National Justice and Peace Network, report from AGM & Environmental Working Party

Download: NJPN Report or read below

Report by Ashley Ralston

AGM Highlights

2102 NJPN Conference on  China – July 20th 2012 –I will be going –  it seems to me it is an opportunity to find out how we may interact with possibly the  largest trading nation in the world, so that we can get the environmental message across : I’m ever the optimist —  As regards stalls etc – they want it to be more interactive – not just literature  e.g petition/card signing, — there will be space for literature.

A leaflet on ‘China and the Environment’ has been prepared (by Env. working group) and will be placed in the conference pack.

2013 Conference focussing on Catholic Social Teaching – Radical Gospel – July 19th2103 to 21st July – main speaker — Megan Mckenna

Taxpayer against  Poverty : Fr Paul Nicolson of the Zacchaeus 2000 Trust – Talked about the ‘Wednesbury principles’ as a methodology of getting through the British Justice system policies to be challenged – i.e briefly any decisions must be rational and not unreasonable – he argues that our right as Christians to intervene on debates on policy about poverty and taxation involves reaching rational conclusions which are based on facts – political problems arise when governments make prescriptive laws which are unjust and there is no appeal court but only the electorate, i.e an elective dictatorship, hence we can use the Wednesbury principles to show that those policies are unjust. He suggests that an unjust law is one that imposes disproportionate burdens on poor and powerless people – may be we as environmentalist could use this as a tool – look up Zacchaeus 2000 Trust and taxpayer against poverty for more information.

Peace and the Olympics – 100days of peace  — in Ancient Greece, before the Olympics there were 50 days of truce before and after the Olympics to allow athletes freedom to get to the Olympics and back again – Pax Christi and other organisations are encouraging people to hold peace events and make the 2102 Games an occasion to celebrate peace, in our hearts, in our neighbourhoods, reaching out nationally and internationally;; are just a few of the organisations —- Events take place between June 8th to October 28th

NJPN are asking for organisations to sign up for the Living Wage declaration — for more info.


Highlights from National Justice and Peace Network Environment Group

NJPN – Rio + 20 The NJPN has produced and circulated its ‘Rio+20’ statement and briefing (attached).

Before the weekend, the group will circulate prayers and links drawing people’s attention to next week’s conference.

Daniel Hale of Progressio is already on his way to Rio. Progressio can be followed live at:

@ProgressioNEWS, @LlamaLola and on for daily blogs.

Prayers for Rio + 20 —

NJPN – Media The new NJPN Facebook site is up and running.

Live Simply Parish Award Maria Elena reported that the first parish in England and Wales to apply for an award – St. Joseph’s of Lytham St. Anne’s in Lancashire – will be judged on 11 July. Ellen is down to be one of the judges of a Reading parish which has applied, and a parish in Clifton is the third applicant. A further nine parishes are registered. The group was delighted that interest is building up and it was acknowledged that Maria Elena herself has worked tirelessly on this project.


Update on Campaigns

The following campaigns are particularly relevant for NJPN and others in the environmental field


> CAFOD’s next campaign is on FOOD. This will be the theme of the next three Family Fast Days, and will really get going in the Autumn.

[Papers and documents from the NJPN 2010 conference on Food are at: (scroll down) and photos and action recommendations at:]


> GM Freeze  –  The current campaign is against GM wheat trials in Britain.

Ellen reported that she was challenged on her negative take on the term ‘biotechnology’ at a recent Catholic People’s Week where she was giving a talk on Agro-Ecology and Sustainable Food. The need to be more informed re GM is becoming crucial. Listen to ‘The Life Scientific’ with Prof John Pickett of Rothampstead who is working on the GM wheat trials and open to dialogue with GMFreeze,

Towards the end,  he speaks of work in collaboration with small scale farmers in Kenya on the ‘push-pull’ system, or ‘stimulo-deterrent diversionary’ strategy,  that combines sustainability and biological control principles, which seems like an appropriate technology. See An application is also represented graphically:


> Columban JPIC  ‘Save Jeju Island’ in Korea has been picked up internationally, with Columbans and the Church on Korea very involved in protests to stop the construction of a naval base in an environmentally sensitive area.


>Greenwash Gold Three companies have been shortlisted by several NGO’s as unworthy Olympic sponsors because of their environmental destruction and disregard for local communities. View short animations on BP, Dow Chemical and Rio Tinto and then vote for who should receive the ‘Greenwash Gold Medal’. During the Olympics, Greenwash Gold, Silver and Bronze medals will be awarded to the three companies.


Creation Time 2012 Creation Time will run 1 Sept – 4 Oct 2012. CTBI materials will be available at the end of June.


Catholic Environmental Justice Group The group has not been convened since October 2011, so there is nothing new to report. The ‘Environment’ pages on the CBCEW website recommended –

ECEN Louisa reported on her links with ECEN, the European Christian Environmental Network (, and with the Environmental Issues Network (EIN), which operates under the umbrella of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland ( She felt there should be a coherent message from Christian environmental activists to the European Union regarding the global commons. We should be more active in putting issues forward in that forum.

Greenbelt: Several in the group will be attending the Greenbelt Festival 24-27 August, and efforts will be made to contact Catholics there. It was noted that one of the keynote speakers is Jesuit Fr John Dear and that a Catholic Mass on the Saturday is a good place to make contacts.

Project Earth Initiative and particularly the ‘Human Library in Action’ element. This is the setting up of a Human Library of Advisers able to offer support, guidance and expertise on sustainability issues to any faith group, or anyone interested in faith perspectives on the environment.




20-22 July NJPN Annual Conference at Swanwick


15 September  East Anglia Justice and Peace event in The Narthex, The Cathedral of St . John the Baptist, Norwich. 11am start ends with tea at 3.30pm.

It’s a day for reflection and action on the theme of Water with Mary Colwell as prinicipal speaker. The day will also include stands , presentations and a liturgy- contributors include Cafod and WaterAid.  Activities for children aged 5-12  years. The day is free, light lunch and teas and coffee will be provided. People should register their interest in coming by emailing or by phone to Sarah Ebelewicz on 01603 506873.

Downloadable Resources:

The Rush for Land and Its Potential Environmental Consequence (Land Grabs report) July 2011, downloadable from archive section of (lists China & Saudi Arabia as the main offenders)

The film is the story of three men’s life-long search for a diet, which is good for our health, good for the environment and good for the future of the planet. With an additional cast of pioneering chefs and some of the best cooking you have ever seen, the scientists and doctors in the film present a convincing case for the West to re-examine its love affair with meat and dairy.

And see: – focuses on ‘Diet, Energy and Global Warming.

‘The Life of Trees and the Tree of Life’. Downloadable from

This new pack is available to to download now. It can be used on Environment Sunday (5 June), during Time for Creation (1 September – 5 October), or any suitable date. Why trees? Human behaviour is leading to massive deforestation and all of A Rocha’s national projects are involved with protecting and planting trees or forests. In fact our human lives are dependent on trees in multiple ways.



Author: | Date: 23 June, 2012 | Category: Reports | Comments: 0

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