WCC panel at World Social Forum 2022

Joy Kennedy (right), moderator of the WCC working group on climate change, Rev. Veronica Flachier (center), from Ecuador, representing the WCC’s Ecumenical Water Network, and Athena Peralta, WCC programme executive for economic and ecological justice.


Joy Kennedy, moderator of the WCC working group on climate change, was one of the speakers of a workshop promoted by the WCC during the event. She shared proposals to stop ecocide. “Faith communities are calling for an Ecocide Law that will recognise ecocide as a criminal offense in the International Criminal Court,” she said.

Faith communities are also supporting the development and implementation of Fossil Fuel Non-proliferation Treaty, Kennedy added.

“The link between water, food and climate justice is vital,” said Rev. Veronica Flachier, from Ecuador, representing the WCC’s Ecumenical Water Network. 

“Water is about food sovereignty and climates that allow, or not, to reap the fruits and live in harmony… If one of them is attacked, the natural balance is broken and chaos ensues. Today we are experiencing this chaos in the form of ecocide,” she said.

As Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala recorded the highest number of killings of environmental defenders in recent years, Flachier remembered the hundreds of guardians of our Abya Yala(which in the Guna language means ‘land in its full maturity’) who have shed their blood to defend land, water, and our ability to feed ourselves in a healthy, safe, sustainable way.”

Athena Peralta, WCC programme executive for economic and ecological justice, observed that a key reason why we are living in ecological crisis has to do with the prevailing ideologies that view “creation as a resource to be exploited and profited from or a beautiful abstract that should not be touched and must be admired from afar.” 

Yet “creation is at the very base of our livelihoods and the material needs – water and food – that are essential for human survival and also the survival of non-human life forms.”

At the workshop, Muna Namura of the General Union of Palestinian Women spoke from her context: “Olive trees are sacred to us. However, olives groves are under increasing threat in part due to restricted access to water faced by Palestinian farmers and climate change,” she said. “The groves are also subject to violence, uprooting and burning by settlers.”

Held between 1 and 6 May, the World Social Forum offered an open space stimulating debate, exchanging experiences, and building proposals and alliances among social movements, networks, and civil society organizations for a fairer world.