Honduras President Plants Tree in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
In the autumn rain, President Juan Orlando Hernández of Honduras planted an olive tree in the Grove of Nations in Jerusalem (29.10.15) at a ceremony attended by Ana Garcia, the First Lady of Honduras, as well as his entourage, the Israel Ambassador to Honduras, Mr. Moshe Bechar, the Honduras Ambassador to Israel, Mr. José Isaías Barahona Herrera, KKL-JNF board member Ms. Barbara Goldstein, KKL-JNF Chief of Protocol Mr. Andy Michelson and the director of the KKL-JNF Latin American Department, Mr. Ariel Goldgewicht.
In his greetings at the ceremony, President Hernández spoke about the damage to trees in his country due to climate change. “At present,” he said, “seven percent of all the trees in Honduras are sick as a result of a disease caused by climate change. South America is the main region suffering from climate change and, as in our neighboring countries, it is clearly evident.”
Pres. Hernández also said that although the tree planting in the Grove of Nations seemed simple, it “represents, in my opinion, the strength of KKL-JNF, which has invested huge efforts and succeeded in combating the processes of desertification and has even planted forests in arid regions.”
The President also spoke about the UN climate change conference that is to take place in Paris in November and December. “As I have asked your Prime Minister, Mr. Binyamin Netanyahu, and as I have asked the Chancellor of Germany, Ms. Angela Merkel, I came here to ask that you attend the climate conference in Paris. It is important that we, the main victims of climate change, unite and benefit from KKL-JNF’s experience in order to overcome environmental issues.”
The Honduras President and his entourage unveiled the plaque honoring him in the Grove of Nations for planting the tree. The Planter’s Prayer was recited, in Hebrew and Spanish simultaneously, by the Israel Ambassador to Honduras, Mr. Moshe Bechar, and the Honduras Ambassador to Israel, Mr. José Isaías Barahona Herrera.
After the prayers, Ms. Barabara Goldstein, who emceed the ceremony, presented the President a certificate for planting the tree, and the audience applauded with enthusiasm. Goldstein noted that KKL-JNF has planted 240 million trees throughout Israel to date, and that the tree planted by President Hernández would be joining them.
It was drizzling as the tree was planted, but this did not deter the President and First Lady of Honduras from planting their tree with great care and seriousness. “We will be back soon to visit this tree,” promised the First Lady.
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