A decree recently signed by the Turkmen President ordered government ministries to plant 3 million trees in 2013 with the aim of transforming the desert Central Asian nation into a “blooming garden”.
Media reports said 465,000 public-sector employees, including those working at schools and universities in the country, took shovels in hand on March 10 and spent the day planting 755,000 trees.
Aimed at combating the country’s creeping desertification, Project “Green Belt” has been ongoing since 1999, when first initiated by a former president.
According to the new plan, 1.5 million saplings would be planted in the capital Ashgabat and its surroundings and another 1.5 million in different areas of the vast state. Local authorities have been tasked with ensuring the trees are properly watered through irrigation canals.
According to Mustafa Bilgin, the owner of a Turkish company that is one of the main providers of the trees, the total cost of the initiative would total at least $39 million.
(READ more at the Global Post)