The voluntary ‘Green Braids’ civil society tree-planting mobilization campaign that was launched in October 2020 continues to grow in strength in the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) – also known as Rojava – region, Hawar News Agency reports.
In the midst of a raging war, the people of Rojava have created a society based on the values of women’s liberation, radical democracy and ecology. After several years of war, conflict and occupation, AANES has been encouraging and developing environmental projects that follow an ecological ethos against the destruction of nature in North and East Syria. As part of the ecological struggle in Rojava, a new civil society initiative called ‘Green Braids’ was launched.
Campaigners explained that the very name ‘Green Braids’ refers to the power of women who have played a leading role in defending Rojava. It symbolizes the braids of Yazidi women who were victims of the attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, or Daesh) in 2014 and after.
As the number of participants in the ‘Green Braids’ initiative increases, Rojava University joined the campaign by planting trees along the perimeter of University Park in Qamishli in the canton of Cizirê (one of the three regions of Rojava). Cizirê Education and Training Committee students and academics planted trees as part of the initiative.
The initiative involves three key stages. The first involves seed planting. Later, when the saplings are ready for planting, they are collected. Planting in various places in Qamishli follows. During these stages, a scientific committee monitors the work that takes place.
Grape, fig, pomegranate and other fruit trees are also scheduled to be planted across Rojava after March. Volunteers in the tree-planting campaign – including students, workers, writers and intellectuals – work between 9 am and 5 pm. Most of the time, they self-organize their work through use of their social media accounts and networks. They work in a motivated and dedicated way. “We are going to spread this campaign to other parts of Qamishli after we plant 4 million saplings here”, said a member of the ‘Green Braids’ campaign committee.