The Covid-19 Pandemic has challenged us to rethink the path our lives and our world need to take. As Pope Francis said in his Urbi et Orbi message on 27 March 2020: “We have gone ahead at breakneck speed, feeling powerful and able to do anything. Greedy for profit, we let ourselves get caught up in things, and lured away by haste. We were not shaken awake by wars or injustice across the world, nor did we listen to the cry of the poor or of our ailing planet. We carried on regardless, thinking we would stay healthy in a world that was sick.” The pandemic has made us realize how wrong we were! The campaign, therefore, invites all the alliance members to rethink their priorities, their choices and their lifestyles.
Precisely at this very challenging moment in history, we have entered into the Laudato Sì Year, which has as its theme: ‘Everything is Connected’. Significantly, the theme for World Environment Day 2020 is: ‘Time for Nature’. As the UN Environment Chief Inger Anderson said in a recent interview: “We are intimately interconnected with nature, whether we like it or not. If we don’t take care of nature, we can’t take care of ourselves. And as we hurtle towards a population of ten billion people on this planet, we need to go into this future armed with nature as our strongest ally.” Through this campaign, a variety of activities will be proposed that help to reconnect with nature, especially in our own campuses and neighbourhoods.
Our rethinking and our reconnecting should inspire us to renew our way of living, to ensure a healthier and happier future. The Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, referring to the pandemic called for a renewal saying: “I hope we’ll learn something from all this. For example, will we go back to a hectic lifestyle or will we be able to have a more humane pace and spaces? Do we want to make up for lost time in consumerism or will we learn that it is possible to live happily with the essentials? Will we continue unbridled in the race to contaminate the world or will we give the planet a respite? After this pandemic, an ecological indifference like the one we continue to see in the climatic summits is not possible.” All the alliance members are being encouraged to make pledges on how they will concretely live more eco-friendly lives.
The campaign is inviting the alliance members to organize various activities and programmes during the course of the year that help to bring about concrete outcomes, at both institutional and individual levels. A series of monthly webinars on topics connected to the theme of the campaign has been planned for the year ahead. Special events will be organized during the year in which all the members of the alliance can participate collectively. Resources for the campaign are also available on the alliance website: https://donboscogreen.org