Tree of Peace (Slovak: Strom pokoja, Russian: Дерево мира, German: Der Friedensbaum) is an international and global project 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 goal of the project is to promote a message of peace by planting a “Tree of Peace” on every continent within 4 years (2018 – 2022); because World War I lasted for 4 years, this project is also planned to last for 4 years. World War I also had an impact on Sobola’s family. His great-grandfather Ondrej Sobola (Andreas Szobola) died on the Russian battlefield in an unknown place. The story of the author’s family inspired him to memorialize the soldiers who died in WWI in unknown places and were laid to rest without their names or identities. There is probably no country in the world that does not have a war victim or an unknown soldier. The project is also a tribute to these people.
The project has the ambition to be a universal message of joining the nations. It may be paradoxical that on one hand the war separated nations in the past but on the other it also joined nations through military alliances. At present, the project is not being strictly linked to 1918 and WWI, but more generally to the need for peace and the avoidance of global military conflicts. In this way, the project has become universal and its application is made available also to countries which were touched only marginally by WWI. But the author does not exclude the allusion to this global military conflict because it is thanks to this significant anniversary of its end that the Project itself began. This Project is European, international and strictly apolitical. The main idea of the project is a Message of Peace.
The Project has its official logo, which contains the dove – the general symbol of peace that is associated with the tree – the main tool of the Project. The project is implemented as a voluntary and community service by Servare et Manere, Slovak Civic association. The official motto of the Project is: “Let´s make love the lifeblood of this world”.