Planting trees for peace

Primary school students planting olive trees in Iraq with the help of volunteers. The plan is for each student to care for his or her own tree.

Primary school students planting olive trees in Iraq with the help of volunteers. The plan is for each student to care for his or her own tree.

ENO Environment Online started as a global virtual school for sustainable development in 2000. Based in Joensuu, Finland, it has received funding from the National Board of Education and has rapidly grown globally.

FOUNDED AND DIRECTED by Mika Vanhanen, the ENO Programme aims to plant 100 million trees by 2017. Schools in more than one hundred countries have taken part in Climate Change Campaigns. In 2009 cities were invited to join the programme. On 21 September at noon, celebrating the International Day of Peace established by the United Nations in 1981, around three thousand schools worldwide will plant trees in a call for global unity, a sustainable planet and world peace while radio stations play Imagine, by John Lennon.

Helsinki Times: What is the main goal of the ENO program?

Mika Vanhanen: To spread awareness about environment and encourage learners to work for their environment and sustainability.

HT: What is the impact of ENO Tree Planting in climate change?

MV: We have had three big campaigns; children have raised the issue locally, challenging people to do something to reduce the effect of climate change.
When planting trees they are doing some concrete deeds as trees tie carbon dioxide.

HT: Do you think the children of the world can make a difference by making leaders wake up to the reality of our planet?

MV: Yes, but not alone. Children can challenge people locally and globally. They can keep on reminding adults to prioritise environmental problems. It is said that It takes a village to raise a child, but we see it vice versa: It takes a child to raise a village when it’s about the importance of the environment.

ENO Programme

Image – Tero Koski

First published in the Helsinki Times on September 24th, 2009.


About Susan Fourtané

As a citizen of the world, Susan began her search for her place in the world back at the beginning of the year 2000. After many travels looking for her place in the world, her soul found that place in Finland in September 2006. She has been living in Helsinki ever since, where she combines fiction and non-fiction writing with Philosophy studies and teaching.
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