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Pope’s Rio visit is a great chance to send a conservation message

 

With so much sport happening on and around our shores this weekend, I had to remind myself there is stuff going on in the wider world. One event of particular interest is World Youth Day – a global event organised by the Catholic Church that, contrary to what it says on the tin, happens once every two to three years and lasts for an entire week.

Christ the Redeemer, Rio de JaneiroChrist the Redeemer looking over Rio de Janeiro. © Earth Hour

It’s of particular significance to me – not because of my religious beliefs – but rather thanks to a strong tie up with the ARC (Alliance of Religions and Conservation), WWF has the chance to engage with the event and reach new audiences.

Hosted in the magnificent city of Rio de Janeiro, the event is expected to attract millions of Catholics – particularly since Pope Francis will be in the city for the whole week for his first international trip since his pontification in March.

WWF has organized an agenda of talks and side events to help spread the message about the need to protect the Amazon. And given Pope Francis has already mentioned environment and sustainable development in his previous speeches, we hope that the Pope takes the opportunity in Rio to convey a special message about the importance of taking care of nature and to safeguard the poor.

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