International Mother Earth Day
Silene22 April 2020
Today 22 of April, we are celebrating Mother Earth Day, and this year marks the 50th anniversary of its establishment, first in the USA and since 1990, globally, with UN support. However, devoting a day to celebrate the “earth” is not neutral. Like other key words for understanding reality, “earth” is linked to a concept, with certain values, supported by beliefs related to a particular worldview. Nothing is neutral. The contemporary concept of eart, likewise that of nature – both shaped by Western natural sciences – is the heir of materialistic reductionism from the 17th and 18th centuries, which has limited both Earth and Nature to the physical and measurable dimension, removing not only the mystery but its intrinsic value as well.
The concept of Mother Earth is not only present in most primordial (indigenous) worldviews, but is also found in the West. To mention just a single, but outstanding example, let us remember St. Francis of Assisi (the Christian patron of ecology) who, in his famous “Song of Creatures” praises God for “The Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us.”
In the systemic crisis we are experiencing, would it not be appropriate to abandon key reductionist concepts such as ‘natural capital’ or ‘natural resource’ and recover the ancestral concept of Mother Earth?
Let us recall the UN recognition of 22nd April as International Mother Earth Day – established in 2009, by the UN General Assembly under Resolution A/RES/63/278. This Resolution, introduced by The Plurinational State of Bolivia and endorsed by over 50 member states, is upheld through the UN Harmony with Nature initiative, led by Maria Mercedes-Sanchez.
That is why the Silene Association has launched a campaign on a Catalan and international scale (via IUCN) to demand the restitution of the name of Mother Earth on the 22nd, as a first step to acknowledge the profound implications that derive from it, which the systemic crisis we are experiencing further justifies.