150 trees planted to celebrate Earth Day 2016

May 22, 2016

People in Mertutu Gathered to celebrate world earth day by planting trees

Dili, 22 April 2015, More than two hundred people of Suco Mirtutu gathered at the Village (Suco) office to celebrate the World Earth Day. This year’s theme “Trees for the Earth” was inspirational for the community that they came up with a local theme “Love the Earth by Planting a Tree” to raise people awareness on the importance of tree-planting. Around 150 trees seedling were planted that day to celebrate Earth Day 2016.

“This is a good momentum for us in Suco Mirtutu to reflect that earth is important to human life.” said Mr. Jose Albino, a community member of Suco Mirtutu. “Our responsibility is to take care and protect the earth for future generations”

The purpose of this activity is to share information and raise people’s awareness on the importance of trees for climate change adaptation. This activity is also part of watershed management activities of UNDP’s Small Scale Rural Infrastructure (SSRI) Project being implemented in partnership with the Ministry of State Administration and local NGOs.

“Earth is important to our life. Without earth there is no life in the world.” said H.E. Mr. Samuel Mendonca, Secretary of State for State Administration in his opening remarks “It is important to plant trees to reduce gas emissions, prevent natural disasters and save the earth.”

The SSRI project combines climate resilient infrastructure project with bio-engineering activities to enhance the resilience of infrastructure against natural disasters and contributing to the overall improvement in rural livelihood. In 2015, 10 small scale rural infrastructures such as water supply systems, river protection gabion, and small bridges/culverts were constructed and five local NGOs were awarded small grants for bio-engineering activities in the three municipalities of Ermera, Baucau and Liquiça.

“Trees provide us oxygen for respiration. The trees will save the earth and all living things including human and animals.” said Mr. Jose Belo, Assistant Country Director of UNDP “Cutting trees will destroy us all. We need to plant more trees. If each one of us plant trees, we will be able to reach the 7.8 billion trees by 2020 target.”

NGO Hasatil is one of the local NGOs that was awarded small grant to implement bio-engineering activities. A total of 2,728 trees have been planted by Hasatil in Suco Mirtutu in four Aldeias.

‘’The small support from UNDP’s SSRI project has enable us to implement the bio-engineering activities. All the trees we planted will help restore water source and fertile soil in this Suco” said Gil Boavida, local NGO Hasatil representative.


About SSRI project

Small scale infrastructures are particularly vulnerable to extreme climate events. This project helps to ensure that future small scale rural infrastructures, essential for improvement of rural livelihood, are designed and constructed in a manner that takes climate-related risks into consideration.

This project also contributes to strengthening administrative capacity, accountability and public participation at the local level to help ensure that climate risks are properly weighed and are reflective of local decision-making.  SSRI project has been providing interventions in six administrative posts in the three focus municipalities of Baucau, Ermera and Liquiça.

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