• Members Login

Time to “be compassionate, creative and courageous”


“When we look around ourselves, what do we see? We see crisis leading to crisis…

we are warned that we have little time left – scientists say the next ten years, the span of this UN Decade – to restore the ecosystem, which will mean the integral restoration of our relation with nature…  As we welcome this United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, let us be compassionate, creative and courageous.”

Pope Francis’ Message for the Launching of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration

Lately we only had to step outside and look around to see the haze from hundreds of wildfires, part of an extreme weather wake-up call in Canada and summer of extreme heat, floods, drought and wildfires across the northern hemisphere. These are the latest signs of the growing ecological emergency affecting our common home and family.

The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration launched on June 4th and runs until end 2030. This is also the timeline for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and for preventing catastrophic climate change according to scientists. Healthy ecosystems are essential for both of these goals. With two significant global meetings taking place this fall on biodiversity and climate change, we have a critical opportunity to call on political leaders to take the urgent action needed to protect our common home.

At the United Nations ‘Conference of Parties’ (COP15) on Biodiversity in October, governments from around the world will negotiate “a new Global Biodiversity Framework to guide actions worldwide through 2030 to preserve and protect nature and its essential services to people”. Countries will also deliver their new climate change commitments under the Paris Agreement at the 26th UN Conference on Climate Change (COP26) in November. Currently, ambition is far from what is needed for limiting global warming to 1.5 °C as well as mobilizing sufficient financial assistance for developing countries to deal with climate change.

We can choose to be “compassionate, creative and courageous” in our response to the ecological emergency and build a more just, caring and sustainable world post COVID. Some initiatives offer a place to begin collaborating with others this fall and over the next decade including the Healthy Planet, Healthy People petition, the Season of Creation as well as the Laudato Si’ Action Platform.

Healthy Planet, Healthy People Petition


This petition campaign facilitated by the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) focuses on the biodiversity and climate crises together. Both have greater impacts on people living in poverty who have done the least to cause them. Human activities and over consumption that brought us into a climate emergency are also driving species to extinction. Biodiversity loss is harming the web of life which sustains all life and is leading to greater poverty, livelihood loss, and likelihood of more pandemics.

Indigenous, traditional, and rural communities who depend more on their local ecosystems are on the frontlines of impacts from biodiversity loss and climate change. Despite their wisdom and expertise in caring for the land, they are often sidelined when decisions are made affecting their communities and their rights ignored.

Climate change and biodiversity loss must be dealt with together. Climate change is already contributing to biodiversity loss and this will become worse if we don’t limit global warming to 1.5 °C. Unless we stop biodiversity loss and restore nature which absorbs carbon emissions, it becomes increasingly difficult and the methods riskier for limiting global warming to 1.5 °C. The petition calls on global leaders to: 

  • Tackle the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis together
  • Limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and promise no more biodiversity loss
  • Ensure equitable global action, including support for those most affected
  • Protect and respect human rights, including the rights of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in climate and biodiversity action


Canadians can now sign the petition at a website which will track the number of Canadian supporters—if you have already signed the petition at the main website then please don’t sign a second time. Individuals are encouraged to sign and share the petition further-- everyone who cares about our common home can sign; supporters do not have to be Catholic. Consider letting your MP know about the petition and that you are signing it. There is also a section for organizations to sign.  The petition and signatures will be presented to political leaders participating in the two UN conferences. GCCM hopes to gather more than 1 million signatures to strengthen public pressure so that we come “out better from the COVID-19 crisis towards an equitable common home for all life, for generations to come”.

Season of Creation


The ecumenical Season of Creation runs from September 1st, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, to October 4th, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, and invites Christians around the world to pray and care for creation. The Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, GCCM, the World Council of Churches and others on the ecumenical steering committee are inspired by Pope Francis’ urgent call in  Laudato Si’, “for a new dialogue on how we are shaping the future of our planet” and for “a new and universal solidarity”.

The 2021 theme is “A Home for All? Renewing the Oikos of God”. Oikos is the Greek word for home or household. This theme emphasizes that “every creature belongs to the Earth community and the entire community belongs to the Creator and we are called as custodians to care for our common home in an integral ecological sustainable manner”.

Yet the home for all is in danger. Human exploitation, over-consumption, greed, and more are leading to the loss of ecological habitats that are homes for millions of species. Human homes are also at risk from climate change related conflict and damage. Our economic, social and political systems need to change towards living in balance with the Earth’s capacity to sustain life and ensuring all creatures have a home where they can flourish.

Advocacy focuses on the UN biodiversity and climate change conferences happening right after the Season of Creation—making this a critical moment for urging bold action to protect our common home. Joint actions proposed include supporting the multi-faith campaign to ‘Pray and Act for Climate Justice’ and the Healthy Planet, Healthy People Petition on the biodiversity and climate crisis.

 The Season of Creation website has several free resources for prayer, reflection and action including an ecumenical celebration guide and prayer service.

Laudato Si’ Action Platform offers a path of transformation and renewal

At the end of Laudato Si’ Week on May 25th, the Vatican launched the multi-year Laudato Si’ Action Platform. Seven sectors--families, parishes & dioceses, educational institutions, healthcare institutions, organizations, economic entities and religious orders—are all invited to begin a seven-year journey towards integral ecology and total sustainability in the spirit of Laudato Si’. The universal Catholic Church and all people of good will are welcome to join. Pope Francis invited everyone to go on this journey together and emphasized that “we need a new ecological approach that can transform our way of inhabiting the world”.

Action will be guided by seven Laudato Si’ Goals:  Response to the Cry of the Earth,  Response to the Cry of the Poor, Ecological Economics, Adoption of Sustainable Lifestyles,  Ecological Education,  Ecological Spirituality, as well as Community Engagement and Participatory Action. More details on the goals and platform can be found on the new website which is available in nine languages.

The Laudato Si’ Action Platform is being launched in stages during 2021 and 2022. Members of the seven sectors who would like to be part of the inaugural group have until October 4th, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, to pledge their commitment at the website. Laudato Si’ Plans will become available on October 4th. These template planning materials will offer a choice of actions for each of the seven Laudato Si’ Goals. More resources and tools will be launched in 2022. When complete, the platform will provide Laudato Si’ Plans, practical guidance on ways to take action as well as resources for strengthening community and ways of connecting with other participants.

Canadian organizations also have resources that can help with carrying out Laudato Si’ Plans and realizing Laudato Si’ Goals. Faith & the Common Good has many resources for improving building and garden sustainability e.g. native plant gardens (Goals #1 & 4). GCCM Canada offers webinars and resources on Catholic ecological and ethical investment including fossil fuel divestment (Goal #3). For the Love of Creation organizes advocacy campaigns on ecological and social causes (Goal #7).

The platform is being developed through partnerships. To lead the process, the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development created a steering board including representatives from Caritas Internationalis, GCCM, CIDSE—the network of Catholic social justice organizations, among others. More organizations yet are involved in working groups for each of the seven sectors. They are continuing their work over the summer developing actions and resources to help guide organizations on their seven-year journey towards integral ecology. 

The Vatican hopes that each year an ever larger group will begin their seven-year journey and build a people’s movement that brings about the radical change needed: “We are responding to the call for healing in our relationships with God, our neighbors, and the Earth itself. Through the Laudato Si’ Action Platform, we are walking the “path to renewal” together (LS 202).”

Showing 1 reaction

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
  • Karen Van Loon

Make A Donation

Help fund our important work by making a secure donation.



Sign in with Facebook, Twitter or email. Created with NationBuilder