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Landscape of the Year 2018-2019 Senegal/Gambia News (8)

© Doris Banspach

From „Landscape of the Year“ to „Landscape of the Year“ 
Since 1989 NFI declares a border region which is environmentally valuable to be the “Landscape of the Year”. Now a big step has been taken and the Landscape of the Year moved from Europe to Africa for the first time. For the opening festivities, a delegation from the previous Landscape of the Year (2013/14 – Upper Rhine Valley) brought gifts – to show the solidarity to the new Landscape of the Year and to encourage the people in charge. Landscape of the Years are always cross-border, rivers always play an important role – often as the border – and the bridge is an important symbol. Also this time. 

Uschi Böss-Walter und Roland Walter from Naturefriends Rastatt gave Cheikh Diakhaté, President of Naturefriends Koungheul, a plaque showing a picture of a bridge across the Gambia River, as well as a statue which symbolizes the connection between the three countries of the Landscape of the Year Upper Rhine Valley and the two countries of the Landscape of the Year Senegal –the Gambia.
Please find below the speech:

"Dear friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are bringing to you the greetings of the previous Landscape of the Year. It is situated at the Upper Rhine and it is forming the frontier between Switzerland, France and Germany, so to say: In the heart of Europe.
The sculpture is made from a piece of cherry wood which has been floated in the Rhine. It is showing several figures unified by a common crown. Take this as symbol for the three countries of the previous and the two countries of the actual Landscape of the Year.
The dominant element of the previous Landscape of the Year is the river Rhine, to overcome the frontier between our countries there are many bridges over the river. They all have the simple function to get from one side to the other. But as well they have the symbolic function to link the people of the three countries.
So the landscape of the year 2018 is also creating a link between two countries. This should be symbolized by this plaque. We are taking the project of the real, physical bridge over the Gambia River as a strong symbol for the development of both countries and a link between the people of The Gambia and Senegal. Bridges are important over rivers, between countries, between people and between men.
Let’s pass the baton!

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