World

UNESCO Board Endorses 'World Olive Tree Day'

Following a proposal by Lebanon and Tunisia, UNESCO's executive board has recommended support for "all efforts leading to the proclamation of the World Olive Tree Day"

Apr. 30, 2019
By Isabel Putinja

Recent News

The exec­u­tive board of UNESCO (United Nations Edu­ca­tional, Sci­en­tific and Cul­tural Orga­ni­za­tion) has rec­om­mended that Novem­ber 26 of every year be cel­e­brated as World Olive Tree Day.

The res­o­lu­tion was adopted last week at the exec­u­tive board’s 206th ses­sion, in Paris, fol­low­ing a pro­posal put for­ward by Lebanon and Tunisia.

(The olive tree is) a sym­bol of peace between men and a sym­bol of human activ­ity in peace with nature.- Ghazi Gherairi, Tunisian ambas­sador to UNESCO

Fol­low­ing the adop­tion of the res­o­lu­tion, Sahar Baas­siri, the Lebanese ambas­sador to UNESCO, reminded del­e­gates of the his­tor­i­cal, mytho­log­i­cal and sym­bolic sig­nif­i­cance of the olive tree. The Tunisian ambas­sador, Ghazi Gherairi, added that the tree is a uni­ver­sal sym­bol of peace.

“[The olive tree is] a sym­bol of peace between men and a sym­bol of human activ­ity in peace with nature,” he said.

See more: Olive Oil Cul­ture

The exec­u­tive board said that it wel­comes and endorses the rec­om­men­da­tion to pro­claim Novem­ber 26 of each year the World Olive Tree Day.”

Advertisement

The board has now asked the direc­tor-gen­eral of UNESCO to sup­port the res­o­lu­tion, which will be included on the agenda of the 40th ses­sion of the UNESCO Gen­eral Con­fer­ence this fall where it will be put to a vote.

The board said that the annual cel­e­bra­tion of World Olive Tree Day will help to pro­tect this ancient plant and pre­serve its long-stand­ing value.”

The board also pointed out the sig­nif­i­cance of the olive tree as a uni­ver­sal sym­bol of peace and har­mony.

A wreath of olive branches is embla­zoned not only on the flag of the United Nations, but also on the flags of other orga­ni­za­tions and states,” mem­bers of the board wrote in pub­lic notes. Today, the olive tree is grown on six con­ti­nents and con­tributes to the sus­tain­able eco­nomic and social devel­op­ment of many coun­tries and to the preser­va­tion of nat­ural resources.”

Sev­eral rea­sons why World Olive Tree Day should be cel­e­brated are also out­lined in the explana­tory notes, which point out that the tree is a com­mon artis­tic theme, hav­ing inspired poets, writ­ers and artists. The notes also men­tion the 6,000-year-old his­tory of olive tree cul­ti­va­tion in the Mediter­ranean and the fact that the olive tree is now grown in 56 coun­tries, with the world­wide agri­cul­tural area used for olive cul­ti­va­tion grow­ing at a rate of one per­cent annu­ally.

It also points to the tree’s impact on sus­tain­able eco­nomic and social devel­op­ment by employ­ing mil­lions of men and women, as well as the nutri­tional and health val­ues of the olive fruit.

Finally, the role played by the tree in envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion is high­lighted: it pre­vents deser­ti­fi­ca­tion, pro­tects against ero­sion and has the poten­tial to increase atmos­pheric car­bon diox­ide fix­a­tion in the soil.





Related News