22 April 2020: this year marks the 50th anniversary of the United Nations International Mother Earth Day, which is dedicated to protecting our planet.  It was originally conceived to inspire people to take to the streets all over the world with a sole objective, to “Mobilize the Planet”; this year, for the very first time since it was founded, Earth Day will be celebrated in digital form only. Indeed, with a quarter of the world’s population in forced lockdown to help the fight against the Coronavirus emergency, everyone will have to celebrate the Day from their own homes.

That said, the fact that this fiftieth anniversary coincides with the Coronavirus pandemic which is affecting millions of people around the world makes it all the more noteworthy, and invites us to work even harder to find solutions to help eradicate the negative impacts of human activity on the planet.

Inaugurated in 1970 to underline the need to preserve the Earth’s natural resources, today more than ever this event reminds us that our Earth, referred to as “Mother” in numerous nations and cultures, forms the indissoluble connection between all the species and the planet.

As part of this year’s packed program of events – which, given the Covid-19 emergency, have been transformed into digital happenings – we’d like to highlight the virtual flash mob that Legambiente has organized to keep attention focused on caring and respecting for our planet, even during this difficult time during which we are dealing with the virus. “We will be able to hug each other soon. She needs us. Even now. This 22nd April, let’s hug her!” is the message of the Legambiente campaign: #Abbracciamola (“Let’s hug her”) and #EarthDay are the hashtags to use when sharing your photos on social networks! So let’s put our arms around a globe, a photo of the Earth, or even a drawing – get your children and the rest of the family involved if you like, take a photo and be part of this immense virtual embrace. It’s our small gesture of affection towards the planet, and a message of hope and love towards all those who live on it!