Sustainable development

ULiège offers a tree to every new student enrolled in BAC1


As a sign of its commitment to Sustainable Development, the University of Liège has just offered each new student enrolled in BAC1 a tree which will be planted in the coming weeks in the Luki nature reserve in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A project carried out by the ULiège Green Office and scientists from the research group Forest is Life (TERRA/Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech).

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his is a very special gift for the new students who are enrolled in their first BAC this year. A welcome gift, which the University of Liège wished to offer to its students as a symbolic mark of its commitment to sustainable development. This gift is ... a tree. Why a tree? Because it represents a strong symbol, trees being essential to life. But also because forests are home to 80% of biodiversity and participate in numerous environmental mechanisms such as climate regulation, a subject of great concern to young people. It is well known that many forests are in danger today, precisely because of human activity. This is why the ULiège, through its Green Office, wanted to propose a promising project that would make sense to its student community.

If we count the number of the new students enrolled at ULiège this year, this represents a little more than 4000 trees that will be planted. A forest that will not take up residence in Sart Tilman - whose site is already sufficiently dense and preserved - but in the Luki nature reserve in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This reserve was not chosen at random, it was the students of the Green Office, in collaboration with experts from the Forest is Life research centre of the Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech faculty (Jean-Louis Doucet, Baudouin Michel and Cédric Vermeulen), who selected this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, admirable for its rich biodiversity. And to implement this project, the students of ULiège wished to twin up with the student community of ERAIFT (Regional Post-Graduate School of Integrated Planning and Management of Forests and Tropical Territories), a school with which ULiège has been collaborating for many years.

In practice, it is the students from Kinshasa who will take charge of the plantation in the Luki reserve. Several local species have already been chosen to restore a four-hectare area of degraded land. As a symbolic mirror effect, at the ULiège, a plantation of about forty fruit trees will be organised by the Green Office on the Sart Tilman Campus in order to regenerate its old orchards. The beginning of the operations will take place at the end of November, beginning of December, the most favourable period in the DRC for planting.

Other projects such as the creation of a sustainable development training course for these same new BAC1 students, the Green Office's student projects or the launch of a challenge programme to reduce its environmental footprint are among the contributions of ULiège's university community to sustainable development.

About the Green Office

Created in January 2020, the Green Office is ULiège's sustainable development office. Carrying out projects designed by students, for students, the Green Office is a platform that informs, connects and supports students in the development of projects to make the university's activities more sustainable. Five "Sustainable Campus" projects are currently being developed by a motivated team of working and volunteer students (called the Greeners). The Green Officie will also offer the ULiège student community challenges to reduce its environmental footprint.

www.greenoffice.uliege.be

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