Feile Brid celebration and Afri conference Kildare 2013

Feile Brid is the feast of Saint Brigid, patron saint of Ireland. Each year AFRI (Action From Ireland) organises a celebration of Brigid with focus on different aspects of Justice and caring for the Earth.

The photograph of the flame is the eternal flame of Saint Brigid that burned for centuries until religious persecution in the Middle Ages. The Brigidine sisters relighted it in 1993 and they keep it lighting in their homes.
“The wonder and awesome beauty of our planet, ever more accessible through breathtaking images such as the one shown is also a reminder of her fragility, uniqueness and the urgent need to protect her. Our planet home is blessed with sufficient abundance to care for all but is increasingly reeling and groaning from relentless exploitation and abuse.
And yet many dream of how the world might be different. We do not want to stand idly by or live in a manner that is destructive of our planet, increasing the poverty and suffering of others and putting the lives of future generations at risk.” (Joe Murray, AFRI coordinator).
One presentation during the day was encouraging us to become aware of wood as a finite resource and learn about its sources and how it is used.
  • Three-quarters of the world’s population rely on wood as their main source of energy.
  • More than 1 billion people living in extreme poverty around the world depend on forests for their livelihoods.
  • About 4.6 billion people depend for all or some of their water supplies from forests.
  • Rainforests once covered 14% of the earth’s land surface; now they cover 6%. The last remaining forests could be gone in less than 40 years.
  • Rainforests are home to more than half of the world’s plants and animals.
  • Destruction of forests creates numerous environmental catastrophes, altering local rainfall patterns, accelerating soil erosion, flooding of rivers, mud slides, and threatening millions of species of plants, animals and insects with extinction.
The founder of Just Forests gave the presentation; their aim is to increase public awareness of the importance of responsible forest management as a means alleviating poverty in timber exporting countries. 
Some Brigidine Sisters who attended the day.
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