According to the United Nations Environment Programme, the world has lost 80 percent of the forests that originally blanketed the earth. Since trees are the largest source of breathable oxygen and carbon storage, that’s a huge deficit we’ve created.
Deforestation in Africa is a critical issue. Logging and conversion of forest land to agriculture are the main culprits. According to figures from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, only 22.8 percent of West Africa’s moist forests remain, much of this degraded.
Education and planting trees to reverse deforestation are the goals of the non-profit Greenpop, which was founded in 2010 as an effort to educate underprivileged schoolchildren about the importance of protecting the planet. It’s become o a movement backed by thousands of volunteers who’ve joined the “treevolution” and are helping facilitate the planting of over 40,00 trees in 286 communities throughout Southern Africa.
Greenpop’s has won several prestigious awards including:
- Best Business Plan for Social Enterprises in South Africa in the International Labour Organization (ILO) and WC Government competition
- winner of the Enterprise Elevator South Africa
- 1st place in the Greenest Enterprise category in the Western Cape Government Entrepreneur of the Year awards
- a finalist in Biodiversity and Water Conservation in the Enviropaedia Eco-Logic Awards
When first launched, co-founder and musician Jeremy Loops, documentary filmmaker Misha Teasdale and writer/ Managing Director Lauren O’Donnell planted Greenpop’s first 1,000 trees. Since then they’ve planted tens of thousands of trees and held numerous concerts to promote their tree planting initiatives.
“Our mandate is green pop — making greening popular and fun,” said co-founder Lauren O’Donnell.
Schoolchildren are learning about the importance of trees to the environment, about sustainability and they plant trees.
Fruit trees, which can generate from 20 to 100 kilograms or 45 to 220 pounds of fruit each in a season, become a major fresh food source for a school. Children are assigned a tree to look after and they must bring in two liters, or one-half gallon, of gray water — recycled from the bath or sink — to water their trees every two days.
The message that Greenpop brings to these programs is green and sustainability are important and can be fun. This inspiring, inclusive movement brings together tree planting projects, green events, social media, volunteerism and getting young people in action. A winning combination!
Filed under: Nature | Tagged: carbon storage, deforestation, Deforestation in Africa, Food and Agriculture Organization, green, rainforest, rainforests, South Africa, sustainability, tree planting, tree planting initiatives, trees, treevolution, U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, underprivileged schoolchildren, United Nations Environment Programme, volunteerism |