Earth Day is celebrated on 22nd April annually since it was first established in 1970. Arguably the need to Care for the Earth is the most urgent issue of our time. Unfortunately, the nature of global politics often pushes this need to the back of government agendas as they focus on economics, health, educational and social issues.
For this reason, it is vitally important that individual citizens speak out on behalf of the planet and urge their governments to develop environmental policies and practices that prioritise care for the earth.
Many non-Governmental Global Organisations are advocating on behalf of Earth and we can all participate in their campaigns. Two such organisations are Global Catholic Climate Movement and Earth Day Network.
Global Catholic Climate Movement focus for Earth Day 2019 is on the Amazon Rainforest. The Amazon Rainforest is a wondrous place, full of mighty rivers and green trees, home to more species of birds, plants and mammals than anywhere else in the world. Around 30% of the world’s species, and 10% of the world’s biodiversity, can be found there. It is home to hundreds of endemic and endangered plant and animal species.
There are over 400 billion trees, which absorb huge amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere in the rainforest and it contains over one third of all the carbon stores in the world, i.e. around 86 billion tonnes of CO2. Without the Amazon Rainforest the global climate would be greatly disrupted, the atmosphere would be polluted with billions of tonnes of CO2 and 10% of the world’s biodiversity would be lost.
Approximately 17% of the Amazonian rainforest has been cut down and the World Wildlife Fund estimates that 27 per cent – more than a quarter – of the Amazon will be without trees by 2030 if the current rate of deforestation continues.
See the Global Catholic Climate Movement website to see what you can do this Earth Day https://catholicclimatemovement.global/earth-day-2019/
Earth Day Network is asking people to join their Protect our Species campaign.
They remind us that the unprecedented global destruction and rapid reduction of plant and wildlife populations are directly linked to causes driven by human activity: climate change, deforestation, habitat loss, trafficking and poaching, unsustainable agriculture, pollution and pesticides to name a few. These figures are alarming yet there is still hope that the rate of extinctions can still be slowed, and many of our declining, threatened and endangered species can still recover if we take urgent action now.
See the Earth Day Network webpage for how to mark Earth Day 2019 https://www.earthday.org/campaigns/endangered-species/earthday2019/
This Earth Day let us pray that around the world people will take action together in hope to care for God’s wonderful creation.