President Higgins speaks to Pope Francis about Africa’s Great Green Wall

In the lead up to the visit of Pope Francis, the Society of African Missions was contacted by Aras an Uachtaráin and informed that President Higgins intended speaking to Pope Francis about Global Warming and Africa’s Great Green Wall.

The SMA was invited by the Aras to submit a short briefing note about matters we thought the President might raise with His Holiness. 

A Press Association article, reporting the President’s intended discussion with Pope Francis and the SMA’s support of an invitation by the Episcopal Conference and President of Burkina Faso for Pope Francis to visit the Sahel, was widely covered in Ireland, the UK and abroad. 

To view the Press Association article click here.

Pope Francis plants an Irish Oak on the grounds of Aras an Uachtaráin

The SMA submission to Aras an Uachtaráin included the following points:

1. We would be delighted if the President informed Pope Francis about the SMA/UNCCD Laudato Tree and Great Green Wall Project in the context of Pope Francis planting a (Laudato?) Tree at Aras an Uachtaráin;

2. The Great Green Wall Project is, in many respects, a bold and living cross continental expression of Laudato Si’ in action;

3. The wall (a wall the whole world can believe in) will traverse religious and political borders and can, if carefully developed, become a great symbol of interfaith harmony;

4. It would be good if the Vatican would join the UN Convention to Combat Desertification;

5. The SMA would be grateful if President Higgins would encourage Pope Francis to favorably consider the invitation extended to him by the Episcopal Conference of Burkina Faso and the President of the Republic, to visit the Sahel Region; during which he could visit the Great Green Wall and encourage the international community to support Africa in its delivery.

The following article was published earlier this year on the SMA website:

Burkina Faso: political and religious leaders invite Pope Francis to visit Sahel region