On September 3, the General Office of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation of the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor in Rome hosted a virtual seminar entitled, “Shemá: Biodiversity, Franciscans, and the Season of Creation” For a Present That Has a Future. Our own Nora Pfeiffer, director of Franciscan Justice Circles for the Franciscan Action Network helped co-facilitate the session.
Paula J. Ehrlich, President and CEO of E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation and Co-Founder of Half-Earth Project was the first panelist. Highlighting the need to protect half the planet as the solution to biodiversity extinction, she shared examples of partnerships such as with Immaculate Conception parish school in Durham, NC. Dr. Ehrlich showed us how to access the readily available tool, Half-Earth Project Map, which informs how well conserved places are protecting species and identifies priorities for future conservation.
Brother Erlison Campos, OFM from the Custody of St. Benedict of the Amazon in Brazil and Rosa Maria Ruiz, a Bolivian environmental defender whose close collaboration with the Franciscan friars stretches back over fifty years, each spoke of the continual threats from various industries, government and drug trafficking as well as the immeasurable richness of the people, flora and fauna of the Amazon rainforest. Strengthened and inspired by the Holy Spirit, Br. Erlison noted that we can become powerful prophets of hope and agents of revitalization.
The video was made available on YouTube and you can access it by clicking this link. Additionally, several articles about the seminar were published and contain links to the various documents and videos referenced in the event. We share these here: