3358 trees, 21 days and thousands of seeds sown!
In July 2013 volunteers, community members, school children, local businesses, tree growers, farmers and organisations united to plant trees in and around Livingstone, Zambia. The experience was unforgettable, with hundreds of people coming together to get active (not anxious) about the challenges facing our planet. The 2013 Trees for Zambia action event is an annual highlight for Greenpop’s ongoing tree planting and climate change awareness campaign in Zambia.
• 3358 trees were planted in total between 7th & 28th July 2013
• 16 schools, 1 women’s group, 1 church & 1 small community farm participated in a fun-filled day of tree planting, education, seed propagation and solar cooking demonstrations
• 3 educational tree-focused wall murals were facilitated by Viv Connel with the children coming up with the pictures, words and design themselves
• 1000 Banana trees were planted at Livingfalls Biopower Banana Plantation as part of a supportive partnership with this local bio-digester initiative. The Livingfalls Biopower initiative aims to provide an alternative, renewable energy source to the local community and hotels in Livingstone
• 1064 indigenous trees were planted in a reforestation effort in a concession area of Dambwa forest in partnership with the African Lion & Environmental Research Trust
• 24 indigenous trees were planted on the 2nd Friday of Trees for Zambia at the beautiful Victoria Falls in partnership with the National Heritage Conservation Commission
• 300 Orange trees and 307 Faidherbia albida trees were planted with a group of subsistence farmers at a cooperative community farm called Sons of Thunder and the amazing benefits of this tree in conservation farming were demonstrated by a representative of the Conservation Farming Unit (CFU) who joined us. In conjunction with the agroforestry planting scheme, Greenpop planting manager, Sean Spender, developed and facilitated the creation of a Food Forest with 57 trees at the farm. A Food Forest is a gardening technique or land management system that mimics a woodland ecosystem but substitutes in edible trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals.
Solar for trees…
• 20 handmade solar cookers were made out of recycled materials during the 3 weeks (with each school group) to demonstrate that almost everything needed to make a working solar cooker can be found and thus it is one of the cheapest, safest and most resource-efficient methods of cooking, particularly in Zambia which has a high number of sunny days per year.
• 2 Eco workshops were held for local schools’ eco-club participants to foster eco-education through engagement, action, creation and fun! This reflected an ongoing initiative between local schools eco-clubs and Greenpop. The 100 school children who attended were the winning groups from the a solar cooking project Greenpop has been running with Uncle Benji (Greenpop Zambia’s Director of Trees) and Julia Taylor (Greenpop’s project coordinator for the past 5 months) since March 2013 with the schools we planted at last year.
People and Planet…
• 3 speaker evenings were held each Thursday during the project to educate and inspire. Evelyn Roe, a botanical researcher joined us from Bovu Island, an island on the Zambezi to share her research on the sustainable harvesting of wild plants used for medicine. David Youldon, CEO of African Lion & Environmental Research Trust spoke about the ALERT project and the value of trees for lions in Africa. Wanjira Mathai, daughter of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai and Director of the Green Belt Movement, sent a direct video message to the Greenpop volunteers. Dr Rajendra Pachauri, director general of TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute) also sent his message to Greenpop via video, answering questions submitted in advance by attendees of the action event.
Environmental youth activist, Tribute Jabulile Mboweni shared her experience of conservation activism, biodiversity and her year of research on Dussen Island. Tribute has represented South Africa internationally, in Germany, Canada, Japan and Mexico and was recognised by the Mail & Guardian’s list of 200 Young South Africans, under the environmental sector.
Mr. Victor Chiiba of the Zambian Forestry Department joined us for the second speaker evening of the action conference, speaking on the main drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in Zambia and what measures the government are taking to alleviate these issues. Greenpop is working closely with the Zambian Ministry of Forestry.
Crosby Menzies of Sunfire Solutions lent his experience of being at the helm of Southern Africa’s longest standing solar cooker company to the discussion on clean energy.
Elizabeth Musonda joined us from Lusaka to share her passion for sustaining our environment through the use of clean energy and presented her homemade efficient energy cookstoves. Climate change-maker and sustainability enthusiast, Anna Shevel, joined us in Week 3 to talk about Green Travel.
Sustainability pioneer, Josh Ramsey, spoke to the attendees about his environmental endeavour ‘Sail, Cycle, Trek’ and the need to protect our forests on a global scale.
Elias and Precious from the African Centre Holistic Management in Zimbabwe joined us to talk about their holistic methods of managing land and Nathan Daniel from Culture Talent talked to us about a climate conference he attended in Rio and the outcomes for the planet.
• Every Tuesday, an eco-awareness film evening was hosted at the Greenpop Village, where people from Livingstone, as well as international action event attendees joined to watch a roster of films highlighting the environmental issues facing our planet. On the first Tuesday, Greenpop brought their ‘Forest in Focus’, film festival to Livingstone. ‘Forest in Focus’ first previewed in Cape Town in May 2013, at which five award-winning United Nations Forum on Forests documentary shorts were screened, including Amazing Grace – a short film made by Greenpop’s media partners, Makhulu, about Livingstone’s Lloyd Maanyina and his relationship with trees. During the final week of the Trees for Zambia action event, Lloyd Maanyina joined us for a Q&A session following a screening of Amazing Grace.
• Makhulu returned for a second year to film the project and the challenges of deforestation in Zambia and continue to film for a full length documentary, Behind the Falls. The film of the action conference will be sent to all partners when ready.
• Meg Coates Palgrave, author of Trees of Southern Africa joined the Trees for Zambia project for all three weeks, gave tree identification courses to volunteers and spoke about the amazing trees around Livingstone and the Zambezi area.
• In true Greenpop style, a hard week of planting culminated in a live music celebration. Planters and community members shook loose their planting aches on Friday evenings to the tunes of Tribs Mboweni, Flint, Meet Spark, Mabel Zulu, Yes Rasta, Pat McCay, Jeremy Loops and Co., Blacklight Panda and DJ BobzYourUncle.
• At the end of Week 2, Greenpop brought a fusion celebration of eco-awareness and music to Livingstone by way of their Earthfest. Earthfest was a two-day festival, where on day-one we all jumped aboard the Victoria Falls Steam Train after a day of planting indigenous trees at the Mighty Falls. We kicked off day two with a morning of eco workshops and stalls at the Greenpop Village and as the sun set the music started, with musicians Tanga Pasi, Chicken Bus Band, Yes Rasta, Jeremy Loops and Co., Pat McCay and Blacklight Panda taking to the stage.
Quotes from Trees for Zambia 2013
“Thank you for the memories, the friends, the digging and the dust! There were definitely moments that have been etched into my soul forever!” – Acacia-Anne van Wyk, TFZ Attendee from South Africa.
“We are called to care for our environment, and in doing so we care for each other.” – Sy Diego, TFZ attendee from Zambia.
“It’s important to teach and learn at the same time. I am 68 and have been teaching conservation in Zambia for years. This project has allowed me to spread my messages further and also learn so much. I am feeling green and inspired to continue as Greenpop’s Director in Zambia.” Benjamin Mibenge, Greenpop’s Director of Trees, Zambia.
“Consistent messages of fun, action and participation! I’m very impressed with the true partnerships with local organizations!” – Shelley Smith, TFZ attendee from USA.
“I have learnt that putting manure in the trees, they grow better. I enjoyed collecting pictures for my nursery and planting trees. Trees are very important!” – School pupil at SOS Hermann School.
“It’s been a good day. It’s taught our children to appreciate the environment.” – Teacher at SOS Hermann School, Livingstone
“Trees for Zambia 2013 was the 2nd Action Event run by Greenpop and we’re excited about the strong partnerships that are developing with local authorities and people working in the sustainability space on the ground. The project in Zambia is ongoing with plans for teacher training, eco education, tree planting, management plans, supporting local institutions and research into appropriate technologies – we are grateful to our partners for making this possible and look forward to a long and sustained green movement in Zambia. In August, Greenpop is hosting an official side event for the UNWTO Conference in Livingstone where we will be planting 200 trees at the Victoria Falls with delegates from around the world – we are grateful for this opportunity and hope to highlight the importance of eco tourism during this World Tourism Conference.” – Lauren O’Donnell, Greenpop Director
“The work that Greenpop does and that you do is so important for what we care about and the climate today that I just want to applaud you for being here, for being committed and for having the values that we all hold so dear. I wish you the very best as you congregate there in Zambia and as you work toward another year’s agenda. I really hope that next year I’ll be able to be with you.” – Wanjira Mathai, daughter of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai and Director of the Green Belt Movement speaking in a direct video address to Trees for Zambia attendees.
“We need to teach children about trees, it’s also urgent that they bring the knowledge back to their families.” – Head teacher of Wilson Basic School, Livingstone Zambia
“I wish you could visit us more often. We still have so much to do in conservation education” – Teacher Godwin Nyambe from palmgrove Basic School, Livingstone, Zambia
“The initiative to bring together a number of stakeholders to fight deforestation needs support by all. As a department, we encourage such an initiative as it is aimed at helping government from the non state actor point of view. Surely, the trees we have now should not be taken for granted. Many voices and innovations from stakeholders such as GreenPop need greater support. The impact of efforts made so far are already yielding results as the number of participating communities and institutions continue to increase every time. Forestry Department alone cannot manage to fight deforestation. Efforts such as the Trees for Zambia project are an added voice that the province shall continue encouraging. Tree planting and managing of existing trees is a sure way of ensuring that the future generation shall still find and use these trees. I hope, in the near future, these could be replicated elsewhere in the province.” – Mr Victor Chiiba, from the Zambian Ministry of Forestry
“At first I didn’t really understand the full benefits of planting more trees, but Greenpop explained it to me and it is really going to help with soil erosion and growing vegetables at the farm… the women will really benefit from solar cookers. They will use them at home and when they know how it works they can spread the message to their friends and neighbours. Women are one of the biggest consumers of charcoal, they buy a lot, but the solar cooker offers another way”. She added, “the trees at the centre will be able to give some shade; we have a lot of woman that use the centre for different purposes and they will benefit from these trees.” – Sister Perpetua, Head of the Kwenuha Women’s Centre
“Using the power of the sun is a great idea, we can save electricity and preserve more trees. When the children go to school, we will go out and collect chip wrappers to make these easy solar cookers and it’s free!” – A member from Kwenuha Women’s Centre
“Women in Africa are a huge strength and by empowering them with new skills they become alive with possibility” – Julia Taylor, Greenpop Project Coordinator
“The forests here in Zambia are in need of protection and management and we feel Greenpop has a part to play in assisting as well as encouraging local enterprise development that is sustainable and beneficial for the amazing natural resources in this country and southern Africa.” – Misha Teasdale, Greenpop Director
With a little help from our friends
Strategic and powerful partnerships have been maintained, along with a number of new ones emerging this year. Greenpop is wholly grateful to the international and local partners that supported Trees for Zambia 2013 and those that also support the ongoing project:
Ministry of Education, Ministry of Forestry, Zambia Tourism, National Heritage Conservation Commission Zambia, Mercedes Benz Commercial Vehicles Cape Town, Reliance Compost, Makhulu, Wilderness Safaris, Protea Hotel Livingstone, Civil Society Environment Fund, Plant for the Planet, Sunfire Solutions, Zambezi FM, Europcar, Spice4life, Kubu Crafts, Relate Trust, African Impact, ALERT, Lion Encounter, Everard Read Gallery and Nicola Taylor, The Best of Zambia, The Big Issue, Zam-ads.com, Zambezi Traveller, Responsible Traveller, Zambezi Nkuku, Wildlife and Environmental Conservation Society of Zambia, The Spot, B-Earth paints, Earth Power, Amazing Grace Nursery, Conservation Farming Unit, ENGEN, Fry’s Vegetarian, Lipaf, Livingstone Safari Lodge, Meg Coates-Palgrave, Multichoice Africa, R&G Events, Soundwave ZAM, Tabard, Voyagers Zambia, Rory Allen, Patrick West, Dantia, RSAM, Dongola Guest House, Easy Eating, ‘Sail, Cycle Trek’ and all the awesome lodges in Livingstone that sell Tree Rings on our behalf.
For more details on Greenpop’s TREEmendous partners, please click here: www.greenpop.org
Trees for Zambia 2013 was the 2nd Action Event to boost Greenpop’s ongoing project in Zambia. Moving forward Greenpop plans to strengthen partnerships, work closely with local authorities to ensure trees are planted sustainably, work on land management plans to support natural reforestation, further develop eco awareness campaigns through radio, video and theatre as well as researching ways to look into job creation and local innovation through green initiatives.
For the full Trees for Zambia 2013 Concept Note, click here: www.greenpop.org
Greenpop looks forward to another tree-filled year.
Date: 3 August 2013