In the run-up to the next World Youth Day (WYD), which will take place in Lisbon, Portugal, from August 1 to 6, 2023, a global tree planting challenge was launched to raise awareness of the importance of biodiversity and climate change.

The WYD Lisbon 2023 Foundation, in collaboration with Global Tree Initiative (GTI), the Laudato Si’ Movement and other institutions, began the campaign on December 8, celebrating the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

During the campaign inauguration, a tree was planted near the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Snows, in the Serra de Montejunto, Cadaval, organized by the Cadaval City Council and CSI and a group of youth from Cadaval.

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, were present.

Carmo Diniz recalled that “caring for our Common Home is what God asks us to do, caring for Creation, receiving Life and Creation as a gift, and caring for it in the best way we know how.”

“We started the challenge today, on Our Lady’s Day, in collaboration with our partners for sustainability, with the help of the scouts, the National Scout Corps and also with the help of the Laudato Si’ Movement,” Diniz added.

The challenge aims to “build a world map of trees dedicated to WYD and also to compensate for the ecological footprint left by WYD”. The campaign was launched in different Marian shrines in Portugal so that the same gesture could be repeated at the local level and began with more than 1,000 trees planted.

With GTI’s support, WYD Lisbon 2023 will offset part of the environmental footprint generated by all the activities in which this organization participates.

All information on how to participate in the campaign is available here.