The Europe wide contest and initiative to empower people and to get the community involved in environmental and local heritage protection and to advertise old trees as an important part of European biodiversity.
The reason for organizing such a contest is to attract the public attention to their local environmental and cultural heritage and make them to take an active part in its protection. It is an excellent communication tool to discuss related issues between local public and different stakeholders.
The main organizer and coordinator of the Tree of the year initiative is the EPA – Environmental Partnership Association with its members in five European countries plus other national organizers. The Brussels Award Ceremony is organized in cooperation with ELO- European Landowners‘ Organization and Tetra Pak.
Since 2010, when the European contest started already 10 participants joined: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Scotland, Slovakia and Wales. The Award Ceremony takes place at the European Parliament in Brussels.
We are currently negotiating with new partners to enhance the contest to other European countries. The national nominations have already started in most of the participating countries. Nominators are sending their candidates to the country organizers. New groups of local trees‘ supporters are under construction and thinking about innovative ways how to attract the attention of the public for their candidate.
Who can participate
Nominations of the tree candidates submitted by individuals, families, communities, schools, companies and municipalities are accepted for the contest. If your country does not participate in the contest, you can try to initiate the process and find a suitable organizer. You can also vote and participate in the European on-line voting and give your vote to most sympathetic candidate of yours.
How to participate
Send a nomination to your country organizer and create a massive public support for your candidate. The winner of a national round will have the privilege to participate in the European competition and will be invited to the Award Ceremony organized in Brussels.
In 2013 trees with interesting stories from Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Ireland, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Italy, France, Wales and Scotland took part in the contest. The internet voting run from 1st till 28th of February. The final results were revealed throughout the festive Award Ceremony taking place on 19th of March 2014 in the European Parliament in Brussels.
The winner of 2013, having received more that 77 thousand votes, is an elm from the Bulgarian town of Sliven. The main prize has been awarded to the nominators by MEP Pavel Poc and Ladislav Miko, the Deputy Director-General of DG SANCO. Other prizes have been awarded by Erika Mink from Tetra Pak, Thierry lÅLEscaille from the European Landowners’ Organisation, the director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Julia Morton-Lefevre, the director of the Environmental Partnership Foundation, Miroslav Kundrata, and Jaroslav Parolek, a councilor of the South Moravian Region which has been a long-time supporter of the contest.
Thanks to its growing popularity the ETY Award Ceremony attracts wide range of public, including policy makers, industry professionals and academics and journalists. Around 300 participants joined the festive ceremony and enjoyed interesting speeches, nice presentations, fruitful discussions and cultural programme as well as excellent wines from Southern Moravia and the overall cocktail.
For more information
For additional information about the contest and its history, please visit www.treeoftheyear.org