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Church of England to move biodiversity crisis up its agenda

by Tola Mbakwe
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The Church of England’s governing body has announced it will give more attention to the role that biodiversity plays in the wider climate crisis.

General Synod, which will meet later this month, recently released its papers which showed a Land and Nature Motion that will be up for discussion to show the Church realises the urgency of the ecological crisis.

In particular, the motion will present for discussion the land and property owned by the Church, at parish, diocese and national level.

Dioceses would also be encouraged to develop a ‘Land’ action plan.

Rt Rev Graham Usher, Bishop of Norwich said: “With this motion, we have the opportunity to demonstrate the Church’s responsibility to safeguarding God’s creation by adding commitments to be responsible stewards of the land to our existing Net Zero ambitions.

“There are around 17,500 acres of churchyards in England – that’s around twice the size of a City like Oxford. I want them to be places for the living as well as the dead.

“With these free programmes, church and local communities can answer this call straight away by counting species, planning mowing regimes, allowing plants to flower and joining the Eco-Church scheme.

“The Church is also setting out clear commitments to be at the forefront of responsible investment and, in partnership with our tenants, responsible land ownership.”

“I hope Synod will vote strongly in favour of this motion, and send a clear signal to those all around the country, and to Government, that responsible land stewardship is good for nature, good for business and good for people.”

In July 2022, General Synod approved a separate net zero carbon routemap which outlined how the Church of England would meet its 2030 net zero carbon target.

Other discussions that will take place include two reports on safeguarding in the Church, a National Redress Scheme for survivors of Church-related abuse and progress on Living in Love and Faith.

General Synod will take place from 23rd Feb to 27th February in London.

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