Church of Ceylon urges all to heal, restore ecosystems | Daily News
World Environment Day

Church of Ceylon urges all to heal, restore ecosystems

The Church of Ceylon calls upon all Sri Lankans to join with the peoples of the world to focus the attention of governments, leaders of all faith communities, business communities and civil society on the urgent need to heal and restore the earth’s ecosystems.

This year’s theme for the World Environment Day is Reimagine, Recreate and Restore. The year 2021 also marks the launch of the United Nations Decade on ecosystem restoration (2021-2030).

The message:

“Sacrificing the care of the environment in the pursuit of human development is depleting and stretching the Earth’s natural resources to the maximum. As a result, dramatic changes in climate, pollution, poverty, deprivation and sickness are on the rise; nature cannot endure the abuse and over-exploitation.

“As Christians, we believe that the God gave us shared dominion of the Earth with the task of not only using it for sustenance but also to use it to nurture it and manage it responsibly for the benefit of all, including future generations.

“It is important to note that the creation story in the Bible teaches us that even the God rested after six days of work; the principles of the sabbath and the jubilee remind us that the Earth and the soil need rest, restoration and rejuvenation. Many religious traditions and the wisdom of first peoples contain similar insights.

“We salute youth leaders who are leading the campaign through education, advocacy and even litigation in courts, to ensure that the world recognises its responsibility of stewardship and management of the planet. Major environmental problems in the world, deforestation, the lack of clean water and air, the loss of biodiversity, droughts and floods, increased sicknesses are the result of human beings abusing nature. In most of these situations, it is the poor and the vulnerable that suffer the most.

“This is unjust and unacceptable to us as Christians as Jesus Christ always was particularly concerned about the poor, the marginalised and the excluded. In our own country, we have witnessed in recent years afailure in these responsibilities of stewardship. The pollution of the soil, waterways, and the sea, unsustainable soil and mineral mining and denudation of the natural tropical forest cover are a few examples. Policies for development must take cognisance of their impact on the environment. “We need to review our economic and development policies and models, our modes of living and consumption and personal lifestyles to ensure that we shift to ‘greener’ methods of economic activity and living.

“Let us live in harmony with Mother Nature rather than destroying her; let us think not only about ourselves but also of those yet to be born. We can start by cutting down on consumption and ‘wants’ and reducing, reusing and recycling waste and conserving water and energy. We can start with homes, our churches, work places, and ourselves.”