The name of global environmental charity One Tree Planted seems excessively modest now, as they’ve just finished planting 80,000 trees in Africa. Rwanda got 60,000 new trees, and Kenya got 20,000.
In Rwanda, One Tree Planted aimed to boost local farmers’ harvests and incomes by planting coffee seedlings in the Kayonza and Gakenke districts. One Tree partnered with Kula Project to train local farmers in agronomy, technical skills and sustainable practices. Once the coffee Arabica seedlings mature, they should provide a sustainable income for up to three decades. This program fits in with a country-led effort to restore 100 million hectares of land in Africa by 2030.
One Tree’s work in Kenya aimed to restore part of the Kijabe Forest, which suffers from overgrazing, fires and illegal harvesting. Trees native to this highland mosaic forest, also called Afro-alpine forest, include the African olive and the East African pencil-cedar. Charcoal burning and logging have damaged the forest, eroding soil and frightening people with impending mudslides. Nearly 200,000 people living in the surrounding areas depend on the forest for water, grazing and wood. Resident wildlife includes leopards, monkeys, dik-diks and buffalo.
This work in Kenya is part of an ongoing project which uses enrichment planting, avoided deforestation and assisted natural regeneration. Enrichment planting means introducing valuable species to degraded forests while retaining existing valuable species and is commonly used in forest management. Avoided deforestation is when “countries receive funding in exchange for literally avoiding and preventing deforestation.” Assisted natural regeneration happens when humans speed up natural processes by planting seedlings and protecting them as they grow.
Since its founding in 2014, One Tree Planted has worked in Africa, Asia, North America and South America to restore forests, create jobs and protect biodiversity. In 2018, the nonprofit planted 1.3 million trees.
Images via One Tree Planted