Support from people across County Laois has enabled an ambitious tree planting campaign to reach its one million milestone, this month.
Scores of people from Laois supported Self Help Africa’s ‘One Million Trees’ campaign, enabling the Irish development charity to plant a million new trees in sub-Saharan Africa, and a further 100,000 native trees at home in Ireland, over the past year.
Close to 5,000 people across Ireland have backed the initiative, while tens of thousands of shoppers supported the campaign by purchasing ‘One Million Trees’ branded Glenisk organic BIO yogurt.
A donation of one euro was made to the tree planting effort for every purchase of ‘One Million Trees’ Glenisk yogurt sold during in-store promotions held in collaboration with SuperValu stores across the country, during 2020.
In late March the one-millionth tree was planted on community-managed land close to Lake Ziway, Ethiopia, at a location where over 400,000 tree seedlings were planted since Spring, 2020.
Elsewhere, the campaign planted hundreds of trees on family farms, on community land and on publicly owned lands in Malawi, Kenya, Uganda and Burkina Faso.
Working on collaboration with local partners ‘Trees on the Land,’ 18,000 native Irish tree seedlings were planted by the campaign alongside a link road, in a children’s playground, as part of a Tidy Towns’ project and on private lands in Laois, Kilkenny, Cork and Tyrone, while a large-scale planting of 100,000 was starting this month as part of a 100-acre native tree reforesting project in Offaly.
The One Million Trees campaign was designed to provide people with the opportunity to link local with global action to combat climate change.
A collaboration between Self Help Africa and Glenisk, it also received the backing of the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO), and of the Gaelic Players Association (GPA).
“This campaign provided us with an opportunity to raise funds for vital tree planting activities, and also highlight the huge impact that global warming is having on rural poor communities in Africa, where many of the people who are least responsible for climate change are feeling its worst effects,” Self Help Africa CEO Ray Jordan said.
Despite the challenges faced as a result of the coronavirus pandemic the campaign had captured the public imagination, he said.
“People are really concerned about the impact that climate change is having, and when they saw that by planting trees in Africa they were also contributing to the lives and incomes of rural poor families, they saw it as a win-win opportunity,” he added.
‘One Million Trees’ was so successful that Self Help Africa will mark the upcoming 50th anniversary of ‘Earth Day’ on April 22nd by launching ‘Another One Million Trees,’ once more in collaboration with Glenisk.
During the campaign, contributions of just €5 will enable Self Help Africa to plant 10 trees in sub-Saharan Africa and one native tree at home in Ireland. Information on the campaign is available at: www.selfhelpafrica.org/