Massive Tree Planting in Macedonia
"Plant Your Future" Logo
Thousands of people are pouring in to various pick up points from where they will be transported on buses, leaving every two hours, to 63 locations around the country where tree planting is underway.
The campaign, under the slogan "plant your future", was initially launched by local and international non-governmental organisations but has gained in momentum after the government gave its backing to the project at the beginning of the month.
The aim is to plant some 2.1 million trees across Macedonia on Wednesday - one to match each citizen residing in the country.
Wednesday has been designated a non-working day in order to achieve a greater response.
The start of the campaign was marked with a symbolic planting of a cherry tree, near the grave of the recently deceased pop icon, Tose Proeski who was killed in a car accident in Croatia on October 16 last year. His death shocked the country and there was a outpouring of emotion for several days after the tragedy. Read more at http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/main/news/6051/
The Jewish community has also announced it will plant 7200 trees to mach the number of Jews that perished during the fascist regime which occupied Macedonia during the Second World War.
In a sign of friendship, the country's border police together with colleagues from neighbouring states will plant trees along the main border crossings.
"We want to see Macedonia as a small oasis of forest," government spokesman Ivica Bocevski told media two weeks ago when he announced backing for the campaign.
The campaign is part of a bigger programme that envisages planting some 10 million trees by the end of 2008. Macedonia was hit by a series of wildfires that raged across the whole Balkans region during the summer of 2007.
The government has previously calculated a damage of over 60 million euros, but ecologists claim that the harm to the environment is in fact incalculable.
Organisers have said they would like to see this campaign in other Balkan countries as well.