“With our “Trees of friendship” we primarily want to raise the awareness of the citizens of our region about the consequences of their individual activities on nature pollution.
The third edition of the regional “Trees of Friendship” action initiated by the European Fund for the Balkans (EFB) and implemented in cooperation with local partners in all the countries of the region was all about doubling the numbers of the previous years and sending a joint alarm for the seriousness of air pollution by having coordinated planting actions of more than 800 trees in twelve cities across the region.
The aim of this joint action was once again a good example to continuously demonstrate that by taking individual responsibility and alerting the public about the list of negative consequences of the air pollution and climate change, it is possible to make a difference at local and regional level.
“With our “Trees of friendship” we primarily want to raise the awareness of the citizens of our region about the consequences of their individual activities on nature pollution. We are glad that we managed to include local partners and to grow this network of partners and cities every year. The cities of our region are repeatedly featured on the list of the world’s most polluted , and it is important to take joint and concrete steps to prevent this trend from continuing. Planting trees is one of the simplest among them.”, explains Aleksandra Tomanić, Executive Director of EFB.
The countries of the Western Balkans have the worst air quality in Europe. The citizens of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Serbia and North Macedonia are equally exposed to air pollutants.
The topic of air pollution is central especially during the winter months, and therefore we are pleased to have managed to realise the „Trees of Friendship“ for third year in a row, as an important example of regional cooperation and joint efforts to raise the awareness about one of the most burning issues in the region – the air pollution as a direct cause for many diseases, health problems and a reason for thousands of premature deaths.
This year we have partnered with Heinrich Böll Stiftung and Environmental Territorial Management Institute and Stiftung from Tirana, Eko Forum from Zenica, Foundation for Development and Democracy from Sarajevo, Let’s Do It from Peja, Air Care from Skopje, OZON and KOD from Podgorica, Pro.Tok21 from Smederevo, Association for Development of the City from Bor, and K Town from Kosjerić, and we want to thank them all for the cooperation, enthusiasm and active engagement in their local communities