16 October 2023, Rome: A planting ceremony at a specially selected area of Rome’s largest public park, Villa Doria Pamphilj, today marked the launch of the first phase of an initiative by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Italian capital to raise awareness on biodiversity and the need to make cities greener.
FAO Director-General, QU Dongyu, joined the Prime Minister of Tanzania, Kassim Majaliwa – who attended the event as a special guest – Sabrina Alfonsi, the City of Rome official responsible for agriculture, environment and recycling, and Ettore Prandini, President of Coldiretti, Italy’s largest farmers union, for the inauguration of the Global Library of Trees and Flowers – FAO Park.
The project initially involves 85 trees and 15 plants – selected by FAO experts and donated by Coldiretti – representing various species sourced from seven regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, the Near East, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Pacific.
The area, a 2.5-hectare plot offered by the City of Rome will feature educational itineraries. These are specifically dedicated to schools and families with the aim of empowering young people to take action and raising their awareness of the values of sustainability, inclusion, international cooperation, innovation and food security.
Speaking at the inauguration, the FAO Director-General thanked Rome’s municipal authorities for the collaboration and noted how the city of Rome shares FAO’s vision in the context of the Organization’s Green Cities Initiative. Amongst other things, this includes increasing green areas; improving connections between urban and rural areas; the sharing of best practices; and helping to address the climate crisis.
The Global Library of Trees and Flowers – FAO Park “will flourish with innovative ideas for sustainable practices,” the FAO Director-General said.
“Municipalities, private sector, citizens, especially youth, can learn to develop a deeper respect for nature. We want to inspire young people to advocate for sustainability, inclusion, global cooperation, innovation, food security, and knowledge-sharing, because youth are the change-makers of the future,” he added.
World Food Day and the World Food Forum
Today’s event took place on the eve of World Food Day, which will be marked on Monday by a global ceremony at FAO’s headquarters which will also host the opening of the World Food Forum flagship event 2023.
Earlier Sunday, the FAO Director General delivered a speech before the start of the World Food Forum 2k Run a curtain-raiser event aiming to educate participants about the importance of nourishing our bodies through healthy diets and healthy lifestyles.
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