UNESCO board endorses proposal to designate November 26th as the Olive Tree Day based on history, sustainability, and its contributions to cuisine and culture
Recognizing the olive tree as an age-old symbol of peace among men and as a modern signifier of human activity proceeding in harmony with nature, UNESCO’s executive board recently designated that November 26th be designated “World Olive Tree Day”, to be observed annually.
We at Deoleo, manufacturer and distributor of such acclaimed olive oil brands as Bertolli, Carbonell and Carapelli, welcome with pride and joy the decision to set a day to celebrate the Olive tree, which is a living witness of the history itself.
The proposal by the UN agency’s executive board, based on a request by the governments of Lebanon and Tunisia, has approved this resolution during its 206th session in Paris.
Sahar Baassiri, Lebanon’s ambassador to UNESCO and one of the petition’s driving forces, reminded delegates of the historical, mythological and symbolic significance of this tree, which both grow naturally and is intensely cultivated all around the Mediterranean Basin, as well as in other corners of the globe. In addition, this decision “will help protect this ancient plant and preserve its long-standing value”, the board declared.
“A wreath of olive branches is emblazoned not only on the flag of the United Nations, but also on the flags of other organizations and states,” members of the board wrote in public notes. “Today, the olive tree is grown on six continents and contributes to the sustainable economic and social development of many countries and to the preservation of natural resources.”, they added.
Moreover, it was pointed out that the tree is a common artistic motif, having inspired poets, writers and artists. The tree has been cultivated around the Mediterranean for 6,000 years and is now grown in 56 countries, “with the worldwide agricultural area devoted to it increasing at a rate of one percent annually”, according to a report on Olive Oil Times, an industry publication.
The publication also pointed out the tree’s impact on sustainable economic and social development, as well as the nutritional and health values of the olive fruit. In addition, it highlights the role played by the tree in environmental protection: it prevents desertification, protects against erosion and has the potential to increase atmospheric carbon dioxide fixation in the soil.
These and many other arguments are the reason why the world will soon celebrate The World Olive Tree Day.