Malta, 10th November 2015
Today, Hon Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries has inaugurated the European Garden at Xrobb l-Ghagin Nature Park and Sustainable Development Center, Marsaxlokk. The event was co-organized by the EDIC Central and EDIC Valletta, with the kind cooperation of Nature Trust.
Twenty Eight (28) trees have been planted to represent one of each EU Member State within the European Union. The trees will form part of a wider initiative of an international NGO - ENO - Environment Online which is cooperating with LEAF Malta and is present in more than 150 countries through a virtual Network of educators. ENO has made a commitment at the UN RIO+20 Summit of planting 100 million trees by 2017.
LEAF Malta is an international ESD (Education for Sustainable Development) programme run by Nature Trust Malta. It seeks to sensitizes young learners and youth alike to appreciate the intricate relationships that take place in local woodlands and in forests around the world and how these can be compromised by the choices we make each day. It is an outdoor learning opportunity for students to be actively engaged in order to address their concerns.
The EU has dedicated this year to the European Year for Development that seeks to raise awareness about what the EU is doing in the rest of the world to assist developing countries by exploring a number of themes. Each month of the year has been given a theme and the theme for October and November is Food Security, Sustainable Development and Climate Action.
In his speech, commissioner ask us Europeans to do our utmost to promote tree planting campaign across the EU, and beyond, to raise awareness and show the added value of nature protection. "I count on you - the future generation - to help us do this and to reach the goal of planting 100 million trees by 2017. "
Read Commissioner Vella's speech:
Grassroot diplomacy from Finland
"What could be more valuable in these times than interaction between children and youth and crossing linguistic and cultural borders? Nature and environmental protection is our common issue" ambassador Harri Kämäräinen said recently, after he met an Iranian school group who reported about their visit to the ENO seminar in Joensuu, Finland.
Environment Online - ENO is a global school and network for sustainable development that was launched at Eno Primary School in North Karelia, Finland. After a hard and dedicated work this network has spread to over 10 000 schools in 157 countries. Most of schools come from less developed countries.Environmental themes are studied through activities and global campaigns arranged simultaneously around the world, locally and globally. ENO extends learning also to local communities and today there are already 50 cities in 20 countries as members in the ENO Green Cities Network. Cities are committed to assist schools in their environmental activities. The ENO Programme is run by an association based in Joensuu and is also supported by the city of Joensuu.
Tree planting is the most visible form of action. It started on the international day for peace in 2004, the same year when Wangari Maathai won the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts in tree planting. ENO aims to plant 100 million trees by 2017. This commitment was highlighted in Rio+20 Summit and featured in the summary of out of all the 700 pledges made for Rio. So far, 18 million trees have been planted and governments from seven countries have officially made a commitment to empower children and youth to plant trees in their countries. The overall number of trees is now 93 million. Amongst other countries, Finland's neighbour Estonia supports this campaign.
It has been a long and winding road. Ministries in Finland have agreed the importance of ENO and given many prizes. But they have not supported the overall programme. Maybe it has been too difficult to understand how impressive and widely spread ENO is. As well as this project builds peace through environment. Embassies of Finland have participated in these activities. The ambassador of Finland in Iran summarizes that "ENO is grassroot diplomacy as its best".
Mika Vanhanen, founder, CEO
The ENO Programme AssociationJoensuu, Finland
Great things may come from small beginnings
Schools who are interested in growing oak seedlings from acorn, this is your project. Seedlings can be planted on ENO Tree Planting Days, on favourable seasons or in 2017 when we will achieve the goal of 100 million trees!
Download instructions below (pdf)
AND Register here!
This report is by ENO Albania, Ina Kasimati:
"I'm glad to tell you that our event Plant your tree has gone very well. We have planted 600 trees. Many young people, children, parents, students are included for planting and taking care for our trees. These trees we have planted in our capital city Tirana ( in the largest park of Tirana, at the near of the River Lana, to the Center of hospital "Mather Tereza", to the some schools, kinder gardens,) Last Sunday we have planted 75 olive trees to the orphanage together with representatives of the Association of Blind.Wonderful. Also a youth NGO in other city , Elbasan< last week sow 50 trees, a ENO school in Berat city has planted 10 trees. Tomorrow I am going to meet the General director In Ministry Of Education and sport to talk about Treelympics 2014. Our event Plant your tree will continue next week with action the planting of 200 trees in the bigest land field of waste of Tirana and many trees planting by the students. Keep in touch."
Nelson Mandela inspired millions of people all over the world in his lifetime to do good and he keeps on inspiring even after passing away.
To commemorate him, Environment Online launched a campaign where everyone can dedicate one hour of their time to service of the community or to those who require assistance, or plant a tree in honor of the work Mandela did during his life. From South-Africa to Philippines, from Romania to Brazil, seedlings have been planted, elderly people delighted with Christmas buns, and people in rehabilitation kept company in memory of the man who made tremendous efforts to bring peace to the world. Find the story of campaign here.
Let us children plant hope in our life
In his welcoming speech Nature Trust Malta Executive President Mr Vincent Attard, thanked the workers and officers within the respective departments for supporting schools in the LEAF programme. He said that when the programme was introduced 3 years ago most were understandably sceptic about the success of the programme since our native forests have been receding ever since the arrival of the first inhabitants and according to the latest State of the Environment Report forest land cover stands at 1%. Nevertheless, thanks to the interest shown by various educators and the students’ enthusiasm, the programme is now picking up fast and last year four schools were awarded the prestigious international LEAF Award.
Mr Johann Gatt, LEAF National coordinator elaborated on four key aspects that the programme tries to address based on the realities of the local scenario:preserving the last remaining pockets of native forest, instilling love for trees, making responsible choices, and planting more trees. Mr Gatt said that each year LEAF Malta receives a number of requests from international lobby groups to join in tree planting events in a bid to enhance biodiversity, prevent soil erosion, offset carbon emissions, restore native forests and other similar noble causes. ENO Tree Planting Day for Peace is one such campaign and with today’s event Malta will be joining 150 countries around the world to send a strong message in favour of cultural diversity and tolerance’ Mr Gatt said.
The students’ speech was however the main highlight of the event. The students outlined the main benefits of trees and through a series of pertinent pledges urged the general public to do their part, pull up their socks and start to lead by example.
10 trees represents ENO and Nobel Peace Prize Laureates 2004-2012.
1. ENO Programme, 10th tree planting for peace 2004-2013
2: Wangari Maathai, 2004
3. International Atomic Energy Agency/Mohamed ElBaradei, 2005
4. Muhammad Yunus; Grameen Bank, 2006
5. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; Al Gore, 2007
6. Martti Ahtisaari, 2008
7. Barack Obama.2009
8. Liu Xiaobo. 2010
9. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; Leymah Gbowee;Tawakel Karman, 2011
10. European Union, 2012
In addition, with every 10 trees there will be signs with them, each of them explaining why we need peace locally and globally. This round shape also reminds us of peace symbol, originally designed for the British nuclear disarmament movement.
As 10 trees require some space, it is ok to plant 1-3 trees as well. We are waiting to see and hear about your planting!
Charles K. A. Aboagye had the project of plant 1 000 trees! This took place at Al-Kasmia Islamic Basic School to commemorate the ENO Day in 2012 September. Congratulations! See photo below and some more of them from their activities!
Mr. Charles K.A.Aboagye (left), Alimatu Iddrisu, a Junior High School Student
and Alhaji Nuhu ( Heard Master of the School) planting trees as other Student wait for their turn.
Saint Paul's Methodist School and Pentecost Basic School in last year may 2012
2011 September. Mr. Adu Boampong ( middle), Greater Accra Regional Director, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation Obonu FM, Charles K.A.Aboagye, the CEO of The Perfect Example Environmental Foundation and Nana Ama Aboagye, a student of the Pentecost Basic School, Tema planting a tree at the premises of the Obonu FM in Tema. Those looking on are the staff of the Corporation and Students of the School.