launching trees for zambia

Submitted by incoming on Fri, 2012-02-03 11:31

For three weeks in July 2012, Greenpop is hosting a reforestation project in Livingstone, Zambia; the country with the second highest deforestation rate in the world. We will plant over 5000 indigenous and fruit trees that are growing at the Zambezi Nkuku nursery, and host valuable educational sessions for children and subsistence farmers. This will be the start of an ongoing campaign to make Zambia a greener and more sustainable place.

We fully rely on the support of volunteers to make this initial 3-week voluntourism project a success. Tree loving people from around the world will join community members, school children and local business people to plant trees, spread environmental education, attend workshops, listen to interesting speakers, as well as enjoy local entertainment in the evenings. It will be an exciting conference of action, sharing, and learning.

Volunteers are all camping at the beautiful Maramba Lodge and will spend their days planting trees at schools with children, forest areas with community leaders and on subsistence farms with the farmers. Misha Teasdale, co-founder of Greenpop says, "One of our big planting days will see 1000 trees planted in a day just a stone's throw from the magnificent Victoria Falls in the Peace Park - practically right in the spray of the falls. We're really excited for this."

Besides their involvement with planting trees and education, volunteers will also have the opportunity to learn about relevant conservation issues through a series of workshops and lectures. These will be hosted by local and international environmental experts.

The mission

Lauren O'Donnell from Greenpop says, "Greenpop's mission is to make tangible change and get everyone excited about trees. We have met with the Department of Education in Livingstone and have 20 schools on board. Prior to July we'll be sending up educational material all about trees and during the campaign, volunteers will be planting with kids and facilitating fun workshops to teach the uses of trees and all their amazing benefits. Each school has already received one tree plant and we’ve received some pictures from enthusiastic teachers showing us how well their trees are growing."

The project will also be working with the Conservation Farming Unit in Zambia (CFU) to teach and implement sustainable farming techniques with subsistence farmers. Part of this initiative will see some of these farmers joining the Greenpop micro-nursery enterprise programme and growing Faidherbia Albida trees that we will buy back from them a year later to replant.

"This creates a financial incentive for the farmers and teaches the extraordinary value of this specific tree in soil rejuvenation and crop fertilization,” adds Misha Teasdale, from Greenpop.

Auldridge Chibbwalu, country representative from Amsha Africa Foundation in Livingstone comments on the project, "Great! You are most welcome in my city - Livingstone, Zambia. Let us do this great work for these communities. Thumbs up to you all!"

"I can't wait to get up there and start planting, but I’m also really looking forward to all the side events that'll be going on while in Zambia! Music making of all sorts, soccer games, visiting Vic Falls and learning from the panel of interesting local and international speakers - including a representative from the UN as well as David Youldon from ALERT, star of the ITV series ‘Lion Country’... and more! It’s going to be an epic adventure and I can't wait to share it with such a diverse group of people," comments Jeremy Hewitt, from Greenpop.

Marketing manager for the project, Marleen Lammers, says, "We are overwhelmed by the amazing response we've had from people around the world who are keen to join us as a volunteer. It will be so exciting to have a large crowd planting trees with us!"

Keely, UK volunteer who has booked to join the project: "I am very excited to be taking part, I'm counting down the days!"

( categories: )