World Wildlife Day

The foxes of Latton visit their Patron, St Francis. Photo by Lynn Hurry

World Wildlife day

World Wildlife day was held on March 3rd.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, wrote this:

On World Wildlife Day, we reflect on our responsibility to protect the magnificent diversity of life on our planet. And we recognize our abject failure.
Human activities are laying waste to once-thriving forests, jungles, farmland, oceans, rivers, seas, and lakes. One million species teeter on the brink of extinction, due to habitat destruction, fossil fuel pollution and the worsening climate crisis. We must end this war on nature. 

The good news is that we have the tools, the knowledge, and the solutions. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, which has helped protect thousands of plants and animals. And last year’s agreement on the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework marked an important step towards putting our planet on a path to healing. 

As this year’s theme – ‘Partnerships for Wildlife Conservation’ – highlights, we need to work across governments, civil society, and the private sector to turn commitment into action. And we need much bolder actions now to cut emissions, accelerate renewables, and build climate resilience.  
Throughout, we need to place the voices of local communities and indigenous people – our world’s most effective guardians of biodiversity – front and centre. 

Today and every day, let us all do our part to preserve natural habitats and build a thriving future for all living beings. 

António Guterres Secretary-General, United Nations

photo: Joyce Smith

As we know, there are huge issues affecting Planet Earth right now and much of what we face feels overwhelming. However many feel a sense of responsibility and a desire to work for a real change. Some of us recognise that we are stewards under God for the well-being of creation. For too long  the understanding from the Book of Genesis that humankind have dominion over all the earth, has been interpreted has given us a God-given right to dominate all creatures on the earth and to exploit creation for our own ends. ‘Dominion’ means, rather, Stewardship and Responsibility. Ultimately it involves Accountability to God even if there are many who don’t accept that duty.
Some of us may think that whilst we accept that responsibility, there is very little we can do. How can each of us make any difference?

I am always heartened by this little story:

A little sparrow laid on its back with its legs in the air. Another sparrow walked past and asked the sparrow on his back what it was doing. The little one replied that it had heard that the sky was going to fall in and thought that it should try and help hold it up.
The other sparrow laughed and said, “You’re only a little sparrow with little legs. How can you hold up the whole sky?
The sparrow laid on the floor with its legs in the air, said:
“I know, but one does what one can.”

Whenever we feed the birds in our garden, nurture our plants, take care of our domestic pets, feed and water wild animals and little but significant things such as that, then we are ‘doing what we can’ and it makes a big difference.

Sqirrel helping herself to Vicarage not quite ripe strawberries! Photo: Lynn Hurry

Heavenly Father,
You have taught us, through your servant St Francis,
That all creation is your handiwork.
Grant us your grace that we may
Exercise wise stewardship of this Earth;
Tread lightly upon it;
And cherish its resources;
That our children may enjoy its riches, throughout all generations,
And your name be glorified through all that you have made.

Rt Revd David Walker
Bishop of Manchester

Photo: Gill Henwood

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