Mwanza (Agenzia Fides) - "We have a responsibility to evangelize ourselves first so that we can change our attitude towards the environment and remind the people about the importance of caring for the environment as we evangelize", said the Archbishop Gervas Nyaisonga, President of The Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC) on the occasion of the recent inauguration of the 20th Plenary assembly of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) which will be held in July 2022 and Tanzania is the hosting country.
"TEC is coordinating all the preparations for the plenary. So, we will reach out to all the faithful at diocesan level and government agencies for your support and hospitality in receiving our guests from within and outside Tanzania. This is time that we show solidarity as Tanzanians, to ensure a successful plenary and to prove that Africa is one". The President also urged the faithful to pray the AMECEA prayer so that the preparations may be led by God’s blessings and have a successful meeting.
Archbishop Nyaisonga highlighted the importance of protecting everything that surrounds man "This planet is all that we have; if we do not protect it, we will be in danger because destroying the environment is destroying the human life. We are urged as human beings entrusted with the responsibility of governing all of God's creation to reflect on how we can make the environment better for us and the next generation".
The Prelate also said that the Catholic Church in the country is determined to make Tanzania green by launching a family forest planting campaign that will allow family members to plant three trees.
The bishops' document also highlights that the 10-days plenary shall be attended by bishops from nine Eastern African countries who shall reflect on environmental stewardship and ensure that Mother Earth is protected from environmental degradation, in line with the theme of the meeting "Environmental Impact on Sustainable Human Development".
For her part, the Deputy Minister for Land, Housing and Human Settlement Development, Ms Angelina Mabula recommended TEC for the efforts, saying the campaign would help save the country from the dangers of desertification.
"Although the government plans to plant 1,500,000 trees in each district, not all of them may grow but through this campaign we believe the success of tree planting in the country will be there and our country will be green", said Mabula.
The inauguration of the AMECEA Plenary was followed by a tree planting ceremony to illustrate environmental conservation.
The inauguration took place at the pilgrimage centre of the Virgin Mary of Kawekamo in the Catholic Diocese of Mwanza. It was inaugurated by Archbishop Gervas Nyaisonga in collaboration with AMECEA Secretariat which was represented by the Director for AMECEA Pastoral Department AMECEA Fr. Emanuel Chimombo. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 18/11/2021)