God spoke: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature
So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle,
And, yes, Earth itself,
And every animal that moves on the face of Earth.”
Genesis 1:26 (The Message)
The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 with the support of 20 million Americans. Today, more than 1 billion people from over 190 countries participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. The Earth Day Network states that their mission is “to broaden and diversify the environmental movement worldwide to protect the Earth for future generations.”
April 22, 2020 will mark the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day. In the four years that lead up to this anniversary, the Earth Day Network is declaring a yearly theme to focus the initiatives of participants worldwide. Last year’s theme was Trees for the Earth; this year, the theme is Environmental and Climate Literacy. Their focus is education as the foundation of progress: the more that each of us is aware of the ways in which we are harming the environment—and conversely, the ways in which we could heal it—the better we will be able to care for the Earth and all its people.
World Renew is working in several countries around the world to do just that. Local partners are developing and implementing projects designed to help struggling communities adapt to the climactic variations that are threatening their way of life.
The following are new projects in need of funding that demonstrate this commitment to the Earth and its most vulnerable inhabitants:
Bocage Farming in West Africa
In a certain West African country*, almost half of the population lives below the poverty line. Food insecurity is a real problem, and climate change is only making it worse. Drought and deforestation contribute heavily to desertification, which is aggravated by uncharacteristic weather patterns and lowered soil humidity.
World Renew is working to implement the Bocage method of farming here. This is a holistic approach to agriculture in which a perimeter of trees and hedges is planted around plots of farm land. The landscape is designed so that trees, crops, and livestock co-exist in order to create a healthier ecosystem and to combat soil erosion, fires, and flooding.
Conservation Agriculture in Honduras
In Honduras, droughts, high temperatures, and intense rainfall have serious effects on crop production. As a result, rural households frequently experience food insecurity.
In response, World Renew is working to educate farmers on Conservation Agriculture, the principles of which include minimum soil disturbance, permanent soil cover, and crop rotation. These methods have significantly increased the yields of healthy crops for those who have switched over, and they help farmers withstand the effects of climate change on their agricultural production.
Floating Gardens in Bangladesh
Much of Bangladesh is susceptible to intense flooding that ruins crops and leaves farmland impossible to use. Additionally, in recent years there has been an increase in the number and severity of cyclones that further damage food production.
To combat the threats of flooding, World Renew is working to educate farmers on floating gardens. Water hyacinth and straw are collected to form a raft on which seeds are planted in soil and dung. When the lands flood, the gardens simply float on the excess water and avoid destruction, allowing farmers to produce healthy crops even while facing natural disasters.
World Renew believes that God has given us responsibility over the wellbeing of this Earth. Being good stewards and caring for creation is a significant way that we can love our neighbors who are most vulnerable to natural and manmade disasters.
Please consider donating to one of these important projects in honor of Earth Day.
To learn more about how World Renew is contributing to the wellbeing of our planet, visit worldrenew.net/creationcare.
*name withheld for security reasons