THURSDAY, 10TH SEPTEMBER 2020: BIODIVERSITY & THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT
ISAIAH 51:15-16 (NKJV)
15But I am the Lord your God,
Who divided the sea whose waves roared—
The Lord of hosts is His name.
16And I have put My words in your mouth; [Emphasis Added]
I have covered you with the shadow of My hand,
That I may plant the heavens,
Lay the foundations of the earth, [Emphasis Added]
And say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’”
JEREMIAH 1:9,10 (ESV)
Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me,
“Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.
See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms,
to pluck up and to break down,
to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant.”
EZEKIEL 37: 3-5, 7, 9, 10
And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, [Emphasis Added] O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live….
So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, [Emphasis Added] and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone…
Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, [Emphasis Added] Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on
these slain, that they may live.” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, [Emphasis Added] and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.
And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he
came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. And he said to it, [Emphasis Added] “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it. [Emphasis Added]
And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, [Emphasis Added] whoever says to this mountain, [Emphasis Added] Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says [Emphasis Added] will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, [Emphasis Added] believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
GUIDING TEXT FOR THE FASTING SEASON
1Behold, a king will reign in righteousness,
And princes will rule with justice.
2A man will be as a hiding place from the wind,
And a cover from the tempest,
As rivers of water in a dry place,
As the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.
3The eyes of those who see will not be dim,
And the ears of those who hear will listen.
4Also the heart of the rash will understand knowledge,
And the tongue of the stammerers will be ready to speak plainly.
5The foolish person will no longer be called generous,
Nor the miser said to be bountiful;
6For the foolish person will speak foolishness,
And his heart will work iniquity:
To practice ungodliness,
To utter error against the Lord,
To keep the hungry unsatisfied,
And he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail.
7Also the schemes of the schemer are evil;
He devises wicked plans
To destroy the poor with lying words,
Even when the needy speaks justice.
8But a generous man devises generous things,
And by generosity he shall stand.
Day of the Week
Area of Focus
|10th September 2020
|Biodiversity & the Natural Environment
|11th September 2020
|Livestock, Fisheries and Agriculture
|12th September 2020
|13th September 2020
|14th September 2020
|Tourism and Hospitality
|15th September 2020
|Housing and Construction
|16th September 2020
|Entertainment and Celebration
|17th September 2020
|Sports and Recreation
|18th September 2020
|19th September 2020
|20th September 2020
|Africa, Israel and the Nations
|21st September 2020
|22nd September 2020
|23rd September 2020
|24th September 2020
|25th September 2020
|The Army and the Reserve Force
|26th September 2020
|27th September 2020
|Justice, Law and Order
|28th September 2020
|The Police and LDUs
|29th September 2020
|Prisons and Rehabilitation
|30th September 2020
|1st October 2020
|2nd October 2020
|The Electoral Commission
|3rd October 2020
|4th October 2020
|The 2021 Elections
|5th October 2020
|Post- Election to Swearing-in
|6th October 2020
|7th October 2020
|Dedicating the Decade 2020 -2029
|8th October 2020
|9th October 2020
DATES TO NOTE
CONCLUDING VIRTUAL CONFERENCE
Monday, 5th October to Wednesday, 7th October 2020 (6 pm to 9 pm)
CONCLUDING NIGHT VIGIL & DEDICATION OF 2020/2021
Thursday, 8th October 2020
BIODIVERSITY & THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT
The word biodiversity is not in the Bible, but the concept is profoundly biblical. In Genesis 1:31, God gave all he had made a stamp of approval by proclaiming that it was very good. Scripture celebrates the variety, beauty and complexity of creation from its inception in Genesis to the book of Revelation where four creatures worshiping the risen and enthroned Jesus represent nature’s diversity – birds, humans, wild and domestic animals.
Job 38-41 is the longest passage in the Bible referring to creation, with a particular focus on phenomena and creatures beyond human understanding and control. In this text, God delights in wild animals: the lion, raven, mountain goat, wild ass, wild ox, ostrich, warhorse, hawk, eagle, vulture, Behemoth and Leviathan (perhaps respectively hippopotamus and crocodile). Some of these species threaten human life; others live beyond the orbit of human concerns. Job 38:25–27 reveals that God’s purposeful action extends beyond providing natural resources for humanity’s use, watering and providing grazing ‘on a land where no one lives, on the desert, which is empty of human life’. God mocks Job’s, and humanity’s, inability to comprehend the scale and scope of nature’s vastness. The world is overseen and cared for by God, who takes interest and delight in creatures and happenings that, from a human perspective, appear irrelevant or even threatening.
Uganda is located in a zone between ecological communities characteristic of the drier East African savannas and the more moist West African rain forests. Although Uganda occupies only 2% of the world’s area it has 18,783 species of fauna and flora, it ranks among the top ten most bio-diverse countries in the world. Uganda is home to:
- Over 345 species of mammals (7.8% of the global mammal diversity) including 24 species of primates and 53.9% of the world’s population of mountain gorillas
- 1063 bird species – 11% of the world’s recorded species of birds (50% of Africa’s bird species)
- 86 amphibians species – 19% of Africa’s amphibian species
- 142 reptile species – 14% of Africa’s reptile species
- 1249 recorded butterfly species
- 600 fish species dominated by cichlid family consisting of 324 species of which 292 are endemic to Lake Victoria
- More than 5406 plants species so far recorded of which 30 are endemic to Uganda. Plant species include exotic plants (180 tree species, 55 species of other plants which are dominated by ornamental and fruit trees/plants and vegetables)
- Domestic animals such as cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, poultry, rabbits, donkeys, horses, domestic buffalo, dogs and cats
- Over 200 species of non-cultivated edible plants;
- 75 species of indigenous edible fruit trees.
- And so much more!
The largest proportion of Uganda’s economy is heavily dependent on biodiversity including the fishing industry, tourism (from wildlife biodiversity), livestock industry, commercial and subsistence use of medicinal plants, and ecotourism, among others. In addition to direct gains in government revenues, biodiversity resources also support some of the poorest and most vulnerable sectors of Uganda’s population.
The Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) is the Government ministry that oversees environmental management. It was established in 2007 from the then Ministry of Water, Lands and Environment. It has the overall responsibility of the development, managing, and regulating water and environment resources in Uganda. The Directorate of Environmental Affairs (DEA) is responsible for environmental policy, regulation, coordination, inspection, supervision and monitoring of the environment and natural resources as well as the restoration of degraded ecosystems and mitigating and adapting to climate change. DEA is comprised of the three departments of Environmental Support Services (DESS), Forestry Sector Support Department (FSSD) and Wetlands Management (WMD). DEA works in collaboration with the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) and the National Forestry Authority (NFA) and the Uganda National Meteorological Authority.
SCRIPTURES FOR PRAYER AND PROCLAMATION
And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.
And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.
And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.
The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
1 CORINTHIANS 4:2
Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set
what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?
Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and
You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You shall not pollute the land in which you live, for blood pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it. You shall not defile the land in which you live, in the midst of which I dwell, for I the LORD dwell in the midst of the people of Israel.”
And I brought you into a plentiful land to enjoy its fruits and its good things. But when you came
in, you defiled my land and made my heritage an abomination.
Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture; and to drink of clear water, that you must muddy the rest of the water with your feet?
Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.
“If you come across a bird’s nest in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs and the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young.
“When you besiege a city for a long time, making war against it in order to take it, you shall not destroy its trees by wielding an axe against them. You may eat from them, but you shall not cut them down. Are the trees in the field human, that they should be besieged by you?
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly
Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
“For six years you shall sow your land and gather in its yield, but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave the beasts of the field may eat. You shall do likewise with your vineyard, and with your olive orchard.
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from
For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for
rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and
great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.”
WORSHIP GOD THE CREATOR OF DIVERSITY
Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, you are very great!
You are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering yourself with light as with a garment,
stretching out the heavens like a tent.
He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters; he makes the clouds his chariot;
he rides on the wings of the wind; he makes his messengers winds, his ministers a flaming fire.
He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved.
You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains.
At your rebuke they fled; at the sound of your thunder they took to flight.
The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place that you appointed for them.
You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth.
You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills;
they give drink to every beast of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; they sing among the branches.
From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work. You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart. The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted. In them the birds build their nests; the stork has her home in the fir trees. The high mountains are for the wild goats; the rocks are a refuge for the rock badgers. He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting. You make darkness, and it is night, when all the beasts of the forest creep about.
The young lions roar for their prey, seeking their food from God.
When the sun rises, they steal away and lie down in their dens. Man goes out to his work and to his labor until the evening. O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
Here is the sea, great and wide, which teems with creatures innumerable,
living things both small and great.
There go the ships, and Leviathan, which you formed to play in it.
These all look to you, to give them their food in due season.
When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good
When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die
and return to their dust.
When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.
May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works,
who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke! I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord. Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more! Bless the Lord, O my soul! Praise the Lord!
THANK GOD FOR:
- Uganda’s rich biodiversity.
- The environment and climate that makes Uganda so fertile and rich in biodiversity. We thank God that he gave us authority over all creation.
- The leadership of the Ministry of Water and Environment.
PROCLAMATION FOR BIODIVERSITY & THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT
A declaration of what we are praying for
God is raising leaders and citizens at all levels in Uganda that will appreciate and protect the rich biodiversity that Uganda is blessed with.
They will have a genuine love for the country and for the nature and that God has endowed it with They will be good stewards of the environment and will nurture it and use it for His honor and glory They will understand that the world and all its creatures belong to God and exist to bring glory
They will appreciate the value of every species God created and know that species matter
irrespective of their apparent lack of usefulness to humanity
They will encourage the flourishing of biodiversity and resist its depletion.
The lakes, rivers, forests, grasslands, swamps, mountains and nature reserves will all be preserved
and used in a sustainable way for present and future generations.
Polices will be formulated and robustly enforced that will safeguard the natural environment Our biodiversity will be sustainably utilized for the socio-economic development of the country. Deforestation will be reversed by massive tree planting campaigns and
species will thrive as their habitat is protected and they have sufficient food
Massive nationwide reforestation will restore the protection of species.
Wetlands will be protected and used wisely.
Poachers and other destroyers of the earth will be resolutely stopped.