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Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Earth Day Celebration


Earth Day Celebration
Youth Participants of USAID-PAS Program Plant Trees

On April 22nd, over 50 youth participants from the USAID Prepara Ami ba Servisu (PAS) program will plant 200 tree seedlings donated by Café Cooperativa Timor (CCT). The youth received prior technical training from local NGO Rede Servisu Floresta Timor Leste (RSFTL) to ensure maximum opportunity for tree survival.

The activity hopes to kick off an annual youth-led tree planting celebration on Earth Day.

This celebration of Earth Day coincides with the 39th anniversary of the first Earth Day celebration started on April 22nd, 1970 by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson. The purpose of Earth Day is to raise awareness of environmental issues, both problems and solutions, so that people around the world can become better, more environmentally conscious citizens. Planting trees is a good way to celebrate Earth Day because trees help prevent soil erosion, help offset deforestation and contributes to cleaner air quality.

The tree planting ceremony will begin at 9:30 am in Aileu District, Aldeia Ai Tuhu Laran. The ceremony will begin with speeches from guests that include representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and Secretary of State for Environment, the District Administrator and other national and local leaders. USAID PAS program staff and key community stakeholders will also join youth participants as they plant the tree saplings.

USAID believes in integrating sustainable natural resource management into development activities. As it celebrates Earth Day this year, USAID is focusing on environment and food security worldwide, recognizing the vital link between protecting and conserving environmental resources and ensuring the availability of food, especially for the world’s poor.

Recognizing the potential for youth to make a constructive contribution to environmental conservation in Timor-Leste, PAS Chief of Party Brenda Barrett says, “If the youth are aware and conscious of environmental issues, they are empowered to be part of the solution. These youth, while participating in USAID’s integrated learning and working program, are contributing to a stronger, cleaner and greener future. We want this to be just the first of many such youth-led tree planting ceremonies around Timor-Leste, for years to come.”

USAID’s PAS program is a $5 million, three-year workforce preparation program for Timor-Leste’s out-of-school youth. Education Development Center Inc. (EDC), a US-based, non-profit education research and development organization, implements the program.

Contact: Brenda Barrett, Chief of Party. Telephone: 331-0825 or 331-0902 Email: bbarrett@edc.org

Fonte: Timor Today

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