Ahead of the next Southern Dioceses Environment Network meeting on Monday 9th May, Westminster Justice and Peace Communications Volunteer, Amy Smith, writes her reflections on the chosen theme of ‘Biodiversity’:
Biodiversity, the variety of life on Earth, is essential for the future of humanity. Climate justice i.e. the recognition of our shared responsibility to try to tackle the climate crisis is integral to our values at ‘Justice and Peace’ where we strive to protect our planet and those that inhabit it.
Climate change due to our burning of fossil fuels, is already happening and will only get worse if more actions aren’t taken; this is a huge threat to the biodiversity of our planet. Issues that threaten peace can also impact on biodiversity for example by affecting food production.
The complex ecosystems that make up our planet are what enables humans to survive and thrive; we need fresh water, clean air, and plants and animals for food. Different animals and plants help to maintain a habitat that stable and sustainable. Due to the effects of an ever- warming planet an increasing number of plants and animals are facing the threat of extinction, currently as many as 27%. This is due to loss of habitats, food production, increased rates of disease and changes in physiology and behaviour. The decline of species can even accelerate climate change further. Any species that are affected can threaten their entire food chain.
The effect of climate change on biodiversity can be seen prominently in the UK Curlew population, which are now seen as a flagship species in conservation education. Their population has halved over the last 20 years. They are useful bio-indicators as they are easy to spot and count and are a good reflection on less visible species and the health of an ecosystem. Their protection is critical for plant diversity and ecological stability.
We continue to pray for The UN Biodiversity Conference, COP15, which is set to happen in Kunming, China, later this year, although the date has already been postponed several times. It will gather governments from around the world to agree to new goals to protect our natural world over the next decade.
The Southern Dioceses Environment Network will discuss biodiversity at its next monthly meeting on Monday 9th May, 12.45-2.00pm online.
ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL: REFLECTING ON BIODIVERSITY
Monday 9th May, 12.45-2.00pm
Guest Speakers: John Paul de Quay (Journey to 2030) & Mary Colwell (Curlew Media)