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World Earth Day was marked on April 22 (Earth Day)

Marking World Earth Day yesterday, Pope Francis reiterated his urgent plea for bold action for “our common home” and for world peace. Source: Vatican News. 

The international day was established in 1970 to raise awareness about the critical environmental challenges facing the planet and to mobilise efforts to address them.

The observance provides an opportunity for individuals, communities, organisations, and governments to come together and engage in activities to repair and heal ecosystems, combat climate change, and preserve biodiversity, so as to preserve the planet for future generations.

In a post on his X social media platform (formerly known as Twitter), Pope Francis noted that his generation has bequeathed many monetary riches to later generations, but has done little to protect the planet.

He also commented on the link between current environmental problems and the many conflicts raging throughout the world.

“Our generation has bequeathed many riches, but we have failed to protect the planet and we are not safeguarding peace. We are called to become artisans and caretakers of our common home, the Earth which is “falling into ruin”. #EarthDay”

The Pope’s post echoed his words in the 2015 Encyclical Laudato Si’: On Care of Our Common Home and its call for individuals, communities and governments to care for nature.

Each year, Earth Day has a specific theme to draw global attention on pressing environmental issues. Under the banner “Planet vs. Plastics,” this 54th edition is focused on plastic pollution and the urgent need to reduce its use and production.

Beyond its environmental implications, the proliferation of plastics poses a significant threat to human health, akin to the challenges posed by climate change.

Humans produce over 400 million metric tons of plastic annually, which is roughly the weight of all human beings on the planet.

Only 9 per cent gets recycled, and about 22 per cent of plastic waste worldwide is either not collected, improperly disposed of, or ends up as litter.


Earth Day: Pope Francis urges responsibility for our common home (By Lisa Zengarini, Vatican News