Thursday, August 11, 2011

postheadericon Green Legacy Hiroshima: Spreading Seeds Of Peace Across The World

An A-bombed tree near Hiroshima castle.

After the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on 6th August 1945 it was thought that nothing would grow in the city for 75 years. However, the following spring new seedlings were seen springing up amongst the debris of the city. They provided a powerful message to the survivors and gave them hope that they could rebuild their city.

Today, 66 years after the A-bomb, Hiroshima is a green and vibrant city. Many of the trees that were planted in the city after the war were gifts from overseas donors and donors from other parts of Japan.

Hibakujumoku

However, 170 of the trees that we can enjoy in the city today had actually been in Hiroshima before the bomb was dropped and survived the bombing and the devastation that followed. After the war, many of those trees were replanted or preserved in 55 locations within a 2km radius of the hypocenter. Today, they are officially registered as A-bombed trees. Each A-bombed tree is called a hibakujumoku  and is identified by a name plate.

Green Legacy Hiroshima

Green Legacy Hiroshima is an initiative launched by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and ANT-Hiroshima, to spread worldwide the seeds - and the peace message - of trees that survived the atomic bombing.

Recently, Nassrine Azimi, senior adviser at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research in Hiroshima (UNITAR), together with Tomoko Watanabe of ANT-Hiroshima, and a group of friends, launched an initiative called Green Legacy Hiroshima through the auspices of UNITAR to help spread the seeds of Hiroshima's A-bomb-surviving trees around the world.

The founding idea of Green Legacy Hiroshima is to distribute seeds and saplings from Hiroshima’s A-bombed trees to interested groups and schools around the world. We hope that seeds will be planted in urban, botanical gardens, schools, public and private institutions and places of political or symbolic importance for the message of peace.

Please check the UNITAR Green Legacy Hiroshima webpage if you would like to participate in a project to plant seeds of peace. You can also find more information about the survivor trees: http://www.unitar.org/hiroshima/greenlegacy


ANT-Hiroshima

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What is ANT-Hiroshima?

Asian Network of Trust-Hiroshima, an NGO based in Hiroshima, Japan, draws its inspiration from the experience of the A-bomb survivors who, together with international support, worked to rebuild their shattered city in a spirit of peace and reconciliation. In a similar spirit, ANT-Hiroshima is involved in a range of relief, reconstruction, and peace-building projects in a number of countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

ANT-Hiroshima’s work is rooted in the twin missions of providing material, as well as emotional, support to the people we serve. We bring a human touch to the provision of emergency relief in areas devastated by natural disaster or human conflict. Operating on a small scale at the local level, we share a spirit of warmth and compassion along with such immediate material needs as food, clothing, water, shelter, and medical supplies and services.

In Japan, too, our work is inspired by the spirit of Hiroshima in our efforts to motivate the next generation of Japanese to view the world with compassionate eyes. Through programs in education, we strive to stimulate the awareness and action of young people towards both the material and emotional needs of their local communities as well as the international community.

Tomoko Watanabe,
Founder and Executive Director,
ANT-Hiroshima

Green Legacy Hiroshima

Green Legacy