Kiribati Island Country Plays Vital Role in Coastal Protection

Posted April 24, 2023

With its highest point no more than 3 meters above sea level, Kiribati in the Central Pacific Ocean is extremely vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change. 

Rising sea levels, drought and fresh water shortage due to sea water intrusion, and coral breaching are causing widespread damage to this island country, through no fault of their own.

But instead of giving up in the face of such devastating environmental destruction of their homeland caused by more industrialized countries, the people of Kiribati are doing the opposite. They’re taking action.

In Response to the Cry of the Earth, one of the seven Laudato Si’ Goals, the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in Kiribati mobilized young people in picking and planting mangroves seedlings, a plant that plays a vital role in marine habitat and coastal protection. 

On the 4th of October, for the closing of the Season of Creation 2021, around 1,000 mangrove seedlings were planted through a concrete action that engaged young people in the care and protection of our common home.

The actions didn’t stop there. In January 2022, the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in Kiribati again gathered together youth from the island for the planting of more mangrove seedlings. 

To date, the youth have planted about 3,000 mangroves, with a plan to plant more and more as the years go by, including during the Season of Creation 2023, September 1 – October 4.

Inspired by Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ encyclical and guided by a Laudato Si’ Plan, the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in Kiribati are taking concrete steps to protect the planet’s most precious coastal resources for generations to come.