Greenpop's Trees For Zambia:
This entry was posted on May 26, 2014.
Greenpop Reach Coordinator, Will McAneny, has kindly sent us information about their Trees for Zambia project happening this June. Greenpop is a social business that believes in green and sustainable living by teaching others that being environmentally responsible is fun, popular and accessible for all.
Greenpop Trees for Zambia: A Festival of Action
In 2012 Greenpop launched Trees for Zambia, a holistic awareness campaign focussed on reforestation. It began as a 3-week tree planting event and resulted in an ongoing project to inspire awareness about deforestation, climate change, tree planting, environmental sustainability and alternative energy sources.
This year’s Trees for Zambia 2014 will be the third action event, hosted in Livingstone, with the intention to plant over 5000 trees in schools, subsistence farms and on reforestation sites. Once again, we’ll host educational workshops for school children, subsistence farmers and volunteers.
Zambia: Background and Challenges
Zambia has seen rampant deforestation in recent decades, mainly as a result of bad land management, slash and burn farming methods, unsustainable logging and tree cutting for charcoal. According to the UN-REDD programme, Zambia has approximately 50 million hectares of forest, with an estimated deforestation rate of 250,000 to 300,000 hectares per year. In an article published in The Zambia Daily Mail in July 2012, the Director of the Zambian Forestry Department, Mrs Anne Masinja, says,
“Management of the forest has been a challenge following massive deforestation due to charcoal burning, unsustainable agricultural and unsustainable land use practices. It is a pity that most of the people do not realise the harm they are causing to the environment due to careless cutting of trees. Loss of forests contributes as much as 30 percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions each year and this is very dangerous, we need to do something to stop this.”
The deforestation results in a change in the local ecosystem, a loss of biodiversity and increased incidence of both drought and flooding. It also means a decline in food security due to a reduction of agricultural yields and the loss of valuable forest resources. Additionally, women have to walk further to find wood, resulting in less productivity and children being left alone at home.
Trees for Zambia:
In July 2012, Greenpop planted 4135 trees with 200 volunteers from both Zambia and around the world. It was an inspiring start and has lead to further eco aims including another action event from 15th June – 6th July 2014 where Greenpop aims to achieve the following:
1. Highlight grassroots solutions that can start being implemented to combat deforestation.
2. Develop a culture of planting trees within communities through conservation education.
3. Highlight the global value of conserving the world’s natural forests.
4. Promote and provide alternative energy sources (particularly solar cooking), so that people can move away from the dependence on charcoal.
5. Start reforestation in protected forest sites to replace the pioneer trees, allowing for new growth and regeneration of soil content.
6. Educate children on their natural environment, and help feed them by planting fruit trees at under- privileged schools.
7. Promote conservation farming methods to replace slash and burn techniques that will stop erosion and soil degradation, create more cost-efficient farms and help avoid fires.
8. Start a micro tree nursery enterprise at a selected number of subsistence farms, so that we can provide farmers with an additional income by buying trees from them.
9. Create an exciting and stimulating programme of practical work, lectures and workshops for local and international volunteers, through which they can educate themselves and be actively involved in environmental issues
How Can You Get Involved?
At Trees for Zambia, Greenpop will host volunteers from all over the world who will help plant trees for 1, 2, or 3 weeks. All volunteers will spend the mornings planting trees, and in the evenings will enjoy a series of activities, including speakers on environmental issues, film screenings and live music performances by bands from all over southern Africa. Additionally, volunteers will be given weekends off to explore the area around, including the mighty Victoria Falls.
If you’d like to be involved, enquire about Trees for Zambia by emailing email@example.com for more information. Alternatively, why not sponsor a tree? Either donate via Greenpop's IndieGoGo campaign or if you’d rather donate a product, please contact Marleen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Meg Shout and Will McAneny