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Nadi, Fiji – A tree-planting ceremony has been held at the Tifajek Mud Pool and Hot Spring by the International Tree of Peace, a project originating from Slovakia in the European Union.
About 35 people took part in the event on Wailoko Road, Sabeto in Nadi, the third-largest conurbation in Fiji.
The International Tree of Peace was created on the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War I to promote the development of peace, friendship and the preservation of nature.
Initiated by Slovak landscape architect Marek Sobola, the international project is implemented by NGO Servare et Manere with the support of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic.
The implementation of Trees of Peace began in 2018 and currently has 24 trees in 13 countries, Marek Sobola said the idea of the project was also expanding as it begins to gain momentum with supporters from around the world.
“Our big journey to the Oceania region linked with the Tree of Peace is connected with an important Slovak personality, General Milan Rastislav Štefánik, who, among other careers, was a scientist and an astronomer.”
“As a member of an international scientific expedition, Štefánik also visited Fiji in 1911. He visited Levuka and Suva. In 1911, an extraordinary astronomical event took place in Oceania – a total Solar Eclipse which was visible from the southeastern tip of Australia, Tonga, American Samoa and Cook Islands.”
“Štefánik watched the Solar Eclipse from Tonga on 28th April, 1911. This year marks the exact 111th Anniversary of Štefánik’s visit to Oceania and one important scientific stage of his life.”
Marek Sobola said: “It would be an excellent opportunity not only to pay tribute to the 111th Anniversary of the Štefánik’s visit to Oceania but also a significant and unique opportunity for planting one Tree of Peace. We must become increasingly aware that one of the pillars of peace and prosperity is a clean environment.”
He also acknowledged the partnerships between Servare et Manere, Tifajek Mud Pool and Hot Spring and Pacific Farmer Organisations in implementing Trees of Peace in Fiji.