This year’s 4th edition of our regional Trees of Friendship initiative was a proof that the joint efforts of all our partners involved in the traditional coordinated planting actions across the cities of the region can be an amazing infusion of energy and positive change on local level. Simultaneously at 11 o’clock on November 20th, we managed to jointly plant 450 trees in 9 cities in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia, sending a symbolic message and raising the awareness about one of the most burning issues in the region – air pollution as a direct cause for many diseases, health problems and a  reason for thousands of premature  deaths.

With support of the city greeneries, local NGOs, schools and citizens the planting actions had all the elements of creating a feel of the much needed community events that are a symbol of the solidarity, joint fight against the air pollution and the real dedication to the protection of the natural environment.

The planting of the Trees of Friendship was organized in the school yards, city parks and public spaces that lack more greenery, as a way to replenish and improve the city “natural” lungs.

In Pristina, our partners from Let’s Do It Peja were supported by the major Preparim Rama and the city greenery workers in planting 50 trees in the Toukbashqe Park.

  • The wonderful hardworking workers of the city greenery helped the realization of the fantastic plan to plant a large number of trees and flowers that will bring nature’s beauty to every corner of our capital. I would also like to thank Let's Do It Peja and EcoZ supported by European Fund for the Balkans for planting trees in Toukbashqe Park. Together, we can make a big difference and create a more beautiful and healthier environment for everyone - Preparim Rama. 

The same community spirit and concentration of a group og engaged citizens was visible In Podgorica. Our partners from the Organization KOD had gathered close to 50 participants, representatives of local NGOs, the local greenery company Zelenilo DOO, while the action was supported by the local office of NDI Montenegro, the Association of the Deaf of Montenegro, the Center for Active Aging, the Network for Youth Activism of Montenegro,, as well as numerous fellow citizens. One of the organizations that supported the action ensured that each of the participants received a small olive seedling that they could plant in their yard or somewhere else.

  • The Initiative “Trees of Friendship” is an opportunity to show that our ideas and actions are coordinated and connected and that together we can achieve a goal that transcends any community, thus creating a network of good intentions that spreads awareness of the importance of ecology and green politics in general in a very concrete way.– says Miodrag Vujovic from Organization KOD.

These two examples from across the region serve as a true sign that the regional coordinated tree planting initiative has grown into a traditional activity for us and our partners and that it continues to serve as an example of regional solidarity when it comes to raising the awareness of  the air, soil and water pollution as common problems of the region. The aim of this joint planting was to once again demonstrate that by taking individual responsibility and alerting the public about the seriousness of air pollution and climate change, it is possible to make a difference at local and regional level.

We want to thank our local partners Eko Forum from Zenica, Foundation for Development and Democracy from Sarajevo, Environmental Territorial Management Institute from Tirana, Let’s Do It from Peja, Air Care from Skopje, KOD from Podgorica, Association Krokodil from Belgrade, and Association for Development of the City from Bor, for the local suport and engagement. Until next year’s Trees of Friendship action!