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75 Trees for UN 75: Planting for the Future – Municipality Platanias

Participation of the Municipality of Platanias in the action “75 Trees” for the 75th Anniversary of the UN- 75 saplings of Ampelitsia (Zelkova abelicea) were planted in Omalos.75 Trees

The Energy Policy and Development Centre (KEPA) of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, the UNAI member institution in Greece serving as the SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) Hub for Goal 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy – has launched the initiative “75 Trees for the 75 Years of the UN” to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations.  The program also coincides with the decision of the States party to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to increase National Determined Contributions (NDCs) or efforts to reduce national emissions.

The tree planting action in the Municipality of Platanias took place on Friday, 13th  November, on the Omalos plateau, in collaboration with the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania (MAICH) and was attended by employees of the Municipality and volunteers.

The action “75 Trees” for the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations aims at the global coordination of bodies to carry out  tree planting actions in as many corners of the Earth as possible from September  to  November 2020.

The aim is to contribute to the global effort to reduce CO2 through tree planting,  and to raise the awareness of our citizens in dealing with climate change .

The action “75 UN – 75 tree UNAI SDG7” of the Municipality of Platanias was carried out in co-operation with the project “Conservation of the Ampelitsia (Zelkova abelicea) in Crete” coordinated by the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania (MAIX) and in which the Municipality of Platanias participates. As a symbolic participation in the action “75 UN – 75 UNAI SDG7 trees”, an additional 75 Zelkova abelicea trees were planted in the municipal area, which were provided free of charge by the MAIX nursery.

By planting 75 trees, we can reduce the global level of carbon dioxide in the air by about one and a half tons each year. This may be insignificant compared to what average human activity adds to the air each year (~ 40 billion tons of CO2), but what is needed is a live message of green action, the message that we should plant all more trees every year and choose a more environmentally friendly lifestyle to drastically reduce CO2 emissions.

The Municipality of Platanias, actively supporting the UN call for global voluntary cooperation through tree planting, sends the message that the fight against climate change and the protection of the natural environment is the responsibility of all of us!

About the Zelkova abelicea

Ampelitsia or Anegnoro (Zelkova abelicea) is an endemic small tree of Crete with a height of 3-5 meters, which is also found in shrubs (up to 1.5m). It belongs to the rare genus Zelkova of the family Ulmaceae. The name Anegnoro (i.e. unrecognizable) was given because when it was discovered, they could not recognize what kind it was. Its  flowers are  small, white and fragrant. It grows in the main three mountainous areas of Crete from 800 to 1700 meters.

The Zelkova abelicea is a threatened, endemic tree of the island of Crete. It is one of the 6 species of the genus Zelkova which represents one of the most emblematic relict tree genera of the Tertiary. Although all main Cretan mountain massifs host populations of the Zelkova abelicea in Lefka Ori (ca. 30) and in the Dikti Mountains (ca. 10, one population occurs in the Psiloritis Mountains, one on Mount Kedros and one small population in the Thripti Mountains), it is threatened by overgrazing and browsing by goats and sheep, soil erosion, drought, fire and the cutting of young branches for making “Katsounes”, the traditional Cretan walking sticks.

In 2010   the project Zelkova  with coordinated conservation actions on the relict tree genus Zelkova were started. In 2014, the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania (MAICH) in partnership with the University of Fribourg and in collaboration with the four Forest Directorates of Crete (Chania, Rethymno, Heraklio and Lasithi) implemented the first phase (2014-2016) of a project entitled: “Conservation of Zelkova abelicea in Crete” and are currently implementing its second phase (2017-2020).

 

Source: Municipality Platanias
photo credit: Municipality Platanias75 Trees Omalos Plateau

 

 

 

Lydia

I'm Austrian living in Tavronitis, love nature, music, good books, sunsets, the sea, travelling, socializing and more. I came to Crete as a student in the early 70s, exploring the west and southwest of the island with friends by motorbike. When you are young everything is important and, there are lots of things to do...I did. Job, family,children, travelling the world. But I never lost my love for Crete for a minute. And seven years ago I ended up in this convenient corner of Crete, not only for holidays, but to stay and haven't regretted it for a minute.