Greenpop’s Trees for Zambia ‘Conference of Action’ is set to start on 1 July 2012, after over a year of preparation. The team is setting up and trees are ready to be planted. School children, local businesses and volunteers are gearing up for 3 weeks of tree planting, soccer activities, live music and more.
This 3-week tree-planting and eco-education event will kick start an ongoing initiative to spread environmental awareness in Zambia, the country with one of the highest deforestation rates in the world.
Nobel Peace Prize winner’s daughter speaks
Last week, the Trees for Zambia team received an inspiring video message of support from Wanjira Maathai, daughter of Nobel Peace prize Laureate and Green Belt Movement founder, Wangari Maathai. Wanjira Maathai is the Director of International Relations for her late mother’s organisation and shares her mother’s passion for trees and our planet. This video message addresses Greenpop’s volunteers and sends wishes and support from the Green Belt Movement. It will be screened at the Trees for Zambia event between 1st and 22 July.
Jeremy Hewitt of Greenpop says, “We are truly honoured to receive this message of support from such a prominent figure in Africa. We’re really excited for our volunteers to hear Miss Mathai of the Green Belt Movement speak of the issues, challenges and solutions in Africa.”
10 Miss Earth SA contestants to take part
Another recent update is that Reliance Compost is sponsoring 10 Miss Earth SA contestants to join the Trees for Zambia event and get stuck in planting trees. Accompanied by Ella Bella (United Nations Youth Ambassador for the UN Environmental Programme, Founder of Generation Earth, Miss Earth South Africa Educational Officer, and Rio +20 Global Youth MC National Coordinator for SA for GloCha and IAAI, Europe) and Catherine Constantinides (National Director of Miss Earth South Africa), the 10 ladies will join the project for the first week as volunteers.
Reliance Compost Director, Eddie Redelinghuys says, “Reliance is passionate about the environment and the people in it. Doing good is never boring, smiles are contagious! Reliance has now partnered with Greenpop and Miss Earth SA to not only offset their carbon footprints, but also to support both these organisations as their goals are synonymous with that of Reliance. Inviting 12 Miss Earth representatives to the Greenpop Reforestation and Education project in Zambia is all about bringing like-minded people together, because together we can achieve so much more.
The energy that oozes from everyone associated with these organizations is so addictive that you cannot help but be part of it. With support from 1Time airlines it was made possible for us to join this event. If we can inspire only 10% of the people we make contact with to also take a keen interest in the environment and its people, we will make this world a better place for generations to come. Do I want to miss out on so much fun? NEVER.”
Something for everyone
With Trees for Zambia, Greenpop aims to:
- Spread education on environmental issues to school children, farmers and volunteers
- Promote conservation farming methods
- Encourage a culture of tree planting
- Develop a micro-nursery enterprise to financially support farmers
- Continue to spread the message that greening and sustainable living is enjoyable, fun and accessible to everyone
Indigenous trees and fruit trees will be planted in schools, forest concession areas and on small subsistence farms as part of a conservation farming method. A food forest will also be planted in a protected rural village area near Songwe with a women’s group who already use the area for gardening. Another planting location is right at the Victoria Falls World Heritage Site, where alien vegetation has been cleared. In addition, Greenpop has also arranged workshops for subsistence farmers to promote conservation farming methods (in partnership with the UNDP and the CFU), since traditional farming methods contribute to land degradation and deforestation. They have also arranged lectures and workshops for children and volunteers.
Trees for Zambia intends to be the start of an ongoing campaign to make Zambia a greener and more sustainable place.