To mark this special day, the 2nd International Day of Forests and the Tree, and to continue the celebration of ITF’s 90th birthday in 2014, we want to introduce you to some of the Tree Growers we are supporting in Malawi.
International Day of Forests on the 21st of March is a global celebration of forests and provides a platform to raise awareness of the importance of the important role that forestry and trees play for both people and the planet.
Forests cover one third of the Earth’s land mass, and are the most biologically-diverse ecosystems on land, home to more than half of the terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects. Forests also provide shelter, jobs and security for around 1.6 billion people. Yet despite all of these priceless ecological, economic, social and health benefits, we are destroying the very forests we need to survive. Global deforestation continues at an alarming rate – 13 million hectares of forest are destroyed annually. Deforestation accounts for 12 to 20 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.
Today, we are highlighting the crucial role that smallholder farmers are playing in cultivating and caring for trees and forests. 2014 is also the International Year of Family Farming, making this doubly appropriate! Starting today and continuing throughout our anniversary year we will be sharing the stories of four people involved in two of our projects in Kenya and Malawi. Today we are introducing two inspiring family farmers and Tree Growers – Joseph and Martha – from Malawi who are supported by our partner, Temwa. Temwa runs sustainable development projects in a remote area of Northern Malawi, which has been heavily affected by the highest rates of deforestation in the country. With our support, the Community Forestry project is working towards locally managed forest conservation – and its changing lives along the way.
Joseph has been growing trees since 2007. Joseph says “I have been working with Temwa since 2007 when I first learnt my tree grafting skills.I have been contributing to the Community Forestry project ever since. I also take part in the Farmer Training programme and over the next 12 months will be showing you how I use my agro-forestry skills to manage my land over time, and turn a profit’’
Martha joined the Community Forestry Project only last year but she is already growing trees. Widowed, with one child and living openly with HIV, Martha would really like to tell you her tale this year. She hopes, as we do, that it will be a year of opportunity, as she puts in place all the forest-friendly, income generating activities that Temwa are launching – and this should all help improve her day-to-day quality of life.
Joseph and Martha will be sharing their stories with you on a special page which we will be launching in April. Come and join us in following their tree growing journey. www.internationaltreefoundation.org/90thanniversary
The International Day of Forests and the Tree is held annually on 21 March to raise awareness of sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests for the benefit of current and future generations. “Forests are the lungs of our planet. They cover one-third of all land area, and are home to 80 per cent of terrestrial biodiversity. They are crucial for addressing a multitude of sustainable development imperatives, from poverty eradication to food security, from mitigating and adapting to climate change to reducing disaster risk”, Ban Ki Moon, UN General Secretary.
For more information visit: http://www.un.org/en/events/forestsday/ http://www.fao.org/forestry/international-day-of-forests/
The 2014 International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) aims to raise the profile of family farming and smallholder farming by focusing world attention on its significant role in eradicating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development, in particular in rural areas. For more information visit: http://www.fao.org/family-farming-2014/en/