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WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY
Plant a Tree | Speech by Mrs. Annan | How Green Are You? | Photo album

 


 
"Plant more trees. Do the right thing."
Mrs. Nane Annan            

At an observance of Earth Day (22 April 2000) at the United Nations, Mrs. Nane Annan, wife of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, asked children everywhere in the world to help protect our planet Earth by planting trees:

 
 

I am very pleased to be with you at this wonderful celebration of Earth Day. By being here today and promising to plant more trees, you are sending a message to everyone that the planet Earth needs help. Its rainforests are disappearing. Many rare varieties of plants and animals are dying. Fresh water is becoming insufficient. If we don’t take care of it now, nothing may one day be left of the very planet we call home.

Some people may say planting trees is no big deal. After all, trees have always been with us. In fact, scientists say trees first appeared some 400 million years ago, long before the dinosaurs did. But it would be a mistake to think that trees will always be with us. Like dinosaurs, they also could become extinct. In fact, the world now loses one square mile of rainforests every six minutes. At this rate, tropical rainforests will be gone by the year 2035. Just imagine! Many of you will not even have celebrated your 50th birthday at that time.

There are very important reasons why we should plant trees and take care of our forests. Trees are our friends. When trees are cut down or forests are cleared, the earth becomes poorer. Forests affect climate, protect the soil from erosion and help control floods. When trees are cut down, rains easily wash away valuable topsoil. It is in the topsoil where all our food is grown. If it is washed away, the earth becomes unusable for farming. Trees also soak up harmful carbon dioxide and puff out oxygen so that we can breathe.

There are many things we can do to help our planet. Planting trees is one of them. Each time we cut down a tree, we should plant a new one. Thus, the planet can be replenished over and over again.

I, sometimes together with my husband, have planted trees in Kenya, Malaysia, Thailand and Guinea and those are some of my happiest moments, especially for my husband who has a special love for trees. I call him a tree-hugger. Together with countries around the world, he is working through the United Nations to help protect our earth and its environment. Your actions, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem today, will greatly help the United Nations achieve its goal. More importantly, this will decide how healthy or livable the earth will remain in the years to come. Let’s plant more trees. Let’s do the right thing.

Mrs. Nane Annan

 
     


WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY
Plant a Tree | Speech by Mrs. Annan | How Green Are You? | Photo album
 
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