The Laudato si’ Centre for Higher Education have announced their two-phase project to implement a true ecological conversion, ahead of the 2025 Jubilee.
Pope Francis established the Laudato si’ Centre for Higher Education (CeAF-LS) on February 2, 2023. The CeAF-LS is a scientific, educational, and social activity body that has been charged with offering a formation of the integral person and in respect of the principles of the Encyclical Laudato si’, with particular regard to young people and those living in vulnerable conditions (cf. Statute, Art. 1).
As indicated by the chirograph of February 2, 2023, in the fulfilment of this task in its first year of existence, the CeAF-LS undertook to develop the project called “Borgo Laudato si'” with the aim of making the principles set out in Pope Francis’ 2015 Encyclical on the environment Laudato si’ applicable, taken up even more explicitly in the Pope’s Apostolic Exhortation Laudate Deum, published on October 4, 2023.
The project’s main guidelines:
The Laudato si’ Centre for Higher Education, assisted by top-level national and international experts, outlined first of all the three main guidelines of the “Borgo Laudato si'” project: education in integral ecology, the circular and generative economy, and environmental sustainability.
The project covers 55 hectares of extraterritorial area at Castel Gandolfo, Italy, divided into 35 hectares of beautiful gardens and 20 hectares of agricultural and livestock land, and greenhouses, as well as service buildings.
The takeover of the entire perimeter by CeAF-LS took place on January 15, 2024, and the staff previously employed on the 55 hectares were then transferred to CeAF-LS. Work was executed in cooperation and dialogue with the Governorate of the State of Vatican City State and with the Directorates concerned.
The execution of the first project is planned in two major phases.
The first phase concerns the garden area, whilst the second concerns, the agricultural and zootechnical area.
As far as the first phase is concerned, this project is built on the wonderful natural, historical, artistic heritage of the Papal Villas.
The activities, which have already begun in recent days, primarily concern the conservation, maintenance and care of the heritage entrusted to the Centre for Higher Education, which is committed to protecting and developing it while also using new techniques and technological innovations.
The second phase, reported to be launched in the second half of 2024, covers 25 hectares of agricultural and zootechnical area. Some preparatory activities have already begun in this area, with a view to a reorganisation and development of the production activities, which for years have characterized this place.