Chiang Mai, Thailand, 20 June (ENI)–Christian leaders in Asia have urged church groups around the world to support their campaign against accelerating land degradation caused by climate change or destructive methods of land use.
"Desertification is not only one of the world’s greatest environmental challenges but also a major impediment in the way of ensuring basic human needs," the Chiang Mai-based Christian Conference of Asia said in a message to mark the United Nations’ World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought on 17 June.
The Asian church grouping noted that according to UN reports, two-thirds of poor people live in dry lands, about half of them in farm households, where environmental degradation threatens the agricultural production on which livelihoods depend.
"Increase in land desertification and drought is a sign that God’s creation, Earth, is not a mere boundless warehouse of resources," said the CCA, which groups 14 national church councils and about 100 churches throughout Asia.
"CCA calls all the churches to assert their moral integrity to lead movements for the restoration of degraded lands, our reserve for future generations to live in the place God created, called the ‘Mother Earth’," the church group said.
In a message to mark the day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that land degradation affects a significant portion of the earth’s arable lands.
"It causes agricultural economic losses, disorganizes local and regional food markets, and causes social and political instability," he said.