The “Chair Laudato sí’ on Care for the Common Home” is an initiative of the Inter-American Organization for Higher Education (IOHE), the Organization of Catholic universities in Latin America and the Caribbean (ODUCAL), and the catholic and Christian-inspired Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Latin America and the Caribbean, in response to the Encyclical Letter Laudato si’ On Care for Common Home in which we are urged to protect the environment.
In this context, the First Working Meeting of the “Chair Laudato si’ on Care for the Common House” took place on July 12th, 2016, at the premises of the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. the encounter was led by the President of the host institution, Pr. David Fernández Dávalos, and in collaboration with the Executive Director of the IOHE, Dr. David Julien, and Dr. Raul Arias, Executive Director of the CAMPUS Program and former President of the IOHE, where they introduced a proposal to 29 delegates representing 19 institutions from 9 countries.
In this regard, participants agreed to sign a letter of intent for the creation of the Chair and first defined a work plan, in which they determined the importance of focusing on creating the following features:
- A web platform for the Chair;
- A digital repertoire for the collection of best practices, articulated, in turn, around the themes of sustainable institutional policies, projects and curriculum design teaching and Scientific Research;
- A map of networks and institutions already involved in the issue.
The institutional responsibility for the care of the environment and the urgent need to concretize sustainable development are issues whose importance scale in the particular political and social contexts in the countries of the Americas, where the exploitation of natural resources has exterminated entire species of flora and fauna. Also, the excesses have led to the disappearance of entire human communities, along with the irreversible change in the relationship of societies with their environment. It is for this reason that it is an essential issue in the process of delineating the IOHE’s 2017-2022 Strategic Planning. The results and the implementation of the Chair Laudato si’ on Care for the Common House will be monitored and reviewed, to include the issue as a focus of work of the Organization.