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Caritas India starts Pope4Planet Campaign in India

Organized an event to welcome The Papal Encyclical with Plantation & Peace March

New Delhi, June 19, 2015Caritas India, the social wing of the Catholic Church in India has welcomed the Papal Encyclical in a public gathering held today at Chetnalaya, Bhai Vir Singh Marg, New Delhi. A four year campaign to support Pope’s mission to care for the Planet Earth was also launched. On this occasion a Plantation drive and a peace march was also held stating message towards better environment.

Starting with the 17 million Catholic population in India, Caritas India hopes to build a chain of human network in support of the campaign ‘Pope4Planet’ launched in association with a Delhi based NGO partner Chetanalaya and with the support from 200+ partners from across India.

“Responding to the Encyclical’s repeated mention of growing ‘pollution’ and one wholly dedicated chapter on “on the root causes of the ecological crisis,” Caritas network have resolved to initiate the Pope4Planet campaign.” informed Fr. Paul Moonjely, the Deputy Director of Caritas India.

In the coming months, Caritas network in India will join hands with many other organizations to amplify the concerns and possibilities mentioned in the Pope’s letter.

“Knowing well that the Encyclical is addressing a universal agenda on Environment Justice, the campaign would be open to all people irrespective of any religion.” said Caritas India Executive Director Fr. Frederick D’Souza.

Pope4Planet campaign will embark upon an extensive green behavior activity by targeting to plant at least a million trees in a span of 4-5 years, influencing many others to join the mission.

“A million plants can produce enough clean air to fight at least 2.6 million kg of Carbon-di-Oxide that pose threat to the already thin ozone layer.” calculated Dr. Haridas, head of Natural Resource Management Team at Caritas India.

The campaign “Pope4Planet” will act on the theme “One human family, caring for creation’ in the run up to Caritas General Assembly in 2019. It will lay major focus on afforestation activities (1 million varied species of trees) to sustain the below 2 degree Celsius temperature of our planet as proposed United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Copenhagen.

Additionally, a research is being initiated to validate the impact of Caritas India’s sustainable agricultural practices (SAP) program across India encompassing 43,000 small farmers in the walk up to COP 21 in December 2015.

Presently, Caritas is already engaged in a host of adaptive farming practices, one major initiative being an EU supported project called Strengthening Adaptive Farming in Bangladesh, India and Nepal (SAF-BIN).

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