A leader of the Catholic Church in Palawan is urging the Christian community in the province to join the cry for justice for the environment, particularly Mother Nature, which has been facing massive destruction in recent years brought about by human activities.

In a Pastoral Letter released by Bishop Socrates Mesiona of the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa, he also called on government agencies tasked with protecting the environment to perform their duties.

He asked everyone to support government programs geared towards environmental protection, such as the no single-use plastic policy and the recently launched Save the Bay Project by the city government of Puerto Princesa.

Mediona also mentioned tree planting and mangrove planting initiatives, along with other programs that help restore the beauty of Mother Nature.

Through the pastoral letter, which was released on Friday for the celebration of Season of Creation 2023, the Puerto Princesa Vicar Apostolic also likened the city’s world-renowned Puerto Princesa Underground River to the celebration’s theme “Let Justice and Peace Flow.”

This theme was taken from a Bible passage written by the Prophet Amos, which says, “But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream.”

Bishop Mesiona said the Puerto Princesa Underground River is a fitting symbol for environmental justice due to its rich biodiversity and the God-given natural beauty and wealth in Palawan.

“Presently, our biodiversity is faced with massive danger because of mining, illegal logging, illegal fishing, and other destructive activities,” he said.

“[That is why] it is indeed just and proper for us to take care and nurture all these things,” he said.

He further stated that because PPUR which is one of nature’s wonders is a symbol of the biodiversity, the call for environmental justice and peace should echo to different sectors.

“And here in our province, we should be more emphatic with our call for ‘ecological justice’,” the prelate said.

He also called on the different parishes of AVPP to make necessary steps to make this year’s celebration of the Season of Creation more meaningful.