The organizers of WYD Lisbon 2023 want next year’s event to be a more sustainable and inclusive WYD.
The Local Organizing Committee (LOC), namely its Office of Dialogue and Proximity, is working on several aspects of WYD preparation so that it may be a more sustainable and inclusive encounter.
The gathering in Lisbon of many thousands of young people for several days brings several challenges to which the organization wants to respond. In light of the documents Laudato si’ and Fratelli tutti, the LOC is working from the beginning with special attention to the “inclusion of people with disabilities” and “environmental sustainability”.
The first action was the creation of a Charter-Commitment which binds the Organisation that sustainability will be a central concern on this Day. “This letter is essential, not only as a declaration of intent but because as it is signed by each of the pilgrims, volunteers and partners, it will give consistency to the real sustainability of the WYD,” explains Carmo Diniz, director of the Office of Dialogue and Proximity.
WYD Lisbon 2023 is working on these issues in several areas, namely in the training of volunteers and general awareness, she explained to the Sociedade Ponto Verde news portal, the entity that manages and promotes the selection, collection and recycling of the waste in Portugal.
The organisation has already disclosed some concrete measures. With the support of Sociedade Ponto Verde, around 400 more collecting containers will be available in Lisbon, Santarém and Setúbal, the dioceses that will welcome pilgrims from 1 to 6 August 2023. A worldwide initiative is also underway to plant trees dedicated to WYD Lisbon 2023, with the aim of “offsetting part of the environmental footprint generated by all the activities”.
“WYD effectively has a potential negative impact because there are so many of us”. “But – explains Francisca Gusmão, a volunteer from the Office of Dialogue and Proximity, – it also has the potential to have a very large positive impact, also because there are so many of us. I think this is also why we should bring sustainability in all its dimensions – not only environmental but also social and economic – to such a large audience.”
“We have a window to speak to many people, many young people, that we must take advantage of,” the young volunteer stresses.