As 24Sata writes, the thirtieth anniversary of the establishment of US-Croatian diplomatic relations, which is being marked this year, was an excellent opportunity for employees and officials of the US Embassy to join the afforestation campaign as part of the largest Croatian volunteer afforestation program symbolically called Šumoborci (Forest Fighters), under the media sponsorship of 24Sata. This Tuesday, the representatives of the Embassy joined forces with the organizers of the program – the Scout Association of Croatia, Hrvatske Šume (Forests of Croatia), and the HEARTH agency, and planted 1,000 new pedunculate oak seedlings in the Marča forest near Kloštar Ivanić. The afforestation campaign was joined by the Croatian Member of the European Parliament Karlo Ressler, who helped plant oak seedlings with his team.
This was the last afforestation action in the Šumoborci program for this spring period, which included 1,500 volunteers since the beginning of March, who planted 30,000 new seedlings in 17 actions. Planting campaigns will continue in the autumn when the conditions for planting become favourable again, and the plan is to plant an additional 50,000 seedlings throughout Croatia.
Roman Avdagić (Savez izviđača Hrvatske).
The Šumoborci program is an educational part of the CO2MPENSATING BY PLANTING project (www.compensatingbyplanting.com) which enables companies, institutions, and all those interested to compensate for their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by planting trees. The project is organized by the Scout Association of Croatia, Hrvatske Šume, and the HEARTH agency as an innovative response to the burning issue of climate change. In addition to afforestation actions, the project also includes interesting interactive workshops in schools whose students can participate in afforestation actions so that they can use the acquired theoretical knowledge in practice.
At the beginning of the action, the organisers said that they were extremely pleased that since the beginning of the project in November last year, more than 3,000 Šumoborac volunteers have been involved in afforestation actions, planting more than 55,000 new seedlings in 34 actions to date. Most of the volunteers are students and scouts, but also other citizens and representatives of partners who help afforestation this way.
“We are extremely grateful to the US Government and the Embassy for their support of this project. We look forward to future activities in cooperation with the US Embassy, which will include the creation of a digital green educational platform Greenscreen. hr to be presented in May, as well as the arrival of several prominent American experts and climatologists who will participate in educational activities for young people in Croatia. We feel proud that even the US Secretary of State, Mr. Anthony Blinken, in his introductory address to the US-Croatia forum last week cited this project and cooperation as one of the outstanding examples of good practice and good relations between the US and Croatia” – pointed out Dan Špicer, business director of the Scout Association of Croatia.
The participants were specially greeted by the representative of the US Embassy, Ms. Elise Crane, who thanked the organizers for their efforts and said that the US especially supports such programs that provide a greener future for young people, but also help educate young people about the effects of climate change.
Mr. Krešimir Žagar, Director of the Forestry Department of Hrvatske Šume, thanked all volunteers who have so far, with the help of Hrvatske Šume, participated in afforestation campaigns and stated that they plant more than 9 million new seedlings annually, but that each volunteer contribution is extremely important and desirable because in this way, in addition to helping to restore forests, we also raise awareness of the importance of forests, environmental protection, and the effects of climate change on forests and nature. Žagar also stated that Hrvatske Šume will continue to support such commendable projects.
Igor Mladinović, director of HEARTH, said that it is great that the creative industry can get involved in such non-profit campaigns with their creative solutions to help the environment, society, and community.
At the end of the address, just before rolling up their sleeves to plant some seedlings, the organisers announced that they are starting new educational actions in primary and secondary schools, as well as new afforestation actions throughout Croatia to include thousands of new Šumoborci, come autumn.
The CO2MPENSATING BY PLANTING project is sponsored by the US Embassy, the European Parliament in Croatia, the European Commission Representation in Croatia, the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, while the main media sponsors are 24Sata, Večernji List, and Go2Digital.
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