Forest Conservation Matters
Deforestation is responsible for about 20 percent of the rise in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Therefore, reforestation is a critical part of the solution to many of our most pressing sustainability challenges. Sacred Seedlings, a division of Earth Tones, Inc. has formed a partnership with the Mellowswan Foundation Africa-Tanzania to plant millions of trees over the next four years in the Kilimanjaro District. Two plots of land have been donated to the cause by the local forest district.
“The Foundation approached us and asked if we could help save the country’s vanishing wildlife,” said Gary Chandler, co-founder of Sacred Seedlings. “We asked if they could support a reforestation program to generate jobs, save wildlife habitat and help combat climate change?”
The Foundation seized upon the idea and started developing the scope of work. Once funded, locals will build two nurseries and greenhouses to maximize the production time for the seedlings. After about four months, the seedlings will be planted permanently in a variety of settings, including the forest and urban settings alike.
Tanzania is ground zero in the war on wildlife. More than 10,000 elephants were slaughtered there for ivory just last year. Only about 70,000 elephants remain today. Without a variety of interventions, extinction of the African elephant, rhinoceros, lions and other endangered species is probable within just a few years. Economic development with clean and green jobs is one way to help take the pressure off of these animals, while helping the local people earn a living. Of course, trees absorb massive amounts of carbon dioxide–one of the leading greenhouse gases, which contribute to climate change and extreme weather.
“We’re tracking down sponsors, grants and donors to help make this program possible,” Chandler said. “This will be the first of several reforestation programs around the world. Hopefully, we can launch several across Colorado and the America’s very soon.”
“The project will incorporate several species of trees that are indigenous to the area,” said Tumaini Mosha, project director for Mellowswan Foundation Africa-Tanzania. “Crop-bearing trees such as coffee, cocoa and palm also will be grown and planted in urban areas to block buildings from the weather and to grow food. That way people won’t cut them down for firewood.”