WYD Lisbon 2023 launches global tree planting challenge
The World Youth Day (WYD) Lisbon 2023 Foundation, in collaboration with the Global Tree Initiative (GTI), has launched today, December 8 (Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary), the global tree planting challenge that aims to raise awareness about the importance of biodiversity and climate change, raising awareness of their effects.
Considering that "the environment is a collective asset, the heritage of all humanity and the responsibility of all" (LS 95) and because it is the day on which the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, Patroness of Portugal, the moment was marked by the planting of a tree near the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Snows, in the Sierra de Montejunto, Cadaval. The planting was organized by the City Council of Cadaval and CSI, a group of young people from Cadaval, and was attended by José Sá Fernandes, coordinator of the WYD Lisbon 2023 Project Group, and Carmo Diniz, coordinator of the Office of Dialogue and Proximity of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of WYD Lisbon 2023.
Carmo Diniz recalled that "taking care of our Common Home is what God asks us to do, to take care of Creation, to receive Life and Creation as a gift, and to take care of it in the best way we know how", and revealed that, with this challenge, they intend to "build a world map of trees dedicated to WYD and also to compensate for the ecological footprint left by WYD". The coordinator of the Office of Dialogue and Proximity of the LOC also explained that this is a challenge so that anyone who "wants to be a pilgrim of WYD or have some connection with it, can do so by planting a native tree, wherever they are", a tree native to their own territory, "and dedicate it to WYD".
Referring to the action chosen to officially mark the launch of the global tree planting challenge, José Sá Fernandes has no doubt that "this is the way" and that "the signal given today to young people is to plant more". The coordinator of the WYD Lisbon 2023 Project Group also recalled that the WYD to be held in Lisbon in August 2023 "will leave a physical environmental legacy", referring, for example, to "new tree plantings".
The challenge was launched in different Marian sanctuaries to repeat this same gesture today at the local level. The Sanctuary of Sameiro, in Braga, was an example of this. On this day that has a special meaning for the Shrine, young scouts and members of the Confraternity of Our Lady of Sameiro, with the presence of the president of the Confraternity, Canon José Paulo Abreu, planted four jacarandas on the avenue leading to the Basilica.
With the support of the Global Tree Initiative, WYD Lisbon 2023 will offset part of the environmental footprint generated by all the activities in which this organization participates. For GTI, "the opportunity to work with the WYD Lisbon 2023 Foundation, which, based on the words and gestures of Pope Francis, shares our goal of raising awareness of the tremendous (positive) impact we can have on the world and effectively leave a positive and lasting legacy, is incredible."
On the day chosen to officially kick off this challenge, Carmo Diniz did not forget all the partners who, like GTI, continue to collaborate with the City Council in the development of the strategy for the sustainability of the Day. "We start the challenge today, on Our Lady's Day, in collaboration with our partners for sustainability", "with the help of the scouts, of the National Scout Corps and also with the help of the Laudato Si' Movement".
The head of the Dialogue and Proximity Office also revealed that the challenge has begun with more than 1,000 trees planted, and the path of true ecological conversion to which Pope Francis invites us has already been traced.
To make the legacy of this World Youth Day even more positive and lasting, WYD Lisbon 2023 invites everyone to join this movement. All the information on how to participate and dedicate yourself to WYD Lisbon 2023 is available here. As Carmo Diniz said, with everyone's collaboration and the participation of GTI, we intend to create a map that includes all the trees planted and dedicated to WYD Lisbon 2023. Therefore, it is imperative that in field 5 "Campaigns" of the form the option "JMJ Lisboa 2023 Plantação Mundial de Árvores" (World Tree Planting WYD Lisbon 2023) is selected.
On this day, GTI also reminds us that "planting a tree is much more than the physical act of putting a plant in the ground. When we plant trees consciously and responsibly we are taking care of the planet for all those who need it, today and in the future."