By Edward Mukaro
FRIENDS of The Environment (FoTE), a not for profit organisation has set a targeting of planting 500 million trees by 2026, through fostering mutual partnerships with public institutions like the Zimbabwe Prison Service (ZPS) and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).
FoTE, like-minded individuals and corporate entities, champions the re-greening of Zimbabwe through tree planting.
Addressing delegates at the recently held Tree Growing and Care Inmates ceremony in Marondera, where 20 inmates where conferred with certificate after undergoing training in tree growing and propagation techniques FoTe Chairman Mr. Tendai Gwatiringa said the initiative arose as a measure to curb the effects of climate change’s effects.
“Our target is to plant 500 million trees by the year 2026 and this can only be achieved, through partnerships, by-ins, and ownership. With this target, which is not insurmountable, the inclusion of Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services among our partners, with a double – barreled advantage of rehabilitation and reforestation definitely positions us to contribute to the target,” he said.
The FoTE chairperson added that deforestation was continuing, alarmingly, not only around the globe, but in Zimbabwe also, as corporates and individual are putting their needs first for various reasons like farming, furniture and purposes, at the same time.
He said, it was only imperative that like-minded institutions and individuals focus on reforestation, in order to curb deforestation and its dire effects.
“All the efforts by parties are done to curb widespread deforestation, which has turned out to be the chief global ecological tragedies of modern times, and Zimbabwe is not an exception.
“Regrettably, it continues at an eve more alarming rate, fueled by the global demand for timber, paper, farming, veld fires, and energy requirements, significantly contributing to global warming and climate change.
“We will never be able to solve the climate change crisis without seriously engaging in reforestation, while at the same time stopping deforestation.”
We will never be able to solve the climate change crisis without seriously engaging in reforestation while at the same time stopping deforestation.
The training program also covers important practices such as fish farming and apiculture. These create revenues streams that will ultimately improve the livelihoods of all beneficiaries.
FoTE hopes the training program will create value and legacy, while infusing a sense of stewardship with communities.
The Nyaradzo Group pioneered the FoTE initiative in July 2010, when the funeral assurance firm commenced planting a tree with every burial they undertook.
FoTE works closely with the Government of Zimbabwe, through the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, together with other parastatals like, The Forestry Commission, Parks and Wildlife Authority, as well as, the Environmental Management Agency (EMA).