Planting trees for peace? The Fins did It, maybe we should too

Group picture of those involved in planting the trees on Sunday © Lukas BARBIER

On Sunday afternoon, May 8, the Finnish embassy and Finnish Lithuanian Chamber of Commerce planted three cherry blossom trees in front of the embassy, thus taking part in the ‘Plant And Care For Peace’ initiative. 

Planting Finnish flags under the cherry blossoms which were freshly planted © Lukas BARBIER

The Ambassador of Finland Arja Makkonen (left) and the Ambassador of Japan Shiro Yamasaki (right) © Lukas BARBIER

As war in Ukraine rages on and the climate crisis thickens, the Finnish embassy and Finnish Lithuanian Chamber of Commerce took part in planting three cherry blossoms joining more than 50 other countries in the project — planting trees for peace. The Ambassador of Japan, Shiro Yamasaki, attended as well.

This action starts on the 22nd of April on Earth Day and ends on the 5th of June on the UN’s World Environment Day.

Rubina Haapamäki, the Executive Director of the Finnish Lithuanian Chamber of Commerce © Lukas BARBIER

The ‘Plant And Care For Peace’ project was created by the Finnish non-profit ‘ Education’ in collaboration with Environment Online (ENO) and Act Now India.  

Volunteers help planting the trees © Lukas BARBIER

As their website reads: “The founder of ENO school network (Environment Online) Mika Vanhanen initiated a tree planting day for peace in 2004, on an international day for peace 21 September. Every year since then, schools in over 150 countries have planted trees for peace. Now Mika volunteers in Treebuddy Earth Education and together with ENO School Network and Act Now India they are uniting their forces and call others to join the mission. Plant and care for peace is for groups, communities and organisations, in addition to schools.”

The winners who planted the “straightest tree” © Lukas BARBIER

The cherry blossoms in front of the Embassy of Finland © Lukas BARBIER

Arja Makkonen, the Finnish Ambassador, planting the last cherry blossom © Lukas BARBIER

Small Finnish lunch after the hard work © Lukas BARBIER

— by Lukas BARBIER (

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