On September 3, 2022, the Half-Earth Project joined a virtual panel, “Shemá: Biodiversity, Franciscans, and the Season of Creation.” The event featured discussion with Paula Ehrlich, President & CEO of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation and co-founder of the Half-Earth Project, Rosa María Ruiz, a prominent Indigenous environmentalist, defender of Madidi National Park in Bolivia, and Brother Erlison Campos, OFM, a Franciscan friar of the Custody of Saint Benedict of the Amazon, Brazil. It was moderated by Nora Pfieffer, Director of Franciscan Justice Circles at Franciscan Action.
“In the face of the global biodiversity crisis there is hope. Faith communities, scientists, environmental activists are increasingly working together to safeguard our common home. During the Season of Creation, join in a conversation of the Franciscan-hearted people and learn what we can do to promote the ecological conversation, justice, and healing within the Earth’s community of life.”
The event was part of “The Season of Creation” an annual ecumenical Christian celebration to “listen and respond together to the cry of Creation: the ecumenical family around the world unites to pray and protect our common home.” The Season began on 1 September, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and ends on 4 October, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology beloved by many Christian denominations.
Dr. Ehrlich recently moderated a panel on the intersection of conservation ethics and faith-based community activism as part of the Half-Earth Project’s Places and Voices of America the Beautiful series, featuring Franciscans ecologists, Gary B. Nabhan and James Lockman, alongside Quaker activist Ruah Swennerfelt.