On November 26, World Olive Day is celebrated with the aim of protecting and preserving an emblematic tree that, according to UNESCO, will serve to strengthen human and cultural values among peoples, since it represents wisdom, harmony and peace.
The day 26 of November of 1992 the International Olive Council (IOC) was inaugurated in Madrid, Spain with the purpose of contributing to the responsible and sustainable development of the olive tree, as well as the policies to adopt before the challenges that this sector faces.
It is for that reason that this date has been indicated to celebrate the Day of the Olive tree, vindicating its importance in agriculture, economy and culture.
UNESCO approved the commemoration of World Olive Day at its 40th General Conference in Paris in 2019, as an unequivocal and universal symbol of peace, wisdom and harmony.
This proposal was presented by Lebanon and Tunisia and was extensively discussed by the Executive Committee of UNESCO during its 206th session. The aim is to protect the olive tree and promote the values of peace, wisdom and harmony that it symbolizes.
In her comments, the UNESCO Director-General welcomed the initiative and, since the protection of cultural and natural heritage, including cultural landscapes, is a central element of UNESCO's mandate, she encouraged Member States to celebrate World Olive Day and promote the protection of heritage and environmental sustainability. He said that activities to celebrate World Olive Day should be financed and implemented by the member states, with the support of the Secretariat, to promote the day as much as possible within their respective means.
The role of the olive tree, according to UNESCO
According to UNESCO, the olive tree is a tree with great value for humanity. Hence the decision to dedicate one day to it as a natural element that has contributed throughout history to unite and help the diversity of peoples around the world.
It is a tree that needs to be protected to avoid its extinction as it has happened with a great variety of flora. There are many contributions that this millenary tree gives us, among them, that it serves as protection to avoid soil erosion, desertification and to slow down, in a certain way, CO2 emissions to the atmosphere and contribute to climate change.
Its cultivation is, without a doubt, a valuable resource for the care and preservation of the environment, besides contributing to sustainable development due to the multiple benefits that are extracted from it, such as its therapeutic properties, crops to feed the population and many other benefits. And on an economic level, throughout history and currently, it is one of the resources of industrial, gastronomic, environmental and health development, with the greatest impact worldwide.