World Environmental Day: Reimagine, Recreate, Restore.
“The leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nationsRevelation 22:2
Over the past few decades, Nations Globally have observed World Environment Day on the 5th of June- an occasion to promote awareness on environmental conservation. The Day is envisioned to increase awareness on eco stewardship and encourage ‘responsible conduct by individuals, enterprises, communities’ in preserving and enhancing the environment.
The theme for this year’s celebration is, Reimagine. Recreate. Restore. and is aimed at assisting in the recovery of ecosystems that have been degraded by activities like pollution and deforestation. As we speak, human activities have cost us 83% of wild mammals’ lives and half of the plants. While much of this degradation affects almost all species within the ecosystem, it is largely attributed to Human Activity such as mining, overconsumption, overpopulation, overexploitation, and pollution. Healthy ecosystems and rich biodiversity yield greater benefits such as fertile soil and bigger yields- translating to the economic and general well-being of communities. As an existential imperative, therefore, it is for us to collectively participate in restoring and replenishing damaged ecosystems.
The Anglican Church of Kenya, basing its ministry to care for creation on God’s instruction that man takes care of the environment- continues to champion for sustainable natural resource use. Under the leadership of His Grace – the Most Rev. Dr. Jackson Ole Sapit, The Church has captured Wholesome Ecology as a pillar in her 10-Year decade Strategy running from 2018-2027. This will be celebrated officially in 2026. Such efforts recognize that Wholesome Living is equally dependent on a responsible and healthy relationship between man and nature. These stewardship campaigns are spearheaded by the Green Anglicans Movement.
Recognizing that much damage has been done to nature, there is need to build more resilient communities to respond to the effects of climate change. Anglican Dioceses within the Country have already taken up the eco stewardship ministry and are actively engaged in promoting it. Awareness creation plays a key role in ensuring that everyone understands the damage already done, the risk posed and the opportunity to rectify and/ or adapt to these changes. Using what mother earth offers is not as much a blessing when our actions tamper with the dependence within biodiversity. The perfect arrangement must be such that -every other organism within the ecosystem pretty much continues to enjoy the provisions of nature after we use it.
We call upon each of us to consider how to sustainably depend on nature. For not doing so, the price to be paid is huge, affecting us in the long term. We may have noticed that certain organisms such as birds, fish, and animals are no longer easily seen. This is because the ecosystem as it is currently, cannot sustain their existence in certain areas (or anywhere) hence their extinction. This is mostly as a result of habitat fragmentation (loss of large tracts of habitats due to activities such as deforestation). Land degradation continues to affect agricultural productivity in most parts of the country. Statistics indicate that 40% of the world’s agricultural land is seriously degraded, threatening food security, agronomic productivity and the environment.
The quality of air in urban areas- and those within industrial zones, is increasingly downgraded due to pollution- mainly caused by Greenhouse gas emissions. Factories, coal mining and burning have also been relatively large contributors to these emissions.
As a result, there is an increase in cases of respiratory diseases in human beings and also global warming. Poorly managed waste continues to pose health hazards to human, plant and animal life. A December 2020 study published in Nature states that human-made materials exceed all living biomass on earth, with plastics leading the mass of all terrestrial and marine animals combined.This calls us to arise and save the earth.
Some of the activities that we can engage in so as to save our deteriorating environment includes:
- Utilization of international protocols to advocate for country and global level action in conservation.
- Advocate for the enactment of sustainable agricultural production policies that enhance food security, promote growth and consumption of fruits and vegetables and maintain soil value.
- Advocate for sustainable Land-use to protect the existing forests and promote growth of new forests
- Advocate for energy policies that can promote development and use of renewable energy, decrease production and use of fossil fuels and reduce overall energy demand
- Reuse, Reduce and Recycle solid waste
- Engage more communities in tree planting and afforestation activities
This year, we invite you to be an agent of change- be a Green Anglican. We will all gather at the Ngong’ Road Forest, to plant more trees and take care of the ones we planted during our 1st Birthday last year. For those unable to attend, plant a tree at your home, church, school, shop or business premise. Make your environment green.