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CHURCH, EDUCATION and SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: Human action endangers sustainability of Brazilís Rio dos Sinos

The increase in the number of human settlements along its riverbanks is having a negative impact on the Rio dos Sinos, which is in danger of losing its sustainability over the next twenty years, jeopardizing the needed conditions for providing water to future generations.

Friday, August 3, 2012

By Micael Vier B. for ALC.

These prospects were presented by the former Executive Director of the Pro-Sinos Consortium, Julio Dorneles, at the inauguration of a new academic year of the Faculty of the Superior School of Theology (EST) on July 31.  

Domeles explained that the environmental concept not only calls for respect for the fauna and flora, but also refers to language, customs, culture, peace and violence, i.e., to the material and spiritual aspects that make-up the context of each individual. 

When focusing on the concept of sustainability, Domeles warned that if the North American lifestyle were to be taken as a model to be followed, "we would have to seek another planet similar to the Earth, because this our present planet would not be able to sustain such a lifestyle.”

When the Pro-Sinos Consortium was created in 2006, the sustainability of the Rio dos Sinos was affected by an environmental crime that killed approximately one million fish. Domeles pointed out that as a result of that incident, 26 municipal districts agreed to commit themselves to carry out actions, projects and recuperation programs together. 

Among the main problems for the river’s sustainability are the rice fields located on the riverbanks, the absence of forests, the processes of erosion, and the accumulation of sediments along the riverbed. Domeles further pointed out that beginning with a verifying of those problems, the Pro-Sinos Consortium offers programs of environmental education, recycling practices and technical consultancy to the municipal districts, along with plans for a basic recuperating of the river in order to overcome the effects of four decades of degradation. 

Enthused by the work developed by Dorneles, who is a former EST student and currently serves as the General Coordinator of the Federation of the Associations of Municipal districts of Rio Grande do Sul (FAMURS), EST’s Dean Bobsin emphasized the urgent need to "rethink our lifestyle, which was also emphasized at the recent discussions around Rio +20.”  

At the closing of the inauguration, Lutheran Synod Pastor Edson Streck underlined that the doing of theology demands knowledge of the environment. "That is a matter included in the curriculum of our extension course (on Urban Mission) and which corresponds to one of the focuses of action of the Synod,"  

With an extension of 190 km along its main course, the Hydrographic Basin of the Rio dos Sinos serves 1.7 million people, corresponding to 17% of the population of the state of Rio Grande do Sul.  

Photo: Effects of contamination of the Rio dos Sinos in Brazil


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Information and analysis about the social-ecclesial reality, development and human rights in Latin America and other regions of the world
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