Institute of Biology intends to construct new building at the entry of Ljubljana’s Botanic Garden. Construction of new building means destruction of sakura trees.
Why sakura trees matter?
Sakura trees are a gift from Japan to Slovenia. The first tree was planted by Japanese royal family member in the year 2000. Prior to establishment of diplomatic ties Japan gifts sakura trees to a country and ambassador has to report on their state. Japan is Slovenia’s important trading partner. Spring hanami meeting under sakura trees is revered by Japanese culture admirers and Slovenia’s tiny Japanese community.
What does the Institute say?
The institute in their press release from June 19th 2020 proposes:
“Vital sakura trees are transplanted for the duration of construction”
Trees are transplanted for the duration of construction and if they survive, they are replanted on raised plateau. Trees of this size and age cannot be transplanted warns Bavcon, head of Ljubljana’s Botanical Garden.
“ Vital sakura trees are transplanted to another location”
Where would this alternative location be? Who will provide it and who will guarantee that same story doesn’t repeat in the future. Search for project locations in Slovenia takes decades and current location of the trees has been planned for Botanical Garden.
“Growing of new seedlings from existing trees”
It will take 20 years for seedlings to grow to the size of existing trees. Due to new EU rules sakura trees cannot be imported.
“Seedlings from previous proposal are replanted in another suitable location.”
Putting problems on someone else. Construction is planned to start next year, considering duration of procedures, now location will not have bene found by then. We shall maybe have trees in 20 years.
Why this is not OK?
With their removal, we might have sakura trees again in Ljubljana 20 years from now. We will send a message to Japan that their gift is not appreciated. Institute will convert park in their semi-private space. Institute’s new building proposal encompasses a file of existing trees. Behind construction site there is currently nothing and building could be placed 70 feet back. Or another more suitable location can be found for construction of Institute.
What can I do?
You can help by sharing our posts. You can also say a kind word to those who could report on this and help with their influence. When sharing please use hashtag #ljubljanasakura