Caritas Philippines is spearheading a 32-kilometer cycling campaign to promote environmental awareness as the Church observes the Season of Creation.
The “Bike for Kalikasan” will kick off at 5:00 a.m. from the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros to La Mesa Dam Nature Reserve Park in Quezon City on October 8.
Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, Caritas’ national director, said the event is one of the church’s concrete contributions to the global goal of ecological transformation.
“This is to show that we are serious in our stance to fully enforce the 2022 CBCP pastoral statement on ecology, as much as we are demanding in calling on our government to take action against ecological injustices,” Bagaforo said.
The event will also mark the beginning of Caritas’ bamboo forest project nationwide, a flagship initiative in partnership with diocesan social action centers.
“It is time that we invest more work into our ecological advocacies than mere statements,” said Bagaforo, whose diocese In Kidapawan is one of the dioceses that will establish the bamboo forest project.
“After all, we are a working, living Church. What good will our words bring if our planet is dead,” he added.
Fr. Antonio Labiao Jr., Caritas’ executive secretary, said the bike caravan is also a call to action to their environmental advocacy initiatives under the Alay Kapwa – Alay para sa Kalikasan program.
This includes divestment from fossil gas, coal, mining, and other extractive industries, the Rights of Nature policy campaign, just renewable energy transition, and food security via sustainable farming.
He said that Caritas is also taking “principled cooperation” with the government, as they will be working closely with the concerned agencies and the private sector.
To join, register for free here: Caritas Bike for Kalikasan.