On April 22, 2020 the United Nations will celebrate Earth Day 50th Anniversary to increase global awareness of environmental issues through the efforts of 75,000 partners in 193 countries, involving millions of people every year in the world. Italy has been entrusted with the task of opening this year’s world celebrations, dedicated to Pope Francis on the 5th Anniversary of his Encyclical Letter Laudato Si, that contributed significantly to creating worldwide awareness of Climate Change ahead of the historic Paris Climate Agreement (2015). The Holy Father will mark the event with a multimedia marathon #OnePeopleOnePlanet starting at the Palazzina Leone in the Vatican Gardens ( ahead of the Wednesday general audience of Pope Francis). The event will be entirely livestreamed by Rai Play, with a 12-hour real-time broadcast (from 8 am to 8 pm). Vatican Media and TV2000 will also contribute to this media event alongside Rai Play and a number of programmes broadcast by national TV channels Rai 1, Rai 2, Rai 3, Rai News and Rai Ragazzi. Environmental education, nature conservation and sustainable development, solidarity and participation are some of the themes covered during the online marathon, through numerous speeches, analyses, interviews and performances. It will be animated by dozens of video contributions – live and on demand on the platform www.onepeopleoneplanet.it – of a large variety of partners (associations, institutions, representatives of the world of science, culture, art, entertainment and sport) who have been leading the event for years. Celebrity spokespersons include, inter alia, Andrea Lucchetta, Anna Foglietta, Bebe Vio, Dolcenera, Flavio Insinna, Francesco Gabbani, Luca Parmitano, Mariella Nava, Nek, Paola Minaccioni, Pippo Baudo, Tony Esposito, Valentina Vezzali, Vittoria Puccini.
#OnePeopleOnePlanet is the result of the efforts of two organizations, Earth Day and Focolare Movement, whose collaboration in the realization of the Earth Village has been ongoing for years (in 2016, Pope Francis also participated and took the floor). “We were able to make great achievements for this day on a global level,” says Pierluigi Sassi, president of Earth Day Italy. “Then the Coronavirus hurricane arrived, which on the one hand made public celebrations impossible, but on the other it highlighted the urgency of making the most of this global situation to send a message of hope and peace to the world. There is a future of reconstruction ahead, which requires everyone to play a leading role in changing social, economic, production and consumption behaviour patterns. There is a great lesson to be learned, it can be found in the enlightened speech delivered by Pope Francis on 27 March last. For far too long we considered ourselves immortal on the planet and sole masters of natural resources. We turned a deaf ear to the cry of poverty. We reached the threshold of irreversible climate change with massive humanitarian disasters. Injustice and serious wounds have sent out signals that we have ignored. This great tragedy has wiped out boundaries and conditions, and it has compelled us to feel like travellers in the same boat. Federica Vivian of the Focolare Movement declared, “The purpose of this marathon is to grasp the signs of a new season of solidarity, of caring, of focusing on what brings us together, on the good of all and of each one. A season to choose to ‘work for the good’ in interpersonal relationships and for our planet.”