In the Holy Bible, the Word of God spoken unto us, his creatures, David, a great Psalmist writes that The Earth is the Lord’s. “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.”(Psalm 24:1)NLT. To him belong the heavens, the earth, and everything in it. This directly or indirectly translates into something like the earth we are living in belongs to God and all of us are stewards or caretakers if not aliens and tenants.
This calls for you and me to commit to proper management and protection of this earth and its resources including the environment, which comprises of all living and non-living things occurring naturally.
To a larger extent, human beings including me and you have failed on their responsibility of keeping the environment. Remember, God gave us this responsibility in Genesis 2:15(The Lord placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it).
Humans are responsible for the earth including the environment and they should protect it. The theologians call it stewardship. Actually, in the theological view, all religions should have various degree of support for environmental stewardship in this case.
On our part as Christians, this reminds us of the need to utilize God’s creation for the glorification of he that created the earth and everything in it. We should all do what we can to reduce human impact on nature. It is a requirement for us to play our stewardship role as far as protecting the environment is concerned.
In my land and other parts of Uganda, the June-July dry season is the time when bushes are cleared, forests set ablaze in preparation for the planting season especially in areas where millet is grown as food. In these processes, the effect of bush and soil burning is not given a thought by these farmers who practice it in pursuit for survival. The effects on human and animal life, and the entire ecosystem are dire because life is lost, land is left bare, and the situation is always undesired.
I have also heard in the news that the great Amazon rain forest has of late been ravaged by fires set by farmers and ranchers and the fires have increased by 85% this year according to the Brazil’s space agency. This so alarming! Actually, the whole world should care because the world is losing an important carbon sink and the fires are injecting carbon into the atmosphere.
My thinking is that we need to be more serious and responsible. We should have in place strict and working bi-laws on such practices and the entire world of environmental protection and management. What if we have community collective actions to stop practices that are harmful to the environment? What if we employ a model where communities or groups of individuals get committed to saving land from ecological degradation?
On a larger scale, we need to have working environmental legislation. Our country Uganda has best written rules, but implementation is an issue. Policy and decision makers should be made to remember that it is their responsibility to involve sustainable natural resources management and protection in their work plans. How about regulations and programs for environmental conservation?
Knowing that we are accountable to God for treating creation in a way that best serves the objectives of his Kingdom is very important.
If we are not watchful enough, air pollution, water pollution, deforestation, swamp and wetland degradation, soil erosion which are consequences of environmental degradation will cause a tremendous loss and we shall be no more. Let us watch out!
The writer is the Managing Director, Countryside Reports