She was speaking at the church service that marked the start of this week’s Labour Party conference in Manchester. In their work of restoring God’s earth, A Rocha UK reach out to politicians of all persuasions.
‘With the General Election looming,’ Ruth told her audience, ‘I want to call on Labour to set out a strong stall on what climate action looks like.’
While praising the party for past achievements, she urged them to make this issue central to its manifesto. ‘Climate action has to move beyond carbon emissions targets,’ added Ruth.
Sir David and A Rocha UK’s Conservation Director Andy Lester were both on the speaking team at the ‘Conference For Nature’ event in Church House last week (3rd September 2014) – which drew more than 250 people, including other experts from across the environmental lobby.
Just before the event, Sir David urged religious leaders to pursue conservation. ‘From you and I in our own domains, from business magnates to politicians, and from farmers to faith leaders, everyone has an opportunity to save nature,’ he said. ‘With an increasing global footprint, mankind is intensifying the crisis for wildlife, but as individuals we can all be a part of the solution for saving it, too,’ he said.
Addressing the role of faith groups in environmental work, Andy Lester highlighted projects by A Rocha UK partners – and the charity’s own scheme to turn a former West London drug den into a community garden.
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Concern had been noted on social media about a perceived lack of environmental awareness at the popular Christian arts festival, which takes place each year over the August Bank Holiday weekend.
Ruth offered to help refocus the event on green issues. She worked alongside the organisers to make ecology central. ‘We didn’t just want to do one or two seminars on it,’ said Ruth, ‘but send a strong feeling through the festival.’
She devised various categories including – ‘greening Greenbelt’, which looked at energy use and recycling; ‘creating nature’, which encouraged ecology in the arts; and ‘experiencing nature’, which encouraged people to engage with the natural world around the new festival site at Boughton House. As a result, the 2014 event offered such features as foraging walks, den building in the woods and worship activities connecting people to ‘God as Creator and God in creation’.