[ePrayer – Pray for the Arctic Environment]
The melting of sea ice and the resulting rush for resources require effective measures to avoid damage in the Arctic, according to the latest report of UN Environment Programme (UNEP). A reduction in Arctic summer ice cover has become more intense in recent years, culminating in a record low of 3.4 million square kilometres in 2012 – 18 per cent below the previous recorded minimum in 2007 and 50 per cent below the average in the 1980s and 1990s, which added that land ice is also retreating and permafrost is melting. The retreating ice brings easier access to natural resources such as gas and oil, thus prompting increased human activity that may threaten the already fragile ecosystems and wildlife. It is estimated that 30 per cent of the world’s undiscovered natural gas and more than 70 per cent of the undiscovered oil resources in the Arctic. The report contains many recommendations on the way forward for the Arctic, with the most important being the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. No steps to exploit the new environmental state of the Arctic should be taken without first assessing how the exploitation would affect ecosystems, the peoples of the North and the rest of the world as the potential for major environmental damage is high. [UN news]
Pray for the Arctic Environment:
- Pray that all nations will take effective measure to combat global warming;
- Pray that people will thoughtfully consider the long-term effect of the exploitation in the Arctic, rather than the immediate profit.
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