A UN forest will grow in Ankara

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10,000 saplings will be planted for the United Nations forest to be established in Ankara for the 77th anniversary of the United Nations

A United Nations Memory Forest will be created in Ankara, capital of Turkey, to mark the 77th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.

At an event attended by representatives of the United Nations Country Team, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Environment, Urbanism and Climate Change, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests and Strategy and Budget Presidency, the first symbolic saplings were planted at Atatürk’s forest farm in Ankara.

A number of young climate envoys from Türkiye as well as one of the UN-selected Young Sustainable Development Leaders Okan Dursun also attended the significant ceremony.

“My generation and previous generations have declared war on nature. My generation did not understand the gravity of the consequences this would have. In response, we had climate change with the loss of biodiversity, with pollution. Nature strikes back now. Respond with natural disasters that make life very difficult for many people around the world and claim many victims,” said Tom Delrue, Head of the Resident Coordinator Office in Tükiye, conveying the message of the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Alvaro Rodriguez, for the ceremony.

Delrue stressed the importance of having the young climate emissaries of Türkiye at the ceremony and conveyed to them the message of the Resident Coordinator saying: “Young climate emissaries, your generation has an important task to make peace with nature. And what we are going to do today must be a gesture of this new attitude to make peace with nature.

“Today we are also here to contribute to the Turkish government’s Breath for the Future campaign launched by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2019. Since then, millions of trees have been planted in 81 provinces of Türkiye. It also coincides with the declaration of National Reforestation Day, which is celebrated annually on November 11,” the post continues.

Caption: Tom Delrue, Head of the UN Resident Coordinator Office in Türkiye, plants one of the first saplings of the UN Türkiye Memory Forest on November 3, 2022 in Ankara.

Photo: © UN Turkey/Evrim Karacan

Delrue recalled that as a G20 country, Turkey’s contribution to the response to the climate crisis is vital. “Planting saplings across Turkey will improve biodiversity, protect the environment and help raise environmental awareness. It is also part of an effort to leave a healthier environment for future generations,” he said.

“On the occasion of the 77th anniversary of the United Nations, thank you very much for allowing us, United Nations Türkiye, to give a small contribution to your wonderful campaign to make Turkey greener. As the United Nations in Turkey, we are very honored to be part of it,” Delrue concluded in the Resident Coordinator’s message.

Ambassador Zeynep Kızıltan, Director General of Multilateral Political Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Orhan Solak, President of the Climate Change Presidency at the Ministry of Environment, Urban Planning and Climate Change, Mutlu Turan Head of Forestry at the Directorate General of Forestry of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry delivered speeches during the ceremony highlighting the joint efforts of the UN and Turkey to combat climate change, Turkey’s efforts to respond to climate change and its forestry work, as well as the importance of working with youth climate envoys to tackle the climate crisis.

The ceremony ended after 30 pine saplings were planted by UN and ministry officials as well as climate envoys.

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