Kosovo Peace Trees (KPT) Project 2009 – 2011
This InterSilva project was undertaken in collaboration with Kosovo-based NGO Agro-Vet Development and ICITAP, the local community development agency of the US Department of Justice. The project initiated broad-based social forestry in Kosovo. Over the two year span of the project which was implemented as a model in Obiliq (near Pristina) in conjunction with the Municipal authorities and community groups, almost 10,000 trees were planted on a variety of sites within and around the town. Ornamental species were planted as street trees along the main boulevards in Obiliq and on residential streets, with the help of secondary school students and citizens including multi-ethnic groups from the neighbourhoods. School yards were planted and new trees added around public and other civic buildings including mosques and churches. In addition to urban tree planting, farmers on the outskirts of Obiliq were encouraged and supported to plant fruit trees, and 15 new orchards have been established, with farmers trained in establishment and management practices. Also as part of the KPT project, a new orchard was also created at the Agricultural High School in Ferizaj south of Pristina, to help develop the curriculum in small-scale fruit production.
In addition to support from InterSilva, the Kosovo Peace Trees Project received funding from the European Commission, The Westbury (Somerset UK) Society, The International Tree Foundation and in-kind support from the Municipality of Obiliq. As a result of this initial urban forestry initiative in Kosovo, a substantial number of trees have been successfully established and maintained in the town and continue to make a positive impact on the green infrastructure of the area; in addition, training of local people including school children in the importance and role of trees in the environment has been achieved; and Obiliq has been recognised and established as a model for further development of urban forestry in Kosovo.