November 6

 UN International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the
Environment
in War and Armed Conflict

Reflection

Those in the work of peacemaking in war torn countries recognize the insidious evil of violence in all its forms throughout our earth. While war and armed conflict terrorize inhabitants of this world, the horror does not stop there. Environmental degradation and the destruction of habitats is another far-reaching result of our engaging in the annihilation of beauty, peace and goodness which are the right of every dweller on this planet and Earth itself. Finding itself living at the edge of destruction, only humanity that can reverse its direction. One by one we need to make peace in our relationships, our society and our world and to create a sacred space of forgiveness, justice and peace. There is no other way. It is our time to save Earth and each other.

Prayer

To bring new life to the land
To restore the waters
To refresh the air…we pray.
To renew the forests
To protect the creatures…we pray.
To celebrate the seas
To rejoice in the sunlight
To sing the song of the stars…we pray.
To recreate the human community
To promote justice and peace
To remember our children…we pray.

UN Environmental Sabbath Program

Action

Support the UN leadership and other organizations whose cry for peace and justice will only be heard if it is disseminated by those dedicated to renewal and restoration of the Earth.

Suggested Reading

In the past, the destruction of environment and natural resources affected the civilian population disproportionately to the combatants or armies. In the current and recent conflicts around various regions, with the advances of technology and information, we have witnessed the destruction of environment on much larger scales affecting much larger populations…
Armed conflict often takes place in areas of critical biodiversity…The deliberate destruction of environment or large-scale destruction of natural resources during conflict is another serious threat…rainforests are most at risk and subject of deliberate destruction and chemical deforestation…
The only viable course of action, which would allow us to leave a sound planet to our heirs and their progeny, is to take preventive measures more vigorously and resolve disputes peacefully.
UN General Assembly

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.
Carl Sagan

Earth’s crammed with heaven…
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

The earth will not continue to offer its harvest, except with faithful stewardship. We cannot say we love the land and then take steps to destroy it for use by future generations.
Pope John Paul II

We are losing the attitude of wonder, contemplation, listening to creation. The implications of living in a horizontal manner is that we have moved away from God, we no longer read His signs.
Pope Francis

If we go on as we are, we will destroy in the next century everything that the poets have been singing about for the past two thousand years.
Fred Bodsworth

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