For 40 years Br. Desmarais has run the Kasisi Agricultural Training Centre (KATC) in Zambia. But over the last 20 years Br. Desmarais has rethought almost every aspect of conventional Western agriculture and how it’s applied in Africa.
Plows, tractors, chemical fertilizers and commercial herbicides were once all part of Br. Desmarais’ gospel of modern agriculture. But no more. The Canadian Jesuit now promotes organic, ecologically sustainable, no-till farming for small-scale farmers.
Building on earlier interfaith declarations over the past 5 years, the 2014 Interfaith Summit on Climate Change has adopted a strong statement directed to heads of state, international negotiators and faith communities. The statement conveys an urgent faith-based message on the threat of climate change and the importance of a fair and effective outcome of the international climate negotiations. The statement was presented to the UN Secretary General with a view to the Summit of Heads of State on 23 September, convoked to mobilize the political will needed to achieve an ambitious climate change agreement by 2015, and to catalyze action on climate change throughout the world. Among 30 co-signatories are Cardinal John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria; Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Caritas Internationalis; and Fr. Michael Czerny S.J. representing the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.