With the help of local Bedouin residents, Bustan are planting an orchard (bustan, Hebrew and Arabic) as the first event of their new ‘Tree’s For Life’ project, which aims to green the desert with Indigenous trees for Indigenous communities, both Bedouin and Jewish, and provide education about the local ecology.
At the event tomorrow, which starts at 8.30 am at the Segev Shalom municipality building, storytelling and information about the trees will be available: but everyone is expected to roll up their sleeves and plant!
“Trees are unquestionably enormously beneficial for the land and its people: they influence climate on a global and local scale by providing oxygen, reducing soil erosion and desertification, and enhancing rain; they filter the air in urban surroundings, provide shade and fruit and have even been connected to reduction in crime rates within cities.
“While the JNF has been planting trees for decades, its underlying strategy uses planting as a non-combative political tool to preserve lands for the Jewish population at the expense of other minorities.
“The Tree of Life project reverses this paradigm, by introducing indigenous species to local communities, and supporting their efforts to revitalize neglected areas, learn about the ecology of the region, and work toward carbon reduction.
“We are working with local communities to plan this project together, according to each area’s particular needs. The first pilot will be in Segev Shalom, a recognized Bedouin township, in September 2008, where we will plant a small orchard at a school with children and their parents. We hope to add a second community by December 2008, funding permitting.
This is a pilot project, so we expect to learn many lessons This project is the first phase of a larger project that aims to encourage community-led afforestation programs using indigenous trees.”
For the pretty, tri-lingual (Arabic, Hebrew, English) invitation, please click here.
See a short film showing the significance of trees to the Bedouin community:
Man And His Landscape.