JOHANNESBURG - September 01 2017 - The 1st of September, Arbor Day, will see Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) and their partners planting trees at five schools across four provinces in South Africa. This is the beginning of a month of intensive planting where at least 14,137 trees will be planted across the country. We encouraged all individuals, organisations and businesses to “Plant a Legacy” with us this Arbor month - and they have stepped up to the challenge. Despite these commitments we have almost 2000 schools on our national database waiting to receive trees, and are encouraging those who have not yet made a donation, to do so.
Arbor Day and Arbor Week is a time for all South Africans to celebrate trees and reflect on the benefits they yield in terms of our environment, and our society. Not only do they offset carbon emissions, they significantly improve quality of life. “It is essential that we keep planting in tree-less urban and rural areas so that all South Africans feel the benefit of trees,” says Emily Jones, Trees and Carbon Manager at FTFA. “With the current sponsors on board we have been able to make significant progress in our aim to green South Africa.”
Absa Vehicle Asset Finance will be planting 8,728 trees through its Green Vehicle Asset Finance offering, which plants one tree for every low carbon vehicle sold. These trees will be planted across Food & Trees for Africa’s Greenbelt in Katlehong, Thokoza and Vosloorus. They will be planted at 3500 homes and over 50 schools.
Konica Minolta South Africa (KMSA), a division of Bidvest Office (Pty) Ltd, have committed to plant 1810 trees this month at schools, community centres and clinics in Johannesburg, Polokwane and Newcastle. This is a part of an ongoing partnership where KMSA plants trees to offset their carbon footprint. Through this donation about 70 schools and community institutions will receive fruit and indigenous shade trees.
Tiger Brands have recognised the importance of environmental resilience within the context of food security and are planting 1000 trees as the first phase of a gardens for homes programme in Mohlakeng in Johannesburg. Fruit trees will enable these gardens to have a diversity of harvest, and the indigenous shade trees will improve soil fertility and overall yield. This is part of a longer term food security project across 8 communities nationally. You cannot nourish a nation without nourishing the environment.
1000 trees have been donated by Ackermans for greening of Mamelodi, a township east of Pretoria. 325 homes will receive 1 shade and 1 fruit tree each and about 10 schools, community centres and clinics in the area will also receive trees. Property REIT, Octodec Investments has also committed to plant 750 trees at homes in Mamelodi, helping us to systematically green the area ward by ward. This forms part of Octodec’s strategy to foster sustainability in the build environment.
The Public Investment Corporation have committed to plant 750 trees in Ga Rankuwa - to be planted at homes in the area. The new RDP houses will really become homes when the homeowners receive trees for their new gardens.
We’d like to also thank the following sponsors for coming on board to help us plant trees at schools across the country: AON, Fidelity, Nampak Limited, The Foschini Group, National Bioproducts Institute, Avis and Kulula.com. Their donations have gone towards the planting of trees at 22 schools nationally.
Through these activities 172 schools, community centres and clinics will be matched with trees, 5216 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide will be offset and 180 Community Educators will be trained as climate and tree planting champions in their communities, and receive short term employment. What a great legacy we’re planting to be enjoyed by generations to come.