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To support an environmentally sustainable Uganda Martyr’s Day celebration in Namugongo and reduce the carbon footprint, Laudato si Centre Comboni Uganda in partnership with Nebbi Catholic Diocese, the animators of this year’s celebration have appealed to the pilgrims coming for the Martyr’s Day celebration to support a green celebration of the Uganda Martyrs day in Namugongo this year. It is a reminder for all pilgrims to respond to Pope Francis’ message written in his encyclical ‘LAUDATO SI, 2015’ to take responsible actions to protect the environment and mitigate the effects of climate change.

This year at the celebration, the carbon footprint shall be impacted through several human-induced actions from vehicle emissions, single-use plastics including: mineral water bottles, use of ‘kavera’– carrier bags, energy consumption from firewood to electricity and even excess consumption. “We appeal to all Christians of Nebbi Catholic Diocese to plant 22 ‘Uganda Martyrs trees’ within their families or communities – as a lasting memory of Uganda Martyrs celebration 2024 animated by Nebbi Catholic Diocese and as a way to offset carbon emission that will be generated during these days.

Secondly, to all pilgrims attending the Namugongo celebration (virtual or physical pilgrims), we appeal to them to plant one tree in honour of the Uganda Martyrs of their choice (name the tree according to your preferred martyr). Together, let us plant 1 million trees in commemoration of the Uganda Martyrs celebration 2024, again, as a measure to absorb carbon emission,” stated Laudato Si in a letter that was signed by the Executive Director, Fr Kennedy Onoba MCCJ. He revealed that the National Forestry Authority had donated 1000 assorted tree seedlings to be planted by the pilgrims in 14 parishes as they walked from Nebbi to Namugongo.

The foot pilgrims are expected to plant 22 trees in every hosting parish, school and institution along the 375 km journey from Nebbi to Namugongo, in memory of the pilgrimage and appreciation to their hosts for their love and generosity.

Foot Pilgrims have also been requested to carry reusable water bottles. Laudato Si Centre Comboni Uganda (LSCC) is a registered Catholic organization that was started in Kampala by the Comboni Missionaries in January 2023 in line with the 2015

encyclical letter “Laudato Si” by Pope Francis, which emphasizes ecological conversion. The mission of LSCC is the advancement of ecological balance, environmental stewardship, and human welfare in the context of climate change.

As an organization, LSCC is dedicated to promoting a cleaner environment, supporting nature conservation and mitigating the effects of climate change on vulnerable populations.

This year, the Pope in his message to the UN COP 28 reminded all that the destruction of the environment is an offense against God, a sin that endangers all human beings especially the most vulnerable; and emphasized the importance of addressing climate change as a global social issue intimately related to the dignity of human life.

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