Pope prepares for trip to Papua New Guinea by meeting with indigenous leader

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One of Pope Francis' next travel destinations is Papua New Guinea, where he will stay from September 6 to 9. This island in Oceania will be one of his four stops on an 11-country visit.

The Vatican has released the logo for the trip. In the center, a colorful cross depicts the sunsets of the area with birds of paradise, a symbol of the country with the colors of the national flag.

Just four months before embarking on this trip, Pope Francis met with an indigenous leader of Papua New Guinea. Mundiya Kepanga is an environmental activist and Papuan chief of a tribe in the region, where one of the major concerns is deforestation.

Although the Pope's program has not yet been announced, he will likely send a message speaking out against deforestation, as he did, for example, during his visit to Madagascar in 2019.

Your beautiful island of Madagascar is rich in plant and animal biodiversity, and this richness is particularly threatened by excessive deforestation for the benefit of a few. Its degradation jeopardizes the future of the country and our common home.

78% of Papua New Guinea is covered by forests and contains the third largest rainforest in the world, behind the Amazon and the Congo. Furthermore, as the UN points out, the forestry industry is one of the main sources of the country's income. However, deforestation remains one of the greatest challenges facing the country.


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