“Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and tend it”. (NASB)
The creation episode of the Bible says that the Lord not only envisioned diversity in His creation but ensured the same – living things in all their diversity. Plants itself constitute + 80% of all the living things, 13% bacteria; 5% animals. Of all the living creatures 20% live in the sea or freshwater! Surprisingly in today’s statics, the 7 billion+ strong mankind may be less than 0.01% of all the life on earth. We are informed that God after His creation work, gave humans a specific task – cultivate and tend the earth and all that is therein. The raison d’eter, take care of His creation, as His sole representative, be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the creatures is a comprehensive and holistic mandate. Was the mandate doomed to fail from the word go! Could not be. For God said it is – the created ecosystem, very good.
Disobedience by man to the command of the Creator Lord brought in decay and corruption on earth. This disobedience of the first man was passed on by descent, further, we are obsessed with greed. The major causes for the hard to retrieve biodiversity loss resulting in permanent ecological changes are habitat loss, invasive species, overexploitation, pollution, and climate changes associated with global warming. The humans, their croplands, and their food animals take up half of the world’s habitable landmass – about 51 mn sqm of forestland has been converted for cultivation purposes and out of this 75% of the land is being used for grazing cattle and other livestock. The nomadic practice of “slash, burn, and cultivate”, is still being practiced by destroying precious forestlands and freshwater bodies, which are there for thousands of years! During the past 50 years, 60% decline is noticed in the number of vertebrates. The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in its 2019 report observed that up to 100 million plant and animal species are facing extinction due to human activities!
When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees….
As children of GOD let us understand, that we do not have the mandate to destroy. Thus, the ongoing destruction tantamounts to sin; We are not only accountable to our Creator Lord about what is entrusted to us, but our very own existence is linked to a healthy ecosystem; The Good Shepherd sacrificed His own life to rescue and restore man who is on the way to eternal destruction. Be willing to forego a few wants and needs to allow nature to rebreathe.
Kirandas. K.R, President, UESI Karnataka
Read more on ecology and our responsibility at https://campuslinklive.org/category/environment/