Climate Campaign: Monarchs and Metamorphosis With Dr. Gary Nabhan, OEF
Overview • 3:02 Monarch Prayer • 3:05 Spiritual Reflection by John Kerr • 3:10 Presentation by Dr. Gary Nabhan, OEF • 3:35 Discussion • 3:50 Next Steps and Metamorphosis
A prayer for monarch butterflies facing danger from pesticides and habitat loss By: Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
A Prayer for Monarch Butterflies When we behold monarch butterflies, we know that God loves beauty. We are so thankful for these astonishing creatures who bring our senses alive with their brightly colored wings and their fluttering movements that quicken our hearts. Monarchs are daring explorers who travel great distances to reach their wintering spots. Monarchs born east of the Rockies head to Mexico. Those born to the west settle on the California coast. Scientists are still mystified by this migration where monarchs travel 44 miles a day and somehow end up year after year at the same spot. They must survive harsh weather and the threat of predators such as cows and mice. And these days, they are victims of human agricultural practices, including the use of toxic pesticides and the cultivation of genetically modified, toxin laden crops. We pray for these beautiful butterflies. We pray for the few that are now clinging to trees in Mexico and California and preparing for their return flight home. May they be safe and strong and fly safely through the air. May their beauty be an inspiration to all who witness the miracle of their migration. May they inspire humans to find ways to protect their species for future generations. So be it.
Make Way For Monarchs Dr. Gary Nabhan, OEF
Call for an April 14th Day of Action and Contemplation for Imperiled Pollinators with Focus on Monarch Butterflies, on the 5oth Anniversary of Rachel Carson’s Death
How can we elicit the caring for creation community to help avert food chain collapse with pollinators in our farmlands? -It is evident in the Milkweed-Monarch food web all across North America this year, with returns to monarch wintering grounds in Mexico at an all time low of 1.5 acres vs. 45 acres in the 1990s.-We’ve seen a 58 % decline in milkweeds &an 81 % decline in monarchs from 1999 to 2012 in the Midwest.
We are witnessing an unprecedented decline in overwintering monarchs that is correlated with rises in herbicide-tolerant maize and glyphosate herbicide use
We need to restore “Healthy Food Chains” not only for pollinators, but for people as well
That is why we formed “Make Way for Monarchs:A Milkweed & Butterfly Recovery Alliance,”it’s a critical moment in the health of American Farmscapes
Isn’t it time for caring for creation constituencies to ask for a change in the way herbicides are used to produce our food in farmlands across America? • Our new alliance, www.makewayformonarchs.org, will safeguard and restore on-farm habitats for milkweeds and butterflies as well as for other pollinators. • Our April 14 Day of Action & Contemplation will be co-sponsored by FAN, GreenFaith, Forum on Religion & Ecology, Voices for Earth Justice, Earth Ministry & other groups
Mission To safeguard the biodiversity in the “milkweed community” in the face of excessive or non-targeted use of herbicides, climate change and other threats in both farmscapes and roadside vegetation along the migratory corridors of monarchs.
Who are the key constituencies needed to bring back milkweed- monarch relationships? Farmers, faith communities, highway roadside landscapers, citizen scientists, habitat restorationists, conservation biologists, educators, naturalists, artists, writers and chemical manufacturers
Letters to the top of the political food chain & new legislation • 170 prominent scientists and thought leaders (eg., Nobel Prize winners) delivered a letter urging trinational action to the presidents of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, who signed an agreement on monarch recovery in February calling monarchs an “emblematic species” for cross-border collaboration • A “Save America’s Pollinators” bill was introduced into U.S. Congress in the fall • Mexico’s PRI Party introduced a protected corridor for monarchs bill into its Senate in February • We are drafting state resolutions to do pollinator risk assessment, and highway right-of-way mowing & herbicide reduction
Our Strategies To assist the half of America’s farmers who are already intentionally providing habitat for wildlifewith farmer-to-farmer training to extend such practices such as conservation filter strips to tangibly benefit monarchs and other pollinators
Conventional farmers are not the enemy; we need farmer to farmer training to show that integrated weed management does not need the herbicides that generated the fourteen herbicide-tolerant superweeds • Some farmers using h-t gmo crops are close to an economic breaking point, for they are now paying 5-7 times more than they did for spraying today than a decade ago, with worse weed control and lower yields.
We are not an anti-GMO or anti-Monsanto campaign, but there are concerns that thee use of herbicides in association with some GMO crops has created superweeds that are impoverishing farmers as well as nectar plants & pollinators
Collaborative Goals To effectively plant 2-3 million seeds of milkweeds for monarchs in herbicide- and pesticide-free zones amidst the 400 million acres of privately-owned, food-producing farmscapes in the U.S. by encouraging social responsibility to implement low-(herbicide)input, high diversity crop rotation systems & pollinator-friendly on-farm habitats.
Our Strategies To engage more citizen-scientists of all ages to join the ranks of the quarter million youth in the U.S., Canada and Mexico who identify themselves as caretakers and advocates for monarchs through collecting seed & planting milkweeds, counting larvae, and tagging monarch butterflies.
Schoolchildren love monarchs and are concerned about their declines, but their schools and some parents do not want them to engage in overtly political actions • Well over 250,000 students a year from 32 U.S. states, at least three Canadian provinces and three Mexican states are annually engaged in observing monarch migration, observing monarch caterpillars on milkweeds and tagging monarch butterflies in the roles as “citizen scientists” in and beyond the schoolyard. • Millions more children learn about monarch metamorphosis and migration in the classroom, and visit monarch roosts in California with their schools or families. It is the most widely recognized and most beloved butterfly in North America, a symbol of hope.
Focus on monarchs as a meme • Monarchs are charismatic keystones or flagships alerting us to much larger set of problems that we need to collaboratively solve. • This is critical moment for Americans to take tangible actions to recover these species and their endangered ecological interactions.
Our Public Engagement Strategies • Interfaith Day of Action April 13-14, with liturgies, storytelling, plantings and forums. • High profile public education events by scientists, farmers, naturalists, writers, artists, ecological restorationists and other change makers are being scheduled for Washington D.C., St. Louis, Chicago, Cincinnati, New York, Burlington, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Portland, Concord, Durham, and El Paso between January 22th and June 22th, 2014.
Our Faith-Based Strategies • Faith-based engagement through the metaphors of metamorphosis & metanoia in art, literature, dance, reflection, and prayer to express our concerns for and inspiration from monarchs on their now-imperiled journey. See Metamorphosis essay by Gary on line. • Social media networking with imaginative messaging to engage a wide variety of ages & interest groups in tangible on-ground & policy actions, reaching those not otherwise included. See Winged Credo covenant on line.
Our Ethical & Policy Strategies • Respectful dialogues and social engagement with government agency officials, industry and farmer organization leaders including not only scientists and farmers, but ethicists, educators, faith-based community leaders and sustainable agriculture leaders as well. • Shaping and advancing action items for new policies and regulatory practices that agencies can adopt without legislative approval.
Prayer of St. Francis Sung by:Sarah McLachlan