Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC

Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC

The World Council of Churches Executive Committee, in a statement, said that the global biodiversity crisis has reached an urgent level, and called for structural change to address it.

“God loves all God’s creatures, flora and fauna, which are blessed with intrinsic beauty and goodness,” the statement reads. "Human beings, created in the likeness of God, are called to use with great care and to share equitably the resources and life systems lovingly provided by God so that all, humans and non-humans alike, may enjoy life in its fullness.”

The statement notes that, increasingly, the drive for relentless expansion built into dominant economic systems are endangering the survival of many of God’s creatures. “Ultimately our significant and adverse impacts on ecology will impact humanity’s own future,” the statement reads. “Already they are destroying the very basis of sustenance of our income-poor, vulnerable and Indigenous sisters and brothers, who contribute least to the ecological damage for which human beings are collectively responsible.”

The statement also calls attention to the recently released report of the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services showing that 75% of the land surface is now significantly modified, 66% of the ocean area is in critical condition, and over 85% of wetlands are gone. “While the rate of deforestation has reduced somewhat since 2000, 32 million hectares of primary forest were still lost between 2010 and 2015, and deforestation continues at an unsustainable rate,” the text reads. “Consequently, around a million animal and plant species are now at risk of extinction.”

Statement of the WCC Executive Committee, 27 May 2019

WCC Executive Committee convening at Bossey Ecumenical Institute, WCC press release 21 May 2019

WCC's work on Care for creation and climate justice