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Caring for Our Common Home – Virtual Event Recap

On July 16, 2021, TBC held its series event East Meets West Talks, bringing together a diverse group of speakers who shed light on a pressing global issue – environmental destruction and Caring for our Common Home – planet Earth. Read more below or watch the full event recording here.

Dr. Carlos Zepeda from the Laudato Si’ Research Institute (LSRI) at Campion Hall, Oxford University began the discussion with a presentation on the current challenges of the climate and biodiversity crisis. As outlined in his presentation, Dr. Zepeda explained the global climate crisis, the solutions being undertaken so far, and the new unexplored actions and radical change towards environmental progress. In doing so, he emphasized a key message by Pope Francis on how an ecological approach always becomes a social approach, relating it to the work they do at the Laudato Si’ Research Institute and how this mindset is used as inspiration to carry out their mission. Dr. Zepeda concluded his presentation by establishing the need to recognize and incorporate the research on the state of our environment into the larger discussion and ongoing efforts to alleviate and minimize the damage.

 

The conversation continued as Yejing Li from WWF China followed Dr. Zepeda’s introduction to the environmental crisis by offering a specific approach she and her team are caring for the environment. Through forestation, the WWF team has greatly contributed to the significant increase in forest areas in China over the past few years. Yejing described the process of forestation and the consistent nurture of the newly cultivated forests to expand the positive environmental effects of landscape conservation. The challenge of achieving landscape conservation is not only in replenishing forests but also in conserving animal species within these forests to achieve a sustainable approach to holistically supporting the environment and the biodiversity within. By recollecting the various conservation projects WWF China is carrying out, Yejing acknowledged the multifaceted aspect of environmental initiatives, with a broad focus on the land itself, the species inhabiting the land, and the status of their coexistence on this planet in the long run.

As emphasized by both Dr. Zepeda and Yejing, eliminating environmental ignorance and utilizing the proper knowledge and resources paves the way to better understanding the environmental crisis and becoming part of the ecological restoration initiatives. As Co-Founder of the organization Care for Our Common Home (CFOCH), Eleanor Koo, is helping her community through such initiatives. She spoke about how her organization’s mission is to motivate youth to become more involved in their community and increase their environmental awareness while working towards being accountable for each other’s social responsibility. In their community in California, Eleanor and local volunteers participate in a variety of community projects geared towards cleaning the local environment. In this way, Eleanor highlighted the vital impact youth involvement and contribution could have on the ecological efforts – one community at a time.

After the three speakers’ inspirational presentations, the audience asked additional questions on how their work and research is helping us care for our common home. The speakers concluded how working together and uniting separate organizational efforts will not only help us integrate single initiates in expanding the global effort, but we will all also step into our individual part in social responsibility.


East Meets West Talks

The Beijing Center’s event series, covering a variety of intercultural topics that promote an exchange of ideas between East and West. These events bring together sharp minds and fresh thinkers who offer insights on current global affairs and challenges, cross-cultural engagement, and ideas that help us make sense of the world we live in.