Forests for Life
Forests provide vital services to both people and the planet, bolstering livelihoods, providing clean air and water, conserving biodiversity and responding to climate change. They act as a source of food, medicine, and fuel for more than one billion people. In addition to helping to respond to climate change and protect soil and water, forests hold more than three-quarters of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity, provide many products and services that contribute to socio-economic development, and are particularly important for hundreds of millions of people in rural areas, including many of the world’s poorest.
However, in Sub-Saharan Africa, forest cover is decreasing at an alarming rate. From unregulated logging (often by foreign companies) to clearing for cash crops, to overuse of trees for fuel, human activity is putting increasing and devastating pressure on forest and woodland ecosystems.
In 2012, Greenpop began collaborating with nature conservancies, private landowners, and key stakeholders to undertake a small-scale reforestation and alien clearing project in Africa’s southernmost forest, the Platbos Forest Reserve. Since then, our work has expanded to include over 80,000 trees planted in reforestation projects in South Africa, Zambia, and Tanzania.
As a South African organisation, Greenpop is acutely aware of the complex challenges associated with indigenous forest management in Sub-Saharan Africa. As such, we design our projects with a pro-community stance that recognises the local threats to reforestation success, identifies local community needs, and incorporates solutions that benefit both forests and people.
To connect small-scale organisations across Sub-Saharan Africa with funding and support to plant trees, restore forest and woodland habitats, effectively manage critical catchment areas, and improve the lives of communities who reply on forest resources.
Greenpop aims to plant 500,000 trees to restore degraded forest areas, increase biodiversity, and expand ecosystem services across Sub-Saharan Africa by 2025. In collaboration with our local partners, these trees will be planted in the following types of projects:
- Forest/Woodland Restoration – Restoring catchments, habitats, and biodiversity
- Agroforestry – Improving soil fertility and crop yields for small-scale farmers
- Woodlots & Orchards – Providing communities with sustainable sources of food, wood, and income
In addition to putting trees in the ground, Forests for Life aims to reduce threats to restored areas by providing training in locally relevant sustainable development activities. These include:
- Alien Clearing – Reducing fire-risk for forest areas
- Alternative Livelihoods – Providing sustainable sources of income that do not harm forests
- Farmer-managed Natural Regeneration – Helping communities regenerate forests naturally
- Good Agricultural Practices – Helping farmers use trees and increase their yields
- Catchment Management & Erosion Control – Using trees to manage water effectively
- Climate Change Adaptation – Helping communities build resilience in a changing climate
- By-law Development – Assisting communities to develop local laws that protect forests
To implement this work, Greenpop works with passionate and effective, local, small-scale conservation and sustainable development organisations across Sub-Saharan Africa. While we operate in several countries, the projects that fall within our Forests for Life programme are developed with our respective partners to provide locally-relevant support for the communities and ecosystems they serve.
We aim to foster and maintain ongoing partnerships to ensure tree survival and sustained impact.
The outcomes for this project are as follows:
- To restore forest ecosystems in Sub-Saharan Africa
- To contribute towards increased local biodiversity and ecosystem services
- To provide pro-community support that builds capacity and addresses local threats to reforestation success
- To build awareness about the local and international benefits of reforestation
- To use reforestation as a tool for sustainable development and increased connection with nature
- To monitor the impacts of reforestation projects to inform best practices and lesson-sharing
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Greenpop Foundation NPC is a registered non-profit organisation. Registration Number (NPO): 151-411 NPO.