In comparison to other world days such as Mother’s Day, World Environment Day 2023 was low-key. It is not a surprise that the biggest international day for the environment led by the United Nations since 1973 went unnoticed, at least in Kenya. It points to the possibility that environmental concerns are yet to capture the mind and hearts of most of the world’s population.
You are Responsible!
This year’s focus by United Nations is plastic pollution under the campaign #BeatPlasticPollution. The goal is to achieve Ecosystem Restoration. That one plastic bottle thrown from a moving car may cause the momentary relief of not carrying it to a dustbin, but it contributes to irreparable damage as the material slowly seeps into our oceans, soil, and forests. It is for this reason that every individual needs to understand the gravity of their actions toward the environment.
Environmental Pollution Kills
According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP, 2023), only 10% of the 7 billion tonnes of plastic generated globally is recycled. The rest of the plastic is lost to the environment. Besides the estimated annual loss of US$ 80- 120 in the value of plastic packaging waste during sorting and processing, environmental pollution is a major cause of many human health challenges and deaths. Kenya’s environmental analysis report released by the World Bank Group in 2019 shows environmental pollution causes around 60,000 deaths annually and costs Kenya 4.4% of its GDP. 60% of these deaths are linked to unsafe water and sanitation health.
Is it a Christian Concern?
From a Christian perspective, should it bother a believer how humanity treats the environment? Should Christian students and graduates who are aware of the impact of environmental pollution be comfortable with the continued assault on the environment? How should a Christian view creation considering God’s charge to care for the environment? These are questions that need an urgent consideration.
Caring for God’s creation is part of Christian service to Him and an integral role of servant leadership. The discourse about Environmental stewardship is so important to be ignored by Christians. Every serious believer should be concerned in speech and action on how to take care of the environment in a way that protects, sustains, and enhances it to fulfil the purpose God intended for it.
The Stewarding of the environment for Christians provides direct witness opportunities to unbelievers. The unbeliever is able to see the believers put their faith into action and witness the good works of creation that overflow from Christian’s love for God, the creator, and their neighbour .
FOCUS Kenya will be zooming in to Environmental stewardship through an Environmental Stewardship Initiative dubbed ‘mazingira poa, wajibu wangu’ in the next three years starting in 2023. The initiave will involve the mobilization of FOCUS Stakeholders for environmental stewardship as Christians and citizens’ responsibility.
The campaign seeks to:
- Build capacity for stakeholders on identification and response to Environmental stewardship needs
- Influence policy formation and implementation on Environmental stewardship.
- Inspire action on Environmental stewardship
- Increase awareness of the roles of stakeholders in Environmental stewardship
- Build partnerships in support of FOCUS Kenya’s Environmental stewardship initiatives
We are calling on all FOCUS Stakeholders and the public to plug in through the CU, the Associate branches and all FOCUS-organized forums and social media as we secure our mother nature.