Over 18 000 trees were planted during Arbour Week with the support of The Foschini Group (TFG) and Woolworths, kicking off the annual tree planting programme of the environmental NGO the Wildlands Conservation Trust. Wildlands Indigenous Trees for Life Programme runs in 24 communities across the country, where indigenous trees are grown and exchanged for goods by adults and children in poor and vulnerable communities. Known as "tree-preneurs", they trade the trees back to Wildlands once they reach a certain height, exchanging the trees for goods at Green Futures Stores, the market place set up by Wildlands for the purchase of food, clothes, building materials, water tanks, bicycles, amongst other items.
The Women in Environment Awards run by the Kwa-Zulu Natal Department of Environmental Affairs, Agriculture and Rural Development saw two Wildlands Conservation Trust staff members winning awards which will enable them to expand the work they are doing in conservation.
Siphesihle Secondary School in Terence Park in Verulam celebrated Arbour Week with a special day at the school dedicated to learning about the environment. Planting of trees was the focus after 200 indigenous trees were donated by Game Stores through the Wildlands Conservation Trust’s Indigenous Trees for life Programme.
As part of the broader KZN Biodiversity Stewardship program being driven by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, the Wildlands Conservation Trust (Wildlands) has assisted in facilitating the proclamation of Usuthu Gorge as a new Protected Area. This step will ensure the conservation, in perpetuity, of 3000ha of prime northern KZN bushveld situated to the west of Ndumo and belonging to the Mathenjwa community.The community formed the Usuthu Trust, which has successfully claimed Ndumo Game Reserve, and now aims to incorporate Usuthu Gorge into the Ndumo reserve.
Zulu King Goodwill Zwelethini and South African President Jacob Zuma, along with 30 000 maidens, highlighted the threat of Climate Change by planting trees to help mitigate its effects at the annual Reed Dance Festival this past weekend.
State of the art computer labs designed for e-learning have been supplied to twenty schools through the collaboration of two NGOs and two ICT companies. The NGO Qhubeka focuses on access to opportunities and sustainable living, which includes access to learning and information.
Eighteen thousand indigenous trees grown by participants in the Indigenous Trees for Life project in Vosloorus were traded for R 90 000 in goods at a "Green Futures Store" recently.
In the Mzimela community near Mtunzini in KwaZulu Natal, and the Luphisi community near Nelspruit in Mpumalanga over 500 participants are earning a ‘green living’, through support from the Old Mutual Foundation.
The first R10 million of a R40 million ($6.5 million) grant obtained from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) to help conserve the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Hotspot has been allocated.
Over 4000 “green-preneurs” across the country regularly gather at ‘Green Futures Stores’ in their communities. These stores form part of an innovative programme by NGO, the Wildlands Conservation Trust, whereby individuals exchange trees or recyclable waste for food, clothes, education support, building material, water tanks, solar water heaters, solar powered lighting and bicycles.