Supporting the Value of Green Space
From Peter Symes, Board Member Global Gardens of Peace & Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne Curator Environmental Horticulture
With support from the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, Andrew Laidlaw, Landscape Architect and I have been contributing to the work of Global Gardens of Peace whose mission is to develop a global network of green landscapes for children and their families in areas of the world devastated by conflict, and natural or economic disaster. Global Gardens of Peace (GGoP) is an apolitical, non-religious organisation, and is committed to effective and peaceful collaborations regardless of nationality, race or gender.
The inaugural project being developed is located at Khan Younis, Gaza Strip. In May 2013, both Andrew and I travelled as part of a delegation to the Gaza Strip to meet key partners and secure land to construct the garden. Since then, we have completed a concept design and preliminary costings in consultation with the local Palestinian people and expatriates within Australia. Of course, as you can imagine this project has considerable challenges to overcome, but we have kept our vision alive by those we have met (including Israeli colleagues) who value green space and the power of plants to bring peace and open communication.
One of the challenges to overcome is educating others who do not realise the high therapeutic and psychological value of green space for human well-being, let alone its vital role in the healthy development of children. These benefits of green space (and nature) are strongly supported by a mounting body of research-based evidence world-wide. Also, as an Australian-based charitable organisation, Global Gardens of Peace, needs to meet the requirements of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to most effectively raise and spend funds on overseas projects.
It would help us enormously to have evidence of support for the value of green space for children and for the project as described from other individuals and organisations.
Could you please consider a sending a letter (preferably on letterhead where possible) or email [email protected] outlining your in-principle support for the project. I can assure you that your confirmation is considered on a non-political basis to develop viable green space (gardens) for children and communities worldwide.
We thankyou in anticipation.