With 2020 marking the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si’, the encyclical on ecology, Pope Francis has called for a celebration of creation, calling it a “Jubilee for the Earth.” This celebration is a great time to reflect upon how we are caring for our common home and to work towards restoring the harmony of creation.

In recent times, we have seen a decrease in biodiversity stemming from a loss of species and the degradation of ecosystems. In light of these issues, Pope Francis has shown support for the United Nations’ plan to safeguard 30 percent of the earth by the year 2030. Known as “30 by 30,” this plan will ultimately restore ecosystems, reduce plastic pollution, and lessen the impacts of climate change. What better time than during this Jubilee for the earth to be mindful of this proposal?

We have seen action already taking place nationally, as The Great American Outdoors Act was passed in August. This act will help to protect Michigan’s public lands and waters, and both Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Sen. Gary Peters co-sponsored this bipartisan bill. Efforts like this not only promote conservation, but are also in support of the economy.

As we recognize how the earth is hurting, let us also rejoice in the actions being taken to protect creation and reflect upon how this will lead to a more peaceful and sustainable world.

—Sarah Stroup,