Croatian Vineyards Cleared of Landmines

On the anniversary of 9/11, Roots of Peace met with high ranking Cabinet officials in the Office of the President of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, who declared all landmines have been completely eradicated in the vineyards of Croatia–turning seeds of terror into seeds of hope.

Heidi Kuhn, Founder/CEO, met with the first woman General Gordana Garasic, Head of the Military Office, Cabinet for Defense & National Security, and the Economic Advisor to the President to declare victory by turning seeds of terror into seeds of hope in this post-conflict region.

Roots of Peace has partnered with Croatian-born Miljenko ‘Mike’ Grgich to turn MINES TO VINES, replacing the scourge of landmines with bountiful vineyards in eight villages–Vukovar, Ilok, Ciste Male, Ciste Velika, Karlovac, Bibijne and Bastica.  Working with the Croatian Mine Action Service (CROMAC) and the University of Zadar, with support from international Rotary clubs, the former minefields have been transformed into vineyards.

“To commemorate this historic event, Roots of Peace was honored to present this symbolic gift of wine to the first woman General of Croatia from grapes harvested on the former minefields of Bastica, which translates in Croatian to ‘Little Garden’,” Kuhn said.  The University of Zadar partnered with Roots of Peace to plant 25,000 grapevines and 14,000 apple trees in Bastica, the former frontline of the war to transform land formally lost to conflict.  Slaven Zjalic, Director of Agriculture, University of Zadar stated, “We are very proud of our collaboration with Roots of Peace and the successful transformation of landmines into bountiful vineyards.”

Roots of Peace was established in September 1997, with a clear vision to transform minefields into vineyards and orchards worldwide.  Today, they have turned MINES TO VINES in Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia, Iraq, Israel, Palestine and Vietnam.  For more information and to join Roots of Peace by becoming a PeaceBuilder, please visit www.rootsofpeace.org.