Deserts will rejoice and bloom with life, like a crocus bursting into blossom!  

The imagery in the Isaiah reading set for this coming Sunday in Advent is full of hope. Nature leads the way in this prophetic vision of restoration. The wilderness is overflowing with life and colour, rejoicing in the splendour of God.  

It’s a vision we need to hold on to as world leaders gather in Canada this week for COP15, the UN Biodiversity Conference (7 – 19 December), to agree a new set of global goals to protect nature. COP15 is nature’s equivalent of the COP27 climate negotiations, which were held earlier this year in Egypt. 

The reality is that nature is far from flourishing. 1 million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction, many within decades, more than ever before in human history. Plastic waste is polluting precious ecosystems, and the Amazon rainforest is under threat.   

Human lives are at risk too. We are part of the interconnected community of creation, and we depend on nature’s beautiful variety – its biodiversity – for the very basics of life.  

In pursuit of economic growth, we have failed to safeguard nature. In the words of the UN Secretary General: “Ecosystems have become playthings of profit.”  

COP15 is a chance to reset our relationship with nature. We urgently need to tackle the relentless consumption, unregulated actions by companies and continued financing of harmful systems that pollute and destroy life on Earth. 

Just as with the climate crisis, more money is needed and it must flow to the right places. Just as with the climate crisis, those least responsible for the damage are the first and most affected. Indigenous people make up just 6% of the world’s population but protect 80% of the planet’s biodiversity. 

What might we hope for from this COP15? There are calls to protect 30% of land and sea for nature (30×30) by the end of the decade. There’s significant support for mandatory requirements for all large businesses and financial institutions to assess their impacts on nature. We need to ensure finance reaches those in local communities who live in and look after the most bio-diverse parts of God’s creation.   

Join us in praying for the negotiations at COP15 and the pursuit of nature positive goals in the coming years.  

Prayer points for COP15 and beyond

  • For a new global framework to stop decline of living species by 2030. 
  • For more money to be directed towards protecting and restoring nature. 
  • For more businesses to report on their impact on nature and transform their business models to start protecting and restoring nature.   
  • For the voices of indigenous communities to be heard and their rights upheld.  

Take action 

  • The global plastic waste crisis is a major threat to nature. Sign the Don’t Bank on Plastics Pledge and then ask your bank to stop financing the biggest plastic producers and polluters.  

Rosie Venner

Money Makes Change Programme Manager

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