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DECIDE project donated 120 white ash seedlings to the three schools participating in the project and thus supported the “Plant your own shade” campaign. The goal of this action, which was initiated last year by the NGOs “Let’s do it Serbia” and “Green Development Center”, is to distribute 300,000 white ash seedlings in 2021. so that as many citizens as possible can plant “their tree”. The seedlings are a donation from socially responsible companies, and among those who responded to the invitation to participate and give their contribution in the fight for cleaner air is GIZ, which provided 1,620 seedlings for 27 cities and municipalities through the projects it implements. Citizens receive seedlings free of charge through the local self-government, and the only obligation of the participants is to send a photo with a planted ash tree to the organizer and thus promote the action.

Apart from the citizens, educational institutions also got involved in greening of their surroundings, so white ash seedlings sprouted in the yards of schools and kindergartens throughout Serbia. Thanks to the donation of seedlings through the DECIDE project, the yards of the Technical School “Ivan Saric” in Subotica, Secondary Vocational School Kragujevac and Technical School Vlasotince are richer by a total of 120 seedlings of this deciduous species. The planting was done by students and teachers of these schools and with this they joined the group of about 130 schools in Serbia that have so far taken part in the action “Plant your own shade”.

As an introduction to the planting action, for the students of these three schools, the DECIDE project organized a webinar on March 10, “Let’s protect the forests so that the forests can protect us”. In an online format of interesting and educational character, students had the opportunity to expand their knowledge related to environmental protection and importance of afforestation for biodiversity conservation. The webinar was organized in cooperation with the project of German Development Cooperation “Public Finance Reform – Agenda 2030” and the Belgrade Open School. In addition to the short presentation of the 2030 Agenda and its practical application related to tree planting, the central part of the webinar was a panel lecture focusing on environmental forest services and a lecture on trees in cities – how and why trees are planted, and what are the functions of urban green areas. The webinar was attended by more than 100 students, and in addition to lectures on the importance of trees in the fight against climate change, it was also aimed at giving practical examples and encouraging students to take action to preserve forests and plant trees.