The Justice and Peace Commission of the Episcopal Conference of Angola and São Tomé (CEAST) has launched the "Laudato Si Forest" project in the diocese of Kuito-Bié.
The "Laudato Si Forest" is a project that aims to counter the logic of deforestation underway throughout the country and the resulting desertification, especially in southwest Angola.
In March 2018, the Angolan bishops launched this initiative in the Namibian desert. At the time, the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace was tasked not only with taking care of this project in the Namibian desert, but also with creating a "Laudato Si Forest" in each diocese of the country. In this sense, the "Laudato Si Forest" already exists in the diocese of Benguela and was inaugurated in the diocese of Kuito-Bié on April 22, 2023.
The executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace, Leonor de Freitas, explained that the "Laudato Si Forest" aims to "reforest certain areas of the country, promoting more green spaces, with the aim of protecting the environment.
In addition, this initiative plans to "launch tree planting campaigns as part of the mobilization and awareness of the protection of our common home and promote events that advocate environmental protection.
It is therefore "a response to the current environmental crisis from which our land is not exempt, caused by a lack of awareness of responsible care of creation and the consequences that can arise, such as incineration in rural areas - with gas emissions -, inadequate disposal of waste in urban and peri-urban areas, as well as the discharge of pollutants into the waters of rivers, lakes and seas," warns Leonor de Freitas.