The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Türkiye took part in a tree planting event in Ankara under the theme of “Earthquake Martyrs Forest 2023”to commemorate the victims of the recent earthquake. Joining other countries and International Organizations based in Ankara, First Secretary Priya Nagarajah of the Sri Lanka Embassy attended the event.
The event was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Türkiye as a part of the International Day of Forests, which fell on 21 March 2023. Minister of Agriculture and Forestry of Türkiye Vahir Kirisci, Governor of Ankara VasipŞahin, Director General of Forestry Bekir Karacabey, diplomats based in Ankara and some individuals who were displaced by the earthquake attended the event.
The Minister of Agriculture and Forestry in his remarks expressed gratitude to all the countries which supported Türkiye by sending search and rescue teams in the aftermath of the earthquake and reiterated that this event marks the solidarity of the international community which stands with Türkiye to re-build the country .As a recognition for the assistance that foreign countries extended to Türkiye, each country was given a tree for planting, marking their solidarity to Türkiye and commemorating the International Day of Forests 2023.
Although Türkiye celebrates the International Day of Forests each year, pledging its commitment for re-forestation, the celebration in 2023 was held in a low-key level considering the massive loss of life and property due to the catastrophic earthquake. The Minister stressed that his Ministry is planning to plant 600 million saplings throughout the country emphasizing that, "as of now, Türkiye will increase its forests cover from the current 29.6 percent to 30 percent."
The International Day of Forests was declared by a Resolution at the United Nations General Assembly on 28 November 2013.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
22 March 2023