International Mother Earth Day
22 April 2020
As we celebrate International Mother Earth Day we reaffirm our commitment to promote Harmony with Nature to achieve a just, sustainable, and prosperous society.
Today we are experiencing loss, suffering, and unprecedented challenges as a result of the COVID-19. I extend my condolences to all who have lost loved ones. I wish those suffering from the virus and those on the frontlines strength. This global pandemic has affected everyone’s daily lives and has impressed upon us the fact that solidarity is our best and first line of defence.
I hope that we will learn from this experience and that the spirit of solidarity will extend to all our endeavours.
Our experience with COVID19 demonstrates that we, humanity, are not separate from the world around us. In this Decade of Action and Delivery to implement the Sustainable Development Goals we are focused on nature. We must work together to protect our planet and ecosystems which affect every aspect of human life.
We must prioritise the sustainable use of planetary resources when pursuing industrial growth – notably in food production and agriculture. We need to protect biodiversity in our climate action efforts, industrial practices and urban expansion.
We will only preserve Mother Earth through a paradigm shift from a human-centric society to an Earth-centred global ecosystem. This requires us to engage with everyone, including young people who will inherit this planet. Education is critical to safeguarding Mother Earth: training courses on harmony with nature and earth jurisprudence approaches will be essential in creating a resilient world for everyone, everywhere. I commend Member States who promote teachings from ancient cultures who have a deep connection with nature.
When it comes to Mother Earth we each have something to teach, and something to learn: by working with civil society, the private sector, academia, and the media we will implement the Sustainable Development Goals in harmony with nature.
I call on all Member States to reaffirm our commitments to protect Mother Earth, in particular the 2030 Agenda which calls on us to “ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature”.