Grassroots environmental groups in Moldova are working to reverse the effects of deforestation by increasing the country’s urban forest.
Between the nineteenth and the end of the twentieth century, Moldova, a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, lost nearly 20% of its forest, reducing its forest cover to only 12%. This lack of trees makes it one of Europe’s most desolate countries. The people of Moldova are hoping to change this, however, by joining the Million Trees Initiative.
The Million Trees Initiative is a worldwide coalition of grassroots environmental groups who hope to increase the earth’s urban forest through the planting of one million trees. Their ultimate aim is to reduce the effects of global warming by decreasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, and so planting them is a perfect method of doing this. In addition, trees also absorb other pollutants from the air – such as nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulphur dioxide, and ozone – and filter particulates by trapping them in their leaves and bark. An acre of mature trees produce enough oxygen for eighteen people to breathe. For these reasons and more, the planting of trees in urban areas is a long overdue project.
Cities from around the world are taking part in the initiative – including London, New York, Shanghai and Ontario. Chisinau, in Moldova, is one of the latest cities to join.
We plant trees, but also the roots of a new attitude and mentality that counts on mutual support and awareness of everyone’s impact on the environment.
Plantam Fapte Bune
The group behind Moldova’s tree planting is Plantam Fapte Bune, whose name translates as ‘let’s plant good deeds’ – and that is something they are definitely doing. The project began in 2015, with planting sessions in Moldova’s capital city, Chisinau. They have since expanded their work out to the rest of Moldova. In November 2017 they arranged three separate planting sessions in three different settlements: Mereni, Budeşti, and Bălţata. In time, they hope to return Moldova to its previous forested state.
As well as helping in the reforestation of Moldova, these planting sessions have also worked to bring together local communities. The Budeşti planting on November 19th, for example, drew approximately 125 volunteers – including the mayor, the local school principal, a Peace Corps volunteer who teaches English, and many of their students, as well as resident volunteers from America, Germany, France, Italy, and Japan. This allows for both the building of new relationships and the strengthening of old ones, in fun sessions that also work to improve the local environment. In a poor country that has been beset in recent years by the robbery of their treasury by powerful elites, and by rampant corruption, community actions such as this are sowing the seeds for a far more optimistic future.
https://t.co/2cyg2jmF1k – /FOTO/ Start la împăduriri! Campania de toamnă „Plantăm fapte bune în Moldova” a începu…
— TV8.MD (@TV8_MD) November 13, 2017
Translation: ‘Start of afforestation! The autumn campaign “planting good deeds in Moldova” began…’
If you are in the area, and would like to join in with the reforestation of Moldova, the next planting session is planned for at Sâmbătă on April 21st, 2018.
The Million Tree Moldova project is supported by grants from a number of Moldovan organisations, such as Tucano and Oliva, NADACEA Via Fondation, Creavita and Bioflame, Bons Offices. Further funding, however, is required for land preparation, planting, and for the first year of care and monitoring. Your help would be gratefully received.
If you would like to support Plantam Fapte Bune’s efforts to reforest Moldova, you can contribute here.
For information about future tree planting events, you can also visit their Facebook page.