WHEN you look at the sky, you can see clouds forming to create rain, bringing the water to sustain life. In fact, water is life – it constitutes 70-80% of our body.
Ecology is the study of macro-organisms and their interactions with water, nutrients, energy and air. Ecology (the Greek word eco means house) refers to Mother Nature who gives us life and feeds and supports us.
In return we have a spiritual and moral obligation to protect the environment in the common good. All living creatures need to live together in harmony with the purpose of supporting each other’s existence and growth.
Our commitment to the beauty and splendour of creation is giving glory to our Creator. Ecological destruction means human beings, who are supposed to be the custodians of this place, are destroying it.
The extinction of animal and plant species and the degradation of ecosystems are attributed largely to human beings who are destroying them for selfish ends.
We are witnessing a decline in biodiversity, we have cut down rain forests which are the home of some rare species of plants and animals, flora and fauna. When forests are destroyed we reduce food supply, pollute the air we breathe and damage other natural processes that support life on earth.
The world is full of problems, whether natural or created by humans. There are small problems that we can solve immediately as well as bigger problems that we find them hard to fix and need others to help us.
There are deep psychosocial and moral problems including bioethics, war, social and political issues, underling issues of poverty, disease, famine and much more we cannot solve easily, if at all.
But our attack on ecology unbalances nature, the very fabric of human existence, and yet we allow this crisis to continue either knowingly or without knowing it.
Greek philosopher Aristotle used the word philia - love of nature. Philia stands for the healing power of nature. The spiritual aspects of nature include the sacredness of plants, rivers, lakes, caves and so on which make us spiritually richer.
Ecological warfare is much worse than the military war. Ecological destruction is worse than plagues and epidemics because ecological problems impact our planet and the human race. Ecological warfare that we wage against our own environment kills more human beings and other living creatures than any other epidemic or war you can think of.
The foreign exploitation of our natural resources to maintain living standard in other countries can be seen as a neo-colonisation, paternalism or broad daylight stealing. It renders us incapable of managing our own resources.
Our rich natural resources are under extreme threat and this will determine our future. The current patterns of resource exploitation, consumption, development, social breakdown and population growth are impediments to progress, growth and the development of our country.
Our own ignorance and behaviour is spoiling our environment and costing us dearly. Our creator designed human beings to be caretakers but instead we too frequently emerge as destroyers.
PNG is very rich in biological diversity and is home to many rare species of plants and animals. Deforestation costs us dearly and rare species are devastated and impossible to replace.
Our own ignorance in not valuing the assets that feed us is a tremendous flaw. Biological diversity is a gift from God that can generate life through eternity.
How, we manage this will play a significant role in shaping our future. Indeed, it will determine whether we have a future.