UNITAR and Green Legacy Hiroshima Initiative continue to spread the peace message through A-bombed trees
On 6 August 2012, the day of the 67th anniversary of the world's first atomic bomb attack in Hiroshima in 1945, UNITAR and the new entity representing Green Legacy Hiroshima Initiative finalized a Memorandum of Understanding that will build upon the work undertaken over the past year during the pilot phase for three additional years.
The atomic bombing of 6 August 1945, that destroyed most of the city and killed as many as 140,000 people, left the center of Hiroshima a radioactive desert, covered by ash, seemingly broken and devoid of life. Many believed nothing would grow for 75 years - there was even talk of rebuilding the city on another site altogether. So when new seedlings were sighted across this desolate landscape, only a few months after the bomb, they provided a powerful message, encouraging survivors in their struggle to rebuild.
Green Legacy Hiroshima and A-bombed trees
Some 170 of trees, in 55 locations within the roughly 2km radius of the hypocenter of the A-bomb, are officially registered by the municipality as A-bombed trees. And like the atomic bomb survivors or 'Hibakusha', they too bear witness to the unbearable devastation wrought by nuclear weapons. Lovingly cared for over the years by authorities, botanists, various citizens' groups and individuals, they are identified by a name plate and the unique reference: 'hibakujumoku (survivor tree).
In order to engage all those committed to a greener planet, to future generations living free from nuclear threats, to honoring victims of wars past and present or to simply creating peace gardens in their communities, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), ANT-Hiroshima and a group of other dedicated partners and individuals have come together under the banner of ‘Green Legacy Hiroshima’. Green Legacy Hiroshima is an initiative to spread worldwide the seeds - and the peace message - of trees that survived the atomic bombing.
Memorandum of Understanding
After 1 year of pilot phase, Green Legacy Hiroshima became a "Voluntary Committee" under the Japanese law and named itself as "Green Legacy Hiroshima Initiative". Within the framework of the MoU, UNITAR will continue to provide outreach and IT support, seek the involvement of its network of alumni and faculty in GLH-related activities, and partake in the Working Group of Green Legacy.
Achievements to date
The Hiroshima A-bomb seeds have arrived, been planted and germinating in the Irkutsk Botanical Garden (Russia), in Amsterdam Hortus Botanicus, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in Cape Town, in Columbia's Icesi University, and in the Singapore National University. In Japan saplings and seeds have already been planted in the Yokohama Earth Science Institute, in the Tamaneshi experimental forest of Tokyo University, and in the embassies of Singapore, Iraq and Afghanistan. In the Americas seeds and saplings are either on their way or being prepared for planting in the United States (Hamline University) and in Argentina. Discussions are underway to send, with the assistance of the Embassy of Chile in Japan, Hiroshima seeds to all botanical gardens of Chile.
Students visit to A-bombed trees
On 6 August 2012, the GLH Initiative, in partnership with Hiroshima University, made a presentation and conducted its first visit of few of the survivor trees -- three willows, one eucalyptus, and a kurogane holly -- for participants of the 2012 session of the International Network of Universities (INU). It was attended by about a 90 students from more than 20 countries.
For more information, please contact Green Legacy Hiroshima Co-Founders /Coordinators
- Nassrine Azimi: greenlegacy<at>unitar.org
- Tomoko Watanabe: green<at>ant-hiroshima.org
1. A-bombed tree with the Hiroshima castle in the background
2. A-bombed tree with the official name plate and the unique reference: 'hibakujumoku (survivor tree)
3. Nassrine Azimi (left) and Tomoko Watanabe, Co-Founders and Coordinators of GLHI, signing the MOU
4. A-bombed tree saplings, waiting to be dispatched