Amazon Tree Named in EJS Honor -As Ex-Columbian President Honors Former Liberian Leader

MONROVIA –  As the world grapples with the debilitating effects of climate change, occasioned by persistent floods, droughts, sea erosion, and the wanton depletion of the ozone layer by reckless human activities; nations, organizations and individuals are working around the clock to reverse the worrisome effects of climate change on the planet. The former president of Columbia, Ivan Duque Marque, evidently recognizing Liberia’s pioneering role in accelerating the fight against climate change, has honored former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf by planting a tree in the Amazon rainforest in her name.

“The Amazon is the world’s largest tropical rainforest and its health is critical to the fight against climate change. I am honored that my friend and the former President of Colombia, Iván Duque Márquez, recently authorized the planting of a tree in my name in the Colombian Amazon. I celebrate having a tree planted with my name in the Amazon, contributing to the restoration of the territory and supporting the indigenous communities of the region,” former President Sireaf responded effusively on her official Twitter page yesterday.

According to Mr. Daniel Gutierrez Patino, CEO of Saving The Amazon Foundation, an environmental non-governmental organization dedicated to protecting the Amazon Rainforest, former President Sirleaf was certificated as a member of the Saving The Amazon Project.

“As a member of the project for the restoration and protection of the Amazon, contributor to the economic and social development of the indigenous communities of Vaupes, Columbia, we certify Ellen Johnson Sirleaf,” the certificate stated.

For his part, former Columbian President Ivan Duque Marque lauded Madam Sirleaf for the honor bestowed upon her by Saving The Amazon.

“Welcome, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf! Ivan Duque Marquez has donated the planting of a tree with your name in the Amazon rainforest. We send you the photo of your tree. The Amazon Foundation has planted a tree from the Yacayaca species, with the help of the indigenous people from the Tayazu community, in the Gran Resguardo Indígena del Vaupés.

“This tree has been planted with your name on the coordinates N 1°8’01.93”, W 70°3’23.62”. You will be able to follow-up your tree growth for three years through photographs that will be sent to you every six months. From now on, you will be able to visualize your tree on our web page and through our mobile application, which can be downloaded at the App Store or Google Play. With the planting of this tree we are honoring your name, prolonging your existence and helping the planet combat climate change,” a letter from Mr. Márquez stated.

The Tayazu belongs to the Wanano ethnic group and it is located three hours away from Mitu, the capital of the Vaupés department. It can be reached by land or by water, throughout the Vaupes River. The community is characterized by their innovation and creativity. The members of the Tayazú community are expert builders, beloved by the neighboring communities for their great ability in the construction of shelters and malocas, combining both modern and ancestral concepts in their structures. The mixture of both architectural styles is the living proof that we can achieve harmony between different cultures and timelines.

The yacayaca tree planted in honor of former President Sirleaf was planted by Laureano Herrera, a member of the Tayazu community.

“He is a kind and hardworking man. He tells us that, despite the economic difficulties, he loves the peace of his community. He is proud to have held several leadership positions in his region, currently promoting transportation development in his region, which has allowed him to know his territory and the people who inhabit it. He feels happy to be friends with everyone. He tells us that the arrival of Covid has been the hardest situation he has faced. He knows that his roots are in the Tayazú community, where his parents lived, and he speaks of his wife and daughters as his treasure,” the letter to Madam Sirleaf stated.

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