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Ambassadors of the Green Group for a greener Vienna
Vienna, 22 April 2013 – Ambassadors of six countries to Austria – members
of the Green Group initiative – marked this year's International Mother
Earth Day with a tree planting ceremony in the Viennese park of Oberlaa. On
this occasion, the ambassadors also unveiled a memorial plaque.
Mother Earth is a common expression for the planet Earth in a number of countries
and regions, which reflects the interdependence that exists among human beings,
other living species and the planet. The proclamation of 22 April as International
Mother Earth Day is an acknowledgement that the Earth and its ecosystems provide
its inhabitants with life and sustenance. It also recognizes a collective responsibility,
as called for in the 1992 Rio Declaration, to promote harmony with nature and the
Earth to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs
of present and future generations of humanity.
The Green Group is an informal platform of foreign ministers of Cape Verde, Costa
Rica, Iceland, Singapore, Slovenia, and the United Arab Emirates. The ministers of
foreign affairs of these six countries, representing different regions of the world,
decided in 2009 to join forces, creating a common voice, and collectively engage in
global discussions addressing some of the key challenges of our time. The group
focuses on promoting environmental and sustainability issues on the foreign policy
agenda. Global challenges to be addressed as a matter of priority include climate
change as a foreign policy concern, the promotion of renewables and water issues.
By planting these six trees*, the Green Group also wishes to mark the importance of
trees and forests, which are essential ecosystems, and the survival of many depends
directly on them. They cover approximately 30% of land and are a large provider of
ecosystem services and an important renewable resource. However, the current
trends of climate change, economic and population growth are building pressure on
forests. Issues related to forests and forest management are coming to the forefront
in international forums. This 21 March, the world also celebrated the first
International Day of Forests. With today’s symbolic gesture, the Green Group
Ambassadors to Austria wish to raise public awareness to challenges regarding the
well-being of our planet and all the life it supports. Or to use the words of Costa
Rican politician, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, dr. Oscar Arias: “No passing cloud, no
political fog, will erase the green print we have left on our earth”.
A tree in Arabic is called “chajara”, in Icelandic "tré", in Portuguese “árvore”, in
Slovenian “drevo”, in Spanish “árbol”.