ENO TREE PLANTING DAYS
Every year, ENO Programme organises two global tree planting days, with a different focus. The first ENO Tree Planting day will take place around 22 May, the international day of ecological biodiversity. The second ENO Tree Planting Day happens 21 September, to celebrate the international day for peace. In 10 years, schools have planted around 15 million trees, aiming to plant 100 million trees by 2017.
Next ENO Tree Planting Days will take place 22 May and 21 September 2015.
The first ENO Tree Planting Day for peace took place 10 years ago, 21st of September 2004.
HELSINKI, Sep 21 (IPS) - It began with children planting trees in New Zealand. Other children in 50 countries followed them as the day came their way, ending in Hawaii. Only about 150 children in all, marking the United Nations International Day for Peace. But this little global event spoke louder than many speeches. "A very special event in 24 hours," the organisers said. The children were linked through Finland-based Environment Online (ENO) that works to strengthen environmental awareness and international solidarity among school children around the world.
"The tree is a symbol for us," the kids said in a press statement here. "First it reminds us of nature and the importance of the environment, and also symbolises our cooperation between schools around the world. We hope this tree to grow with us in the future and for the future."
Havukallio School in Vantaa city in Finland is among those that joined in. Children from age six to 12 together with their teachers planted a birch, the national tree. Two planted it, others read out statements. "I wish that there were no wars, because innocent people get killed," said Noora, 11. "I wish there were no wars, terrorists and kidnappers," said Tino. Memories of Beslan hovered over the ceremony.
Such globally linked ceremonies came from the efforts of Mika Vanhanen, a teacher in Joensuu city in eastern Finland who set up ENO four years ago. "I began this project with a handful of schools," Vanhanen told IPS in a phone interview. "But now the project can boast of 181 schools in 68 countries in all five continents." He could hardly hide his delight with this success. It is far more effective for the young to speak among themselves, he said. "That way they become ambassadors in their local communities to spread the word on issues that affect them."