The CJC launches tree project

January 31, 2018 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Commonwealth Jewish Council has launched a Commonwealth wide initiative of Jewish communities to support the adoption in every Commonwealth country of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC) project by the Commonwealth Summit in April.

Anton Block

The launch coincides with the Jewish New Year for Trees – Tu b’Sheva.

The Council’s communities will be making representations to non signatory countries over the next few weeks.e Jewish New Year for Trees – Tu b’Sheva

Speaking in London, Lord Jon Mendelsohn, President of the CJC, commented, ‘Jews have long valued trees as one of the fundamentals of the natural world. The Bible singles them out for special respect and the rabbis formalised an occasion, this New Year for Trees, for both planting new trees and valuing their produce in particular. In the light of this long standing tradition, Jews all over the Commonwealth will find the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy initiative resonates and inspires. It’s a wonderful idea and can only enrich the planet and human life.’

Jonathan Arkush, CJC’s European Regional President, speaking from London, is particularly pleased to know of developments in his region. ‘I’m really impressed by the decision of the Cyprus, Malta and UK governments to expand their sustainable woodlands in line with this wonderful initiative. Such an array of governments makes it clear that doing this kind of good for the world is not a function of size or wealth, but determination and will. We urge all others to follow their lead.’

Heather Fenyes, CJC’s Western Hemisphere Regional President, speaking from Saskatoon, is particularly pleased to know of developments in her region. ‘I’m really impressed by the decision of the Belize, Canada and a number of Caribbean island states governments to expand their sustainable woodlands in line with this wonderful initiative. Such an array of governments makes it clear that doing this kind of good for the world is not a function of size or wealth, but determination and will. We urge all others to follow their lead.’

Ann Harris, CJC’s Africa Regional President, speaking from Cape Town, is particularly pleased to know of developments in her region. ‘I’m really impressed by the decision of the Namibia, Mauritius, Sierra Leone, Seychelles, Uganda and Zambia governments to expand their sustainable woodlands in line with this wonderful initiative. Such an array of governments makes it clear that doing this kind of good for the world is not a function of size or wealth, but determination and will. We urge all others to follow their lead.’

Anton Block, CJC’s Australasia Regional President, speaking from Melbourne, is particularly pleased to know of developments in his region. ‘I’m really impressed by the decision of the Australia, Brunei, Fiji, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Tonga and Tuvalu governments to expand their sustainable woodlands in line with this wonderful initiative. Such an array of governments makes it clear that doing this kind of good for the world is not a function of size or wealth, but determination and will. We urge all others to follow their lead.’

Clive Lawton, CJC’s CEO also endorsed the scheme. ‘Understandably, Jews the world over are proud of the fact that the only Jewish country in the world was also the only country to end the 20th century with more trees than it started the century with. Planting trees in someone’s name has long been a tradition amongst Jews for marking a birthday, anniversary or other special event. Indeed, I was struck by an advertisement in a UK Jewish newspaper from the UK Woodland Trust this week noting this festival and encouraging Jews to plant trees by contacting a special Woodland Trust website… /tubshevat! There can’t be many other such festivals onto which to hook the critical importance of expanding our woodlands after the depredations of the 19th and 20th centuries.’

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