International Tree of Peace (Slovak: Strom pokoja, German: Der Friedensbaum, French: L’Arbre de la Paix) is an international and global initiative that originated in Slovakia in the European Union. The project, created on the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War I, was initiated by Slovak landscape architect Marek Sobola from Žilina. The main content of the project is to support the message of peace by planting memorial trees on all continents. Planting trees around the world creates an international network of friendships on the basis of which the World Map of Peace is being built. In its very beginning, the project was associated with World War I, which also had a great impact on Sobola’s family. His great-grandfather Ondrej Sobola (Andreas/András Szobola) died on the Russian battlefield in an unknown place. The story of the author’s family inspired him to create a living monument, which on the one hand reminds us of senseless military conflicts, but on the other hand represents growth, prosperity and respect for our roots and history.
This universal message that unites nations, is now no longer associated only with World War I, but more generally with the need for peace and the avoidance of global military conflicts. His main tool is the tree, a living organism that represents growth, prosperity and nature. Planting trees points to global environmental problems and strengthens the solidarity of humanity in an effort to respect nature and its resources. In this way, the initiative becomes universal and its implementation is possible in all countries of the world. By planting trees, we also want to point out the senseless plundering of nature in all its spheres – on land, in the oceans or air pollution. All actions contrary to understanding between nations and abuse of natural resources lead to great sacrifices. The official logo of the initiative consists of a dove – a general symbol of peace, which is associated with a tree – the main tool of the project. The project is implemented as a voluntary and community service by Servare et Manere, Slovak non-governmental and nonprofit association. The Tree of Peace is a grassroots movement and this project is a collective activity which fulfills its mission on national and international level. All members of the board perform all their activities for the Servare et Manere pro bono. As an organization with Special Consultative Status within the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (UN ECOSOC), Servare et Manere will also contribute to the fulfillment of the sustainable development goals of Agenda 2030 in the Slovak Republic and in the partner countries of the international initiative Tree of Peace.
The Tree of Peace is a European, international and strictly apolitical project. Its main idea is a message of peace and understanding through the motto: “Let’s make love the lifeblood of this world”.