471. In Latin America and the Caribbean, awareness is growing of nature as a free legacy that we receive to protect, as a precious space for shared human life and as careful responsibility of human stewardship for the good of all. This legacy often proves to be weak and defenseless against economic and technological powers.
Starting in the sixties, American activists pushed back strongly against polluters. But democracy is weaker in many nations to our south. The Aparecida bishops, however, see environmental concerns as a life issue. Which, of course, it is.
Hence, as prophets of life we want to insist that the interests of economic groups that irrationally demolish sources of life are not to prevail in dealing with natural resources, at the cost of whole nations and of humankind itself. The generations that succeed us are entitled to receive an inhabitable world, not a planet with polluted air.
Schooling for the young is prescribed:
Fortunately, an education in ecological responsibility has begun to be introduced in the disciplines in some Catholic schools.
For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.