Tree-planting brings hope in times of war
At a time when conflict is on the rise, a poignant event held at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) highlighted hope for some war-torn regions of the world.
Heidi Kühn, CEO and co-founder of Roots of Peace, a charity committed to ridding the world of landmines, was welcomed to the Garden by Simon Milne, Regius Keeper. Together, they planted a hickory tree Carya aquatica to help focus attention on the pressing need to remove landmines and empower communities to replace them with sustainable agriculture.
Simon Milne commented “Plants and their positive cultural, economic and ecological impact are at the heart of the work done by Roots of Peace and Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.
He continued “As a former Royal Marine, I have witnessed at first hand the impact of conflict on individuals, communities and livelihoods. I have seen the effect of mines, devastation of property and farms, and I have seen into the eyes of those who in areas of desolation have to, somehow, rebuild their lives and livelihoods. When the soldiers leave, the tragedy is only half over.
“Thank you, Roots of Peace, for supporting so many vulnerable people in the terrible aftermath of war and helping to restore productivity and prosperity. Sadly, the need for your work is on the increase as we witness the terrible invasion of Ukraine.
Heidi Kühn reflected: “On the occasion of United Nations International Landmine Awareness Day 2022, it was an honor to return to the soils of my Scottish ancestors and plant the Roots of Peace tree at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.
“May this tree remind future generations of the importance of turning MINES TO VINES —replacing the scourge of landmines with bountiful vineyards and orchards worldwide.
“This hickory tree reminds our global family that we must be strong, yet flexible, as we dig deeper for sustainable peace through agriculture.
“Together, may we plant the Roots of Peace on Earth…”
Established in 1997, the charity aims to turn “mines into vines”, replacing abandoned incendiary devices with sustainable agriculture. The visit to the Garden takes place in the charity’s 25th anniversary year and a day after International Day for Mine Awareness.
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