Care of the Earth

At the 7th IPA Assembly, we reaffirmed our commitment to respond to the cry of the poor by embracing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a human rights framework, addressing the issue of the Care of the Earth.


Read more about our pledge to care for the earth by clicking on the tabs, below, or download our detailed case study pack here.

Care of the Earth - Stories of Impact

On 8 November 2022, UNICEF published findings which revealed that 27.7 million children around the world have been affected by flooding this year alone, the highest number in the past 30 years.


IPA Justice Contacts in Australia and Pakistan share their insights on how Presentation People have been responding to catastrophic flooding in their regions.


With thanks to Justice Contacts Clare Axman and Shumaila Gill PBVM for submitting this Story of Impact.

Cover of an IPA report with images and a quote
Our Pledge to Care for the Earth

We pledge to honour and advance the rights of the Earth by:

To collate and disseminate resources and engage people at the UN about Climate Action, Life below Water and Life on Land to support attaining Rights of Earth.


In all countries with an IPA presence those at work live the Laudato Si message raising local and international awareness of how the SDGs are lived out in our collective care for creation. Our Presentation work so often demands that we accompany those who are left furthest behind. In our care for creation we involve those affected most and affected first by the worst effects of climate change and enduring poverty during this declared climate and biodiversity emergency. 


We honour and advance the rights of the earth in our work to spread the message of the IPCC reports on climate change. We translate the macro message into micro actions that are examples of carbon capture that mitigate and slow climate change. Presentation examples can be seen in our bog restoration and conservation in Lixnaw Co. Kerry  or in the work of Erin Earth in Wagga Wagga Australia where an intergenerational approach welcomes involves all age groups and all communities in demonstrating sustainable living in local communities. To reduce our carbon footprint is our commitment to walk lightly on the earth and to think and act proactively in this regard is to ensure that the ability of future generations to live sustainably is not compromised. 

To develop a programme of study and reflection, to be shared across the IPA network, about Climate Action, Life below Water and Life on Land.


NORTH & SOUTH INDIA: In Presentation schools and in the tribal communities there are ongoing agricultural programmes that educate on sustainable land use in a changing local environment, bringing the latest ideas to subsistence farming. The effects of climate change are most visible in our Presentation Countries of the Global South and the climate and weather is to the fore of all conversations. New flooding, drought and temperature records thwart the best attempts of many of the poorest to live sustainably and substantially from the land.


UNITED STATES: In Dakota the Presentation Sisters have gifted one hundred acres of forest back to nature as they employ two people to manage the critical care of this modest earth resource. As part of this rare gift they have also prepared and delivered very well supported classes on regenerative agriculture combining the best of science (solar panel, irrigation techniques) with age old land management practices. Much of the learning is done hand in hand with the inspiration of the first nations peoples, indigenous peoples whose precious and instinctive care for creation helps us to frame classes on sustainable development. In this way we practically call for measurement of local SDG progress as we map our Laudato Si’ actions plotting a course for improved futures.  


PHILIPPINES: In the Philippines, school-children are encouraged early (and often) in their education to take an active participatory role in their care for creation. Encouraging global citizenship recognises our connection with each other in our relationship with our planet. Planting trees and gardens, caring for animals, understanding the ‘cry of the earth’ are all responses encouraged and developed in Presentation Schools using Laudato Si’, the SDGs and local experiences.


The Presentation Justice Contacts of the Union developed an explanatory and practical resource on the SDGs – A Contemplative Dialogue that situated the SDGs in a personal and community context. The relevance and importance of the SDGs was linked to people and planet. The practical reflections (one per SDG) invited all to follow a template for engaging in contemplative dialogue and to be creative in facilitating these reflections, adapting to various settings – Religious Communities, groups of Friends of Nano/Co-Workers/Students/Others in relation to our ministries and interfaith groups.


The Sisters of North India have taken this idea of the SDGs from a contemplative stance and moved to create a set of contemporary monthly reflections that combine the promise of the SDGs with the actions and call of Laudato Si. Each month a different community of sisters is charged with developing these well thought out reflections that offer learning, reflection, hope, ministry and practical action. You can see them, use them and share them here.


IRELAND: In the Presentation Schools in Ireland students at all levels are encouraged to rise to the “Challenge to Change”.  This innovative and practical programme seeks to raise awareness and share learnings that bring about their greater understanding of global inequality allowing young people see the impact of a changing global environment. Students are empowered to explore ways in which their actions at local level can make a positive difference in their communities. By informing the students and the wider community, the project will bring about a heightened awareness, a social consciousness, an intergenerational response with a forward thinking and broader vision and appreciation of developmental issues as they affect all of us. We are learning from the youngest the most important lessons and as Presentation people we must equip them with the tools, the information, the techniques and the avenues to be the ardent activists that we know, are now being listened to. Our work is to support them so that not only are they listened to but that they are also heard.   

To create a forum for sharing strategies within the IPA network that addresses issues in relation to the Rights of Earth.

We learn and are encouraged by practical examples of our care for creation. In South India the Presentation Sisters continue to be involved with communities undertaking a Participatory Rural Appraisal that will list those factors and incidences of apparent Climate Change. Such a qualitative survey will assist in the development of models that will help those in the villages adapt and mitigate future climate change. This Participatory rural appraisal is an approach used by non-governmental organisations and other agencies involved in international development. The approach aims to incorporate the knowledge and opinions of rural people in the planning and management of development projects and programmes in the understanding that it is not about you without you. The lived experience is central and core to any new approach.

Advocacy for the rights of the Earth at the UN

Along with our practical work on information sharing, study and reflection we take an active role in advocating for the rights of the Earth at the United Nations.

Diagram of ECOSOC and the UN
File Type Published Download
Care of the Earth - Stories of Impact from Pakistan and Australia PDF 11/18/2022 Download
Care of the Earth case studies June 2022 PDF 06/11/2022 Download
Presentation Congregation | Response to the Challenge of Sustainable Living PDF 01/28/2022 Download
Rights of Nature | The Economics of the Biosphere PDF 01/28/2022 Download
Earth as our Home PDF 01/28/2022 Download
A Guide to Fracking and Human Rights Law PDF 01/28/2022 Download
International Mother Earth Day | 22 April PDF 01/28/2022 Download
Digging at our Conscience Mining Toolkit PDF 03/01/2016 Download
Sustainable Development Post 2015 Advocacy Toolkit PDF 12/31/2015 Download
Bible Study on Creation Advocacy and Care 2013 PDF 01/01/2013 Download
Impacts and Rewards of Mining | Intag Ecuador PDF 12/01/2011 Download