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International Day of The Forests 2017 with FTFA

Food & Trees for Africa is celebrating the International Day of the Forests this month by planting at least 2980 trees nationwide. FTFA is focussing on urban forests, which play a critical role in improving the urban environment and cooling it down. According to the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Gauteng’s average temperatures are increasing at double the rate of global average temperatures. Gauteng will witness an average temperature increase of 1-2 degrees Celsius by 2035, and 3-6 degrees increase by the end of the century. Gauteng’s temperature increases are attributed to climate change trends globally as well as the Heat Island Effect experienced by cities. National temperatures are also increasing at an accelerated rate.

Trees play a critical role in reducing temperature through blocking sunlight from warming up man-made surfaces, as well as evapotranspiration (releasing water vapour that reduces the surrounding air temperature). Trees have the potential to cool down surface temperatures by between 7 and 11 degrees Celsius. It is imperative that we plant trees throughout South Africa - especially in treeless areas such as the townships.

On 22 March, FTFA and Konica Minolta South Africa will be planting 750 trees in Mamelodi to mark the International Day of the Forests. Konica Minolta South Africa have pledged to plant 1380 trees in March in an ongoing commitment to address climate change. These trees are being planted at schools, churches and community centres who have applied to FTFA to receive trees.

Says Emily Jones, FTFA’s Trees and Carbon Manager,

                It is imperative that we plant trees in tree-less urban areas, for the climate adaptation potential as well as for civic pride. Green spaces go a long way to creating a healthier environment for all.”

Planting Urban Forests in drought conditions

With persistent drought conditions in parts of the country, South Africa does not need to stop planting trees. It is possible to plant a thriving urban forest even in dry conditions. Food & Trees For Africa uses permaculture techniques such as mulching to reduce the water needs of newly planted trees. Communities are trained to re-use their grey water to water trees, as well as to plant with 2L bottles to decrease watering needs. Employing all these methods makes it possible to plant trees that will thrive despite in drought conditions.

Trees for Homes Programme

Trees for Homes (TFH) is the most successful township greening initiative in South Africa. Originally designed to address South Africa’s history of inequitable settlement policies, Trees for Homes grew to become the country’s benchmark of innovation in urban forestry. 18 years of experience, collaboration and passion have gone into this flagship programme. We train community educators to monitor, evaluate and improve tree survival rates. They collaborate with community members to become environmental champions.

Trees for All

Trees for All is an award-winning programme that plants trees sustainably in shared spaces for a healthier, greener environment. This successful initiative educates communities about the benefits of trees, while simultaneously offsetting carbon emissions and transforming the surrounding environment. Trees for All plants and monitors fruit and indigenous trees at schools, hospitals, parks, clinics, aged homes and anywhere else people will benefit from, and look after, trees.  

Food and Trees for Africa

Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) is a leading Section 21 Social Enterprise that addresses food security and environmental sustainability. We emphasise education and skills training, which we integrate with sensitive mentorship and phased support. With 25 years of experience in South African social development, we understand what it takes to achieve real, long-term sustainability and want to make a positive difference to the lives of all South Africans.

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