Eco-preservation: Part of our 2017 Mission02 Jan 2017, by Augustinians in
The 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.