan Family is the Catholic and United Nations’ patron of the creation and environment. St. Francis’ identification with the poor gradually brought him to an understanding of his place as a “little brother” to all humanity and all creation. His famous “Canticle of the Creatures,” which is the inspiration for Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, reveals how integrally interconnected St. Francis felt to all elements of God’s creation. He came to see God as being reflected in all creation and therefore sought to maintain the integrity of all creation.
The essence of Franciscan spirituality, then, is a focus on seeing God in everyone, especially the marginalized, and working toward protecting the integrity of all creation. Therefore, by working to maintain the integrity of all creation—with particular emphasis on the poor, vulnerable, and those least responsible for environmental degradation—Franciscan spirituality lends itself to a focus on environmental and climate justice.

Through St. Francis’ commitment to following the convictions of his faith, he consciously joined the “story of power,” which is the story of humans and creation that also “includes a focus on the differences of status, privilege, social class, levels of influence, wealth and political and social power of various groups” (Franciscan Care for Creation). This is the story that we continue through the environmental justice movement today.

JPICFA denounces human rights violations due to the environmental damage caused by extractive industries. JPICFA participates in international debates on human rights and climate change. It also monitors the impact on human rights of States’ measures to implement the Paris Agreement on climate change. Furthermore, we try to promote the rights of individuals and communities who are (or will be) particularly affected by the degradation of the environment and by climate change.

We collaborate with other organizations that fight for environmental and climate justice. We engage ourselves in research and workshops aimed at fostering environmental justice. We try to involve ourselves in sensitization campaigns, and training of the young and youths on the importance of climate and environmental justice through collaboration with organizations and schools.

By examining our own tradition’s religious teachings on the environment and engaging in dialogue with organizations and policymakers about our role in causing harm to or protecting the integrity of creation, we are lending our voices to environmental justice. We are moving ourselves and others into a new consciousness about how to live in unity and harmony with the earth and one another.

In association with Franciscans in Africa, we promote responsible lifestyles through:
• Critical consumption and ethical investments in sexual and environmental matters
• Pro-life rallies and campaign against abortion and use of contraceptives in Africa
• Workshops on Biodiversity
• Agroecology and ecologically sensitive choices
• Workshops and campaigns actions on HIV/AIDS /STD Treatments and Natural prevention