August 13, 2019 2 min read
Opening the Door to Reforestation in South Africa: 10,000 Trees Planted!
One Tree Planted is proud to share that we have completed our first project in Southern Africa!
We are always looking to plant trees in new countries and regions. And while our projects in Eastern and Western Africa are amazing (we were, in fact, involved in the recent record-breaking planting of 350 million trees in Ethiopia), we have been wanting to expand further down the continent.
We finally got a chance to plant trees near Durban, South Africa - one of our coolest projects yet!
Planting Trees to Offset World Cup Carbon Emissions
With support from our brand partners at Trafalgar, we were able to plant 10,000 trees as part of the larger Buffelsdraai Tree Planting project which planted some 600,000 trees!
The Buffelsdraai project is a multi-year effort aimed at offsetting the carbon emissions created from hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup of soccer, the equivalent of about 42,000 tonnes of CO2 (to be sequestered over the next 20 years).
Our planting partners are planting trees in a buffer zone around the municipal landfill, creating a brand new nature reserve within the city limits. On top of this, all of the areas in which trees are being planted were formerly sugarcane plantations, and thus have limited productive capacity due to monocropping, or they've been infested by invasive species. Planting trees here, after removing the invasive plants, will allow native species to thrive and give local biodiversity improved habitat.
Not All Benefits Go to Mother Nature
One of the best things about reforestation is that more often than not, the benefits go well beyond just the environment - as is the case for the Buffelsdraai planting.
Now in its second year, the project has engaged with 540 community members from the surrounding as Tree-preneurs. These Tree-preneurs grow and exchange seedlings for credit notes which allow them to purchase food or basic goods and pay for school fees. In a region with high rates of poverty, low education, and malnutrition, these credit notes are making a tremendous social impact as well.
The project has also been able to create many economic opportunities within the community. Approximately 100 full-time jobs have been created, plus an additional 524 part-time and temporary positions.
Just two years in, the socio-economic benefits of this project are already being felt. The community is reporting greater educational outcomes; families can afford what would formerly have been considered ‘luxuries’ like transport; and project participants are even experiencing improved access to nutritious food!
Overall, this project is a reminder of the power of planting trees. Protecting our environment isn’t just about reducing our carbon emissions or stopping climate change, it’s about creating positive outcomes for people too!
by Joseph Coppolino
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