Patriarch Bartholomew will deliver a speech at the Plenary Closing of the AIWW Conference on 5 November.

His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is the spiritual leader of the world’s 300 million Orthodox Christians.

Patriarch Bartholomew is affectionately known as the ‘Green Patriarch’ because of how persistently he proclaimes the primacy of ethical values in determining environmental action. He will be one of the speakers at the Plenary Closing of the Amsterdam International Water Week Conference, on Tuesday 5 November.

‘Champion of the earth’ in 2005 by the United Nations’ Environmental Program and one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2008 for ‘defining environmentalism as a spiritual responsibility’, Patriarch Bartholomew’s many initiatives represent the conviction that environmental challenges must be resolved in dialogue and collaboration with youth, businesses, religions, governments, financial corporations, media, NGOs, and academia.

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Pope Francis values pioneering role of Patriarch Bartholomew

Even the Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato Si’ (2015) valued the pioneering role of Patriarch Bartholomew when saying: “Bartholomew has drawn attention to the ethical and spiritual roots of environmental problems, which require that we look for solutions not only in technology but a change of humanity; otherwise we would be dealing merely with symptoms. He asks us to replace consumption with sacrifice, greed with generosity, wastefulness with a spirit of sharing, an ascetism which entails learning to give, and not simply to give up. It is a way of loving, of moving gradually away from what I want to what God’s world needs. It is a liberation from fear, greed ad compulsion.”

The Patriarch’s many green initiatives

Among the Patriarch’s numerous initiatives related to the protection of the natural environment, we find:

  • The establishment of the Religious and Scientific Committee (1995) and the organization of several international, inter-religious and interdisciplinary symposia
  • Symposia on the Black Sea (1997), the Amazon (2006) and the Arctic Sea (2007)
  • A keynote speech with the theme ‘A conversation on environment, ethics and innovation’ during in Halki Summit I in 2012
  • The Opening Address ‘A conversation on the environment, literature and the arts’ at the Halki Summit II in 2015 and
  • A symposium in 2018 called ‘Toward a greener Attica’

His participation in the Plenary Closing of the International Amsterdam Water Week will be a new opportunity to raise environmental awareness and convey his conviction that environmental issues can only be resolved in partnership with all people of good will. Will you be there?

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Patriarch also to speak at VU Symposium on 6 November

Patriarch Bartholomew will also deliver the opening speech the VU Symposium ‘Water in times of climate change’ on Wednesday 6 November. The symposium aims to build dialogues between activists, scientists, governments, businesses, NGO’s and religions. There are 800 spots available for the Opening Session and registration for the symposium is free. For more information about the symposium programme and registration, please visit the VU Symposium website.

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