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Pope on tour: Preparations for Papua New Guinea visit underway

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Pope Francis will travel to Papua New Guinea, from 6-9 September. This will be one of his four stops on an 11-country visit.

Commemorating the historic visit, the Vatican released a logo for the trip.

In the centre, a colourful cross depicts the sunsets of the area with birds of paradise, a symbol of the country with the colours of the national flag.

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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.

He did this during his visit to Madagascar in 2019 where he spoke about the “beautiful Island” and how it is threatened by deforestation “for the benefit of a few.”

78 per cent 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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