AfriForum concluded its annual arbor month on 6 November by planting 50 almond trees (Prunus dulcis) at the Maranata Care Centre outside Pretoria. AfriForum planted more than 3 300 trees in September and October this year. Since the project’s start in 2011, the civil rights organisation has planted almost 16 000 trees.
This year’s focus was on two indigenous species: The common species is the Cape ash (Ekebergia capensis), and the scarce species the baobab (Adansonia digitata).
According to Lambert de Klerk, AfriForum’s Manager for Environmental Affairs, the initiative forms part of AfriForum’s attempts to ensure a future for the coming generations. “This year’s project is especially important because we could create hope that we will survive the pandemic.”
In the uncertain times that we live in – especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the concomitant lock down – it is important to know that we can celebrate the start of the spring season and a new beginning with this project. To have been able to plant a tree this year gives us courage for the future because we plant for the future. Trees are symbols of survival, because in ten years’ time you look at all the trees that you have planted and you say: ‘We survived.’”
“This year, we encouraged our branches and community members from across the country to plant trees at their homes, schools, churches, community centres, old-age homes and parks, in addition to the many trees that our branches planted. We also encourage branches to learn from the lockdown and COVID-19 pandemic and plant fruit trees where possible,” De Klerk says.
De Klerk says that, by planting trees, we are not only protecting the environment, but we also show that we have hope for the future. “Just like trees play an important role in the country’s welfare, it also symbolises the country’s people. To make South Africa work, we all have to do our bit. All trees work together, and this is what makes the ecosystem so successful. We will live here and develop this country to allow everyone to flourish,” De Klerk says.
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