In Bangladesh, Catholics plant Laudato Si’ trees to buffer against storms

May 3, 2021

Forests provide a natural buffer against severe weather, but deforestation — spurred by illegal logging, unregulated settlement and clearing of land for industrial agriculture — has decreased this protection. More than half a million people have died because of cyclones since 1970.

Now the Catholic Church is trying to change that, with a goal of planting 700,000 trees to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical “Laudato Si’, on Care for our Common Home.”

The effort, launched in August, also marks the 50th anniversary of the creation of Bangladesh — a Muslim-majority country of 165 million people, which has only about 400,000 Catholics.

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