One Tree Planted, a global charity, recently completed the planting of 80,000 trees in Africa, including 60,000 in Rwanda and 20,000 in Kenya. The goal: to support local farmers and restore degraded land.
One Tree Planted, a global charity, supports reforestation policies in Rwanda and Kenya. It has recently completed the planting of 80,000 trees in both countries, including 60,000 in Rwanda and 20,000 in Kenya. The trees will support local farmers and restore degraded land. “Sometimes conditions become too difficult – climate change or severe forest fires – for nature to regenerate itself. That’s when tree planting comes into play. When trees sink into the ground, they put nutrients back into the soil,” explains One Tree Planted.
In Rwanda, the organisation has planted coffee plants (Arabica coffee of the bourbon variety). These will increase the harvest and farmers’ incomes. The locations of the newly planted trees are in the eastern and northern provinces (Kayonza and Gakenke districts) and are carried out in partnership with the Kula project. The Kula project aims to provide local farmers with the supplies and training needed to create and maintain sustainable livelihoods.
The coffee plants will be grown and maintained by the farmers as part of a special training programme. When these trees mature, they will provide a sustainable income for 30 years. Throughout the growing and maturing period of the coffee plants, farmers will receive comprehensive training in agronomy in order to provide them with the skills and technical information needed to care for their trees. With the additional income that will continue to be generated, farmers will be able to afford health care for themselves and their families, as well as education for their children.
In addition, these agroforestry projects will reduce the deforestation of primary forests in surrounding areas. Rwanda’s environmental policies are responsible for looking after these landscapes. “We are very proud to be part of these pioneering initiatives. Rwanda’s resilience is inspiring and also gives us hope that restoration is possible everywhere,” says One Tree Planted.
Rwanda has worked hard to restore its land, given its devastating past. It is one of the first to take up the Bonn Challenge, which represents a global effort to restore 150 million hectares of deforested and degraded land by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030. “Their promise to restore two million hectares of land by 2020 is impressive! What is even more remarkable is that they have the progress and data to prove their commitment. They currently have 30.5 % forest cover, which is made up of 48.8 % plantations,” says the organisation One Tree Planted.
For Kenya, the new trees will help restore areas of the Kijabe Forest that were previously degraded by fire, overgrazing and illegal logging. The forest covers only about 5,018 hectares, but almost 200,000 people in the surrounding areas depend on it for water, as well as for many other ecosystem goods and services, such as fuelwood and grazing. It is also home to a variety of local wildlife, including wild dogs, leopards, dik-diks, bush bucks, monkeys, suni, forest hogs and buffalo.
The international organization’s project in Kenya is part of an ongoing project to actively restore areas of the forest by preventing deforestation, planting enrichment trees and promoting natural regeneration. “We acknowledge the hard work and efforts of the communities involved without whom nothing would have been possible. Several partners have also facilitated the cultivation of the many seedlings in nurseries prior to field planting,” says One Tree Planted.