The Great Green Ribbon

The Great Green Ribbon

The Great Green Ribbon is an ambitious environmental art project that will involve the planting of
over 72,000 trees stretching as a ribbon across the Palestinian West Bank. It will be coordinated by a
Palestinian community centre based in Tulkarem, and in the UK by the volunteer charity GapArt.
It has taken years to plan the route and obtain permissions from landowners and interested parties.
Thanks to overwhelming local support from individuals, schools, municipal authorities, local
environmentalists and farmers, the first stage is now ready for planting.

A ribbon of rebirth

The Ribbon will stretch across ancient biblical lands, from the oasis of Bal’a on the edge of the
ancient town of Tulkarm to the oasis of Attara on the fringe of Jenin. This initial section will be eight
kilometres in length, winding its way through the Ahrash Bal’a Hills. Stages two and three are
planned to extend the ribbon an additional 20 kilometres to the oasis of Bir al-Basha. The success of
these stages will determine the timing and course of the final stage from Jenin to Jericho.
This is an area of rugged and wild beauty. It was forested in the past but conflict, initially the Six Day
war of 1967, decimated the area. More recently there have been pressures from Israeli settlers and a
growing population of Palestinian people. Areas have been clear felled for farming and building and
the mismanaged land today is a sad reflection of its previous glory. There is, however, tremendous
local support to have it replanted with locally grown, fruit-bearing trees.
Finally the ribbon will extend a whole 120km to the biblical city of Jericho. A great green ribbon of
72,000 trees.

Biodiversity, food security and education

The Great Green Ribbon will create an ecological corridor, increasing the biodiversity and resilience
of the pockets of fauna and flora that have become isolated. The project also enhances the work of
the Palestinian community centre Logica that provides support for women’s farming groups across
the West Bank.
Through the planting of appropriate species, another goal is to achieve food security in a land that
struggles to trade with the outside world.
Further providing long-term hope is the overwhelming support of children from the 17 local schools
and colleges located along the Ribbon’s course. This will additionally be an educa0onal project
raising awareness of the benefits of trees and environmental restoration. The involvement of local
students and communities will provide a renewed sense of ownership and pride in a some0mes
neglected land.
The first trees will be two- and three-year-old apricot, cherry and citrus varieties, interspersed with
hardy acacia and cactus. These have been grown from seed by women’s agricultural groups in
Tulkarem and Jenin. The planting and aftercare will be supervised by foresters from the municipal
government and undertaken by students, schoolchildren, women’s groups and international
volunteers.

Creating a difference through art

This project will have massive environmental benefits, including carbon sequestration, hydrology and
biodiversity. It will link isolated pockets of wildlife and provide food security as well as educational
benefits.
However it is also intrinsically an epic art project – a highly visible and meaningful statement. This
huge but delicate green ribbon winding its fragile path across a troubled land will help bring
communities together and provide a strong symbol of lasting hope.

Making the Ribbon a reality

The initial 1,000 trees have been kindly donated by the Bal’a municipal community council and
planting will begin in the next suitable season, which runs from November 2022 – March 2023. We
now require volunteer support from people who can join us in the West Bank for a minimum period
of a week. We also need donations to help this vital project.
With local and international support, the expense of plan0ng is kept to a minimum. The cost of each
young tree grown from seeds gathered in the West Bank is £10. This money provides a living for the
Palestinian women that grow the saplings from seed in the local tree nurseries.
Two trees are needed every five metres to create the Ribbon, which works out at 3,200 trees for the
first section of eight kilometres.

How you can help – sponsor the trees