Major U.K. and U.S. Landmine Charities Honour Footsteps of Diana (UK/U.S.A.)


LONDON, March 26 /PRNewswire/ -- In honour of the 10th anniversary of the death of the late Diana, Princess of Wales who catapulted the issue of landmines to the forefront of the international agenda, two major U.K. and U.S. charity organisations are joining forces to stage global events raising funds to remove landmines and unexploded bombs.


(27.03.2007)

While April 2007 marks a decade since Diana's courageous footsteps were taken into the dangerous minefields of Angola, an estimated 12 million landmines still remain endangering lives and preventing the cultivation of land. In a global "call to action," U.K.-based MAG (Mines Advisory Group) and U.S.-based Roots of Peace, continue her vital work by replacing these "seeds of terror" with "seeds of hope".
* "Spirit of Diana Walk" (28 April 2007) is a 10km MAG walk through the heart of London to raise awareness and funds to help eradicate landmines. This historic walk will start at The Imperial War Museum in South London to help support the clearance of pathways in Angola and throughout other mine affected countries worldwide. The goal is to culminate the walk at "A Mountain of Single Shoes" constructed by MAG -- each shoe symbolising a life or limb lost to the perils of landmines so far this year. Please visit www.magclearsmines.org to register for this sponsored walk to raise significant funds. * "Cruise for Peace" (30 April 2007) on Cunard's Queen Mary 2, will set sail on a six-day transatlantic crossing from New York arriving in Southampton on 5 May. Cunard will host a Cruise for Peace ~ Bon Voyage Luncheon onboard QM2 that will include a Mines to Vines wine tasting reception featuring world-class wines from Napa Valley Vintners. A percentage of the fares booked through travel partner You & Leisure Travel will be donated to Roots of Peace. For more information on booking passage for the Cruise for Peace and attending the Bon Voyage Luncheon please visit www.rootsofpeace.org.
At the Cruise for Peace Bon Voyage Luncheon, Her Majesty Queen Noor and Miljenko "Mike" Grgich, legendary Napa Valley vintner and owner, Grgich Hills Estate, will be presented with the Roots of Peace, 2007 Global Citizen Award. The luncheon will take place onboard Queen Mary 2 at the Brooklyn (New York) Cruise Terminal, 11:00am -- 3:00pm. A reception will feature Grgich Hills Estate wines and a gourmet lunch will be served in the three-story Britannia Restaurant.
Roots of Peace, a humanitarian non-profit organization dedicated to the eradication of landmines by returning de-mined land to productive agricultural use, created the Global Citizen Award to salute the leadership and unique contributions of Her Majesty Queen Noor and Napa Valley Vintner Mike Grgich in raising landmine awareness around the globe. "The grapevine represents the seeds we have in common rather than those which separate us," said Heidi Kuhn, Founder and CEO, Roots of Peace. "While the fermented vine in Croatia honors the fine wines produced by legendary vintner, Mike Grgich, the fresh grapes and raisins honor the harvest of hope in Muslim countries where her Majesty Queen Noor has nurtured the vine," added Kuhn.
Queen Noor has been a tireless advocate for mine victims and their families to recover, heal, and resume their role as participating and contributing members of society. In 1998, as patron of Landmine Survivors Network (LSN), she hosted the first "International Conference on Landmine Injury & Rehabilitation in the Middle East." She announced the 40th ratification of the Ottawa Mine Ban-Treaty at the United Nations on October 1, 1998 detailing new measures to universalize the treaty and promote victim-survivor assistance. She has traveled to Africa, South East Asia, Europe, Central America, and the United States to raise awareness of the humanitarian disaster wrought by landmines and the dire need to assist survivors rebuild their lives. She has also been a leader in promoting public understanding of the relation between international agricultural research and global peace, prosperity, environmental renewal, health, and the alleviation of human suffering.
Inspired to help his fellow Croatians get back on their feet following the war, Mike Grgich joined Roots of Peace on a U.S. Department of State trip to his homeland in May 2000. With spirit and dedication, Mike Grgich raised the necessary funds through the proceeds of the 25th Anniversary of the Paris Tasting to join Roots of Peace in restoring the bountiful vineyards of Croatia. Since then, Roots of Peace has completed projects in Dragalic, Bibinge, Cista Mala, Cista Velika, Ilok, and Karlovac.
About MAG and Roots of Peace Partnership
MAG (http://www.magclearsmines.org/) and Roots of Peace (http://www.rootsofpeace.org/) have successfully developed a series of DEMINE/REPLANT partnerships in recent years -- transforming minefields into bountiful agricultural lands. Together, this innovative U.K./U.S. partnership has saved lives and improved the economic stability of farmers living in war-torn regions by removing landmines and planting high value crops. MAG/Roots of Peace agricultural projects have included planting rice in Battambang, Cambodia and wheat in Mosul, Iraq -- creating a harvest of hope for innocent families who have lived in fear of the dangers of farming their own land.
These events link land and sea and further declare the commitment of MAG and Roots of Peace to expand this DEMINE/REPLANT model to continue to "plant peace" from the ground up in honour of Diana, Princess of Wales.
MAG, a co-laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize, employs more than 2,500 people worldwide to help provide safer futures for lives affected by conflict in countries such as Lebanon, Angola, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Vietnam and Sudan. MAG has cleared millions of landmines and unexploded bombs across the world and saved millions of lives and limbs with its programme of conflict recovery.
Roots of Peace, a California based non-profit organization, was founded in September 1997 with a clear mission to rid the world of landmines by transforming toxic minefields into thriving farmlands. In honour of the legacy of Diana, Princess of Wales, Roots of Peace offers a simple toast that "the world may go from mines to vines" and works to implement a comprehensive and lasting solution that not only removes the mines but restores the land and livelihood of the local community through sustainable agriculture solutions. In Afghanistan, over 100,000 landmines and unexploded bombs were removed in the Shomali Plains located north of Kabul. As a result, with the support and expertise of Roots of Peace, over 10,000 Afghan farmers successfully harvested and exported over 100 tonnes of fresh grapes to India, Pakistan, UAE, Ukraine and Russia.

Von: 27.03.2007 www.earthtimes.org

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