Venezuela: Maduro calls for 'powerful, united' environment movement

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has approved Bs40 million (about $6.75 million) in funding for an environmental mission, and announced the creation of a national ecosocialist school.

During a meeting of Venezuela's environmental movement, Maduro called on students and young people to join in state-sponsored environment rehabilitation projects.

The Bs40 million in new funding is earmarked for Mission Arbol (Tree). The mission is a government program aimed at planting trees and rehabilitating natural environments, with a particular focus on maintaining native species. This year, the government aims to plant 3.5 million trees, environment minister Miguel Leonardo Rodriguez said.

“It's a brand new system that exists in very few countries,” Maduro said of the plan.

To support further environmental initiatives, Maduro also declared that a new education program will teach volunteers how to better care for the environment.

Named the “Hugo Chavez National School of Eco-socialist Leaders”, the school will “bring awareness to people” of how to better conserve Venezuela's native ecology, and the importance of environmental protection, Maduro said. “It's time to form a powerful and unified environmental movement.”

The president stated that a recent surge in recent environmental vandalism by violent opposition groups has exposed the need for better environmental safeguards and more education.

[Abridged from Venezuela Analysis.]