The Bishop of Norwich, Graham Usher, The Church of England's Lead Bishop for Environmental Affairs, discusses the global conference on biodiversity.
Children fill in a nature count sheet with kneelength grass filled with flowers shown on the lefthand side which is part of a churchyard or graveyard Caring for God's Acre

Hot on the heels of the climate change COP, the world is being asked to face up to the crisis of nature loss as the UN Biodiversity Conference meets in Montreal.

Causes and solutions for these twin crises are intertwined. Hand in hand with tackling climate change, must be restoring the biodiversity on which our planet depends.

The evidence is clear. Nature is vital for human flourishing. It provides our food, delivers clean water, produces clean air, improves our mental wellbeing and is there when we simply need awe, wonder and comfort. But there has been a catastrophic loss of biodiversity. This must end and we need a concerted effort across the globe to rebuild the web of life.

Participants at COP15 are hopeful that there will be a ‘Paris moment’ and an agreement on a ‘Global Biodiversity Framework’.

It’s an opportunity to give support to organisation like A Rocha who are seeking a strong legal backing to this framework, and calling for churches to get involved in conservation actions and hold governments to account.

Once habitats and species are gone, they are gone for ever. Habitats can never be re-created and species can only be re-introduced at great expense and with a degree of luck. We place immense value in our greatest art works, historic buildings, and museum treasures precisely because they can never be re-created if destroyed. The same should apply to habitats and species that are part of our cultural capital and natural heritage.

We must build a shared future for all life on earth. Now is the time for us to be the voice to protect God’s creation.

A prayer for COP15

Lord of creation,
we recall how Jesus noticed the lilies of the field
and the birds of the air,
we thank you for the rich diversity of nature,
with its species, habitats and ecosystems.
Guide us, and all at the UN Biodiversity COP,
to halt the loss and restore the planet we share,
to be the rich web of connection you created it to be.


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