Magazine article American Forests

Trees to Inspire a New World Order: AFA Starts the Ball Rolling with a Workshop for Eastern European Environmental Leaders

Magazine article American Forests

Trees to Inspire a New World Order: AFA Starts the Ball Rolling with a Workshop for Eastern European Environmental Leaders

Article excerpt

Environmental damage knows no political boundaries. But actions to help the environment are equally capable of traveling across borders without passports or visas.

Soon after AFA launched the Global ReLeaf campaign in October of 1988, we began receiving inquiries from other countries. To date, we have heard from close to 100 nations. Apparently, the Global ReLeaf concept translates well into any language or culture.

Nowhere has the message been better received than in Eastern Europe. Our first Global ReLeaf partner in that sector of the world is the Independent Ecological Center (IEC), a private, nonprofit conservation organization in Budapest, Hungary (see AMERICAN FORESTS, July/August, 1991). At AFA's request, the IEC agreed to host a Global ReLeaf Workshop last January for current and potential European partners.

The workshop started with a round-robin session in which the participants described the challenges facing their organizations.

At one point we traveled by bus to Nagykovacsi, a village that received a Hungarian Global ReLeaf grant to plant trees. This was my first opportunity to get to know a group of Hungarian citizen activists, similar to the groups I work with in the United States. Motivations turned out to be the same: Members of these fledgling conservation organizations hold a firm belief in the power of the individual and group to change things for the better.

We also toured a Hungarian Global ReLeaf planting at a housing development in Rakoskeresztur. Most housing projects consist of a block of buildings, each 10 stories high and stark: Money runs dry before landscaping is put in. It was evident that the trees paid for by the Global ReLeaf Fund accomplished a lot more than beautification. As we have found in the U.S., building community spirit is perhaps the greatest gift of tree planting.

When we visited a school project, a workshop participant from Croatia was so taken that he stayed up all night designing a similar project for his country. "As soon as the war is over, I will be ready to start planting trees again," he told us.

Like their American counterparts, these new citizen groups face tremendous challenges, but they have the chance to make their positive environmental actions felt around the world'-- DEBORAH GANGLOFF

Joining Hands To Find Answer

Bull FIN Information Systems, the U.S. subsidiary of the world's eighth largest computer company, has signed an agreement with AFA and the U.S. Forest Service to cooperate on research in support of President Bush's America the Beautiful tree-planting innitiative.

Bull HN's Tim Kilduff, Forest Service Chief F. Dale Robertson, and AFA Executive Vice President Neil Sampson announced the new public-private partnership at a January reception introducing the Forest Policy Center and its Advisory Council and director AL SAMPLE.


AFA's Forest Policy Center has just released a report on the management implications of using the bark of the Pacific yew to produce taxol, a chemical shown to be highly effective against ovarian cancer. (See AMERICAN FORESTS, July/August 1991 .)

The new story is a pointed illustration of the value of managing forest ecosystems to protect biological diversity even if a given plant or animal species has no current commercial value.

For a copy of the report, send $5 to Forest Policy Center, AFA, P.O. Box 2000, Washington, DC 20013.---AL SAMPLE

One Tree

"Partners in Preservation" is the theme of a promotion that Fellowes Manufacturing, a Chicago producer of storage containers, is sponsoring on behalf of Global ReLeaf. Each time a customer who purchases a Fellowes Bankers Box completes and returns a redemption card, Fellowes will have a tree planted in a Global ReLeaf Heritage Forest. A total of 100,000 trees will go in the ground over the coming year.-- CINDY KRICK

Trees and electrical power are coming together with a unique partnership between AFA and the Edison Electric Institute (EEl), an association of 200 investor-owned utility companies. …

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