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Eco-preservation: Part of our 2017 Mission

02 Jan 2017, by Rev. Fr. Joel Okojie OSA in Augustinians

seedThe world and its fullness are God’s creation; everything he created was good. “And God said, ‘Let the earth put forth vegetation, plant yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, upon the earth,’ and it was so.” (Gen. 1:11). Everything God created was good, and he gave the earth to man to dominate and not destroy but to till and keep it (Gen.2:15). Since then, man’s activities have not only tampered with the goodness of God’s creation but it has also brought so much disaster to man.

In the light of these global ecological challenges, the Augustinian Province of St. Augustine of Nigeria has declared the year 2017 the year of Eco-preservation. This is in response to Laudato Si; it is our own way of contributing to environmental preservation. Therefore, we agree with the vision of the Ecologic Development Fund (The body with the mission to empower rural and indigenous people to restore and protect tropical ecosystems in Central America and Mexico). We believe that the preservation of biological diversity, ecosystems, and natural places is critically important to the survival of us all—people, plants, and animals alike. In addition to the intrinsic value of nature and wildlife, biological diversity and healthy ecosystems provide humankind with many of the things that sustain our lives, including clean air and water, fertile soil, a stable climate, food, medicines, materials and technologies, and a diversity of genes and species—not to mention recreational opportunities and natural beauty.

When the word environment is mentioned, one may be tempted to look too far and ignore the immediate surroundings; our rooms, kitchen, toilets, and in fact, our homes. For sure, it is certainly good to look far to think of afforestation and other things to do to preserve the environment, but charity, they say, begins at home. Our good interaction with the immediate environment will surely help create a balance in our relationship with a man and God. Preserving the environment begins with changing some of our daily habits that could be harmful to the environment. It is our duty to save and not destroy our environment.

Many parts of our lands no doubt have suffered from terrible erosion. The atmosphere is polluted, and the lives of many species of birds and all other kinds of animals are endangered due to our unfriendly relationship with the environment. All these can be put under check through the simple act of planting trees and discouraging deforestation. Trees help to filter the air, protect us from the scorching heat of the sun, provide a natural habitat for the birds of the air, control erosion, and so many other benefits we could get by planting trees. Therefore, knowledge about environmental sustainability is essential, so we invite you to join hands with the Nigerian Augustinians to propagate this message and save our Eco-system.

  • Fortunatus Ihedioha Reply

    Good morning Fr. Happy new year.

    Speaking subjectively, the Augustinian province of St. Augustine of Nigeria has taken the right step in the right direction. Often times, religious men and women erroneously think that religious task is confined only in prayers, prayers and prayers with little or no attention given to other areas of the society. That explains the reason most uninformed religious people find it ridiculous hearing clergy men talk about politics. To such people, clergy men have no business outside preaching the gospel. Oh! what a shallow understanding it is?

    A good Christian lives by Faith and Reason, for where one’s reason stops, his/her faith continues. Faith tells us that we must worship God, pray and trust Him in all things while reason tells us that we must do our own part for our prayers to work because God created us without us but He cannot save us without us. Faith tells that God will protect our environments for us while reason tells us that we must not intentionally cause damage to our environments without getting the negative consequences.

    Once again, the Augustinian province of St. Augustine of Nigeria has taken the right step in the right direction by proposing the simple act of planting trees and discouraging deforestation. Please Fr. can we get involved in this proposed solution in the Urban areas? If yes, how?

    Thank you Fr.