September 06, 2018 3 min read

Thanks to our incredible community of donors, fundraisers, Tree Ambassadors, and business partners, we’re getting a lot of trees in the ground. And today we’re happy to share the completion of 2 new reforestation projects - both in Tanzania!

5,000 trees near Mt. Kilimanjaro and 64,000 trees in the Usambara Mountains.

So let's dive in with the details.

Photos by Andrew Mavinkovich and David Wilfred Sky Studios, Arusha

5,000 trees planted in Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Mount Kilimanjaro – the “rooftop of Africa” – is the highest freestanding mountain in the world. The mountain’s forests are a vital source of water for the surrounding region, feeding into one of Tanzania’s major rivers, the Pangani. But these forests are declining at a rapid rate, as millions of trees are cut for firewood, charcoal, and agriculture each year, which has a direct effect on Kilimanjaro’s glaciers and rainfall patterns in the region.

This reforestation project was conducted in partnership with The Kilimanjaro Project, seeking to restore local climate balance and combat poverty in the area through the use of a revolutionary new tree-tracking technology developed by Greenstand (see map below). The project supported by One Tree Planted and Trafalgar was relatively modest compared to the broader mission of planting one million trees on Kilimanjaro, but we were glad to play a role and contribute

Tree species planted include grevillea robusta (silky oak), pinus pendula, croton megalocarpus, casaurina, avacado, casaurina (she-oak), acrocarpus fraxinifolius, azadirachtica indica, newtonia buchananii, and ficus.

Different species provide different ecological benefits. For example, grevillea robusta aids in water filtration, wind erosion control, soil stabilization, soil building through mulch, and gives bee fodder, while avocado trees help create shade, provide water filtration, wind erosion control, as well as carbon sequestration, and of course food for primates such as sykes, colobus monkeys, and bushbabies.

This tree-planting had tremendous participation from the local community and was the launch of a larger project aiming to plant one million trees in 2018, and 50 million within 10 years!

Photos by Andrew Mavinkovich and David Wilfred Sky Studios, Arusha

64,000 trees in the Usambara Mountains, Tanzania

In a larger project that began in early 2017 and was recently completed in the summer of 2018 (just imagine this many trees, it takes more than one planting event to get all those saplings in the ground!), 64,000 trees were planted in the Usambara Mountain region. 

According to the 2007 Tanzanian forest policy, Tanzania is among the countries in the world experiencing high deforestation rates, ranging from 130,000 - 500,000 hectares annually. The direct agents of deforestation are settlement and agricultural expansion, commercial charcoal and fuel wood production, overgrazing, uncontrolled fires, shifting cultivation, and illegal logging. The reforestation project funded by One Tree Planted will increase sustainable wood sources, reducing reliance on extreme deforestation. Part of this effort included providing free tree seedlings to the local community, which will cover their farming areas and compensate for the lost biodiversity in the nearby forests, therefore complying with the national forest policy which insists on tree-planting and conservation.

Tree species included makamae lutea, moringe orifera, cordia africana, ocotea usambariansis, podocapus usambariansis, laurofia cafra, ficus sir, ficus thorningii, croton megolocapas, grevillea robusta, and eucalyptus.

Here are the unique benefits of this project:

Reforestation: planting new trees where they had been cut down to maintain topsoil and prevent erosion, helping to save the local water source.

Biodiversity: maintain and expand rain forest habitat to preserve biodiversity.

Social impact: trees are provided to farmers to plant in agroforestry and alley cropping, improving land productivity and providing a surplus that can be sold at market, raising livelihoods through income generation. Villagers can sell seedlings, raising funds needed for learning materials, physical improvements, scholarships, and in funding tree nurseries for future reforestation. Tree projects also bring in ecotourists, who provide much needed commerce to the region.

Education: provide learning opportunities for the village communities so people will understand how sustainable environmental conservation leads to more fertile crops, increased availability of forest products, and helps to reduce dependency behavior on the Magamba Kinko Nature Reserve for forest resources. The ultimate outcome will be a new generation of people who understand how environmental conservation works to their benefit.