The Great Green Ribbon

A ribbon of rebirth

The Great Green 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 educational 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.
Six trees are needed every ten metres to create the Ribbon, which works out at 4,800 trees for the first section of eight kilometres.

How you can help – sponsor the trees

Donate here: