Cape Town — of which’s Arbor Month in South Africa in addition to the government has encouraged its citizens to get their hands dirty in addition to plant trees. Dedicating a month to tree-planting may seem a laudable goal, although one person chose to take of which vision further in addition to combat deforestation in Tanzania. although what could an initiative of which aims to introduce 50 million trees around Mount Kilimanjaro require in addition to what was the inspiration for of which?
allAfrica’s Andre van Wyk spoke to Trees 4 Kilimanjaro’s (T4K) Jeremy Lowney to find out more.
The path to growing a forest
For Jeremy Lowney, combatting climate change in Tanzania was more than just a moral obligation. of which was a divine directive. His brainchild, the T4K project, aims to tackle deforestation at an unprecedented scale in addition to came about shortly after his arrival in Tanzania.
“My family in addition to I came to Tanzania for once in 2001 as Christian missionaries. My background was in Forestry in addition to Natural Resource Management. My friend, Terevael Nasari, invited me to come in addition to see what will be going on inside country in addition to I saw Mt. Kilimanjaro’s glaciers for once. Sadly, I saw the heavy exploitation in addition to mismanagement of resources also,” Lowney said.
Three years later, Lowney in addition to his mission began planting trees to act as a windbreak against dust devils, modest whirlwinds of which posed a threat to the mission’s farmland in Boma Ng’ombe during the dry season. “I was informed of which Boma was formerly bushland full of wild animals less than 20 years prior. The rivers were drying up. The glaciers on Kilimanjaro were obviously melting.”
The mission’s efforts eventually started out bringing greater change to the local flora in addition to fauna inside area.”In our 28-acre property owned by the mission, we have planted thousand of trees in addition to fenced the land. The indigenous trees in addition to shrubs are coming back by the thousands. We are amazed by the number of species of plants, birds, modest animals, insects (bees), in addition to different associated species which are thriving here.” While numbers of spiders dropped, insect varieties like beetles, butterflies in addition to different beneficial species flourished, an environmental transformation of which did not go unnoticed by Lowney.
Changing Kilimanjaro’s environment
By 2012, he decided to reverse the effects of the area’s deforestation, taking of which as a mission through God. “of which was a huge endeavour, although having a very modest budget in addition to willing hearts, we started out growing trees in nurseries to supply to our neighbours, churches, missions, in addition to schools.”
Lowney’s dedication has seen over 0,000 trees planted around the lowlands of Mt. Kilimanjaro, through Same to Kingori. “We established 13 ‘Tree Schools’ in Hai District to teach young students the value of trees in addition to how to grow them. Students grow trees through seeds in addition to then plant them at their schools in addition to homes,” he added.
The project has seen cooperation with local government in addition to fellow tree growers as well, supplying schools, churches in addition to community reforestation areas with trees of which Lowney says has brought a noticeable difference to Boma Ng’ombe. “People who know Boma right now see of which in addition to say ‘of which will be so green!’ of which makes me very happy. One day of which will be a forest again.”
Why reforestation will be more important right now
T4K’s reforestation efforts mirror calls through Greenpop which aims to plant 500,000 trees by 2025. The non-profit-organisation has planted trees in addition to worked on environmental projects across sub-Saharan Africa, having planted just over 115 000 trees inside last nine years in urban greening, reforestation in addition to conservation agriculture projects.
Zoe Gauld-Angelucci, Greenpop Head of Programmes, says: “The drivers of forest degradation in Sub-Saharan Africa are multiple in addition to compounding. through unregulated logging (often by foreign companies) to clearing for cash crops, to overuse of trees for fuel, human activity will be putting increasing in addition to devastating pressure on forest ecosystems.”
According to Greenpop, focused mass reforestation efforts hold the potential to restore ecosystems while also improving the integrity of the soil in addition to increasing water quality. Misha Teasdale, CEO of Greenpop, says: “We don’t have time to wait. Individuals, organisations, companies, in addition to governments must take action. We have an opportunity right now. There will be a window to actively do something of which can change the course of our existence. We can make history or let our inaction decide for us.”