Singapore, EU delegates mark 72nd Europe Day by planting trees to highlight climate issues

EU Ambassador to Singapore Iwona Piorko and Minister S. Iswaran planting trees at Dairy Farm Nature Park on May 9, 2022. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - To commemorate Europe Day this year, 44 trees were planted at Dairy Farm Nature Park on Monday (May 9).

The event, which celebrates peace and unity, marks the 72nd anniversary of the signing of the Schuman Declaration.

In 1950, then French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman proposed a single authority to control the production of steel and coal in France and West Germany (now Germany) and open it to other European countries, ultimately leading to the formation of the European Union. 

This year, the EU delegation to Singapore worked with the National Parks Board (NParks) to highlight issues such as sustainability and climate change.

The trees are part of the OneMillionTrees movement, which started in 2020 and aims to plant more than a million trees over 10 years.

The movement is part of NParks' efforts to transform Singapore into a City In Nature - a key component of the Singapore Green Plan 2030.

More than 366,000 trees have been planted so far.

Minister for Transport and Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations S. Iswaran, who was the guest of honour at the event, planted a jelutong tree (Dyera costulata), while EU Ambassador to Singapore Iwona Piorko planted a cheng tng tree (Scaphium macropodum).

Also present at the event were other EU state ambassadors and Ukrainian Ambassador Kateryna Zelenko.

Ms Piorko said: "Today is the 72nd birthday of our (European) Union. A time for reflection on the future of our union - how we can make it stronger and more resilient. The importance of working for peace in Europe is all the more evident, as we demonstrate our unity and solidarity with Ukraine."

To mark the European Year of Youth in 2022, 23 young people from the Singapore Youth for Climate Action (SYCA), NParks and various schools were also present at the event.

Mr Iswaran said: "It is fitting that we are commemorating Europe Day with this tree-planting activity with young people because it brings together two important aspects. We are able to share our commitments towards climate action, ensuring a brighter future for the coming generations."

This is the second time that student Rishika Selvanis is taking part in a tree-planting activity and her first under the OneMillionTrees movement.

The 19-year-old Ngee Ann Polytechnic student, who is an SYCA volunteer, said: "Tree-planting is a great opportunity for youth to be involved with nature and climate change. Since there is a limited amount of nature in Singapore (compared with other countries), tree-planting can be a good activity for beginners."

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