Holy Father Pope Francis while addressing some 46 members of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in the Vatican, shared the concerns of Island, coastal and fishing communities and called for global cooperation, solidarity and strategies to address issues such as the deterioration of the environment and the health of oceans.

His Holiness blamed many of the causes of this “environmental decay” on the short-sighted human activity, connected with certain ways of exploiting natural and human resources. Holy Father expressed his concerns about those exposed to frequent extreme environmental and climate events and the impact of rising sea levels and the continuous deterioration of the barrier reef.

Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) is an inter-governmental organization that aims to enhance cooperation between the independent countries of the Pacific Ocean and was founded in the year 1971, as the South Pacific Forum. In this present world where the environment is in a deteriorating condition, this meeting of Holy Father Pope Francis with the PIF leaders marks a significant place in protecting the islands, coastal and fishing communities. The meeting also highlights the importance of ‘Laudato Si’, the second encyclical of His Holiness Pope Francis, which is considered as a wakeup call to help humanity understand the destruction that man is rendering to the environment and his fellow man.