One million trees will be planted in Uganda in support of a Welsh scheme to sustain an area of tropical forest in Africa the size of Wales.
What started as a grass roots community link between Mbale in Uganda and Pontypridd in South Wales has paved the way for a major project on Climate Change between the government here and there. As part of the new Wales / Mbale partnership a Wales based charitable trust has given funds for the planting of one million trees which will contribute towards the Size of Wales initiative.
Counsel General John Griffiths AM, who is visiting Mbale this week said: “We are working with the Regional Government of Mbale to build capacity to withstand climate change.
“As one of the first “on the ground” projects, we are working on four small scale forest projects with local community groups to grow and plant over 1,000,000 trees to re-store the tree cover in an area now vulnerable to landslides.
“Being funded by a Welsh foundation and managed by the Welsh Assembly Government Wales for Africa programme, these trees will also contribute to the two million hectare target of the Size of Wales project.”
Supported by Size of Wales’ Cardiff based forest partner, The Waterloo Foundation, ‘One Million Trees’ will help five coffee co-operatives grow shade trees to protect coffee crops, support over 30 villages to establish tree nurseries, and work with over 1,600 families.
Size of Wales Project Manager, Hannah Scrase said: “We are delighted that the Welsh Assembly Government and the Waterloo Foundation are supporting Size of Wales in this way. We hope the ‘One Million Trees’ initiative in Uganda will inspire other organisations, companies and community groups to get on board and join our nation’s challenge to protect an area of rainforest equivalent to the size of Wales”.
Launched last month, the Size of Wales project aims to plant trees and protect existing forest in Africa equivalent to the size of Wales, or two million ruby pitches. Supporters of Size of Wales will be linked directly to a forest project and community of their choice to assist sustainable management of forest resources in Africa.
“Individuals, companies, schools and community groups across Wales will not only help protect a significant area of rainforest, but forge lasting links with forest communities in Africa” continued Hannah Scrase.
Having started the whole Welsh connection with Mbale, PONT are also planting trees there this week. In Mbale today, PONT’s Jayne Brencher, a teacher from Pontypridd High School said: “Changes in Uganda’s climate are putting a tremendous strain on resources such as land, soils, timber and water. As a result the loss of forest is happening at an alarming rate here in Mbale.”
PONT’s Jayne Brencher said “In the last six years, pupils at Pontypridd High School have raised huge sums to support their partner school in Mbale, Uganda. Recently, we have been busy planting trees at home, and right now we also have four of our own pupils visiting Bubutu School in Mbale to help Ugandan students plant trees as part of an agro-forestry project. Four students from Mbale will visit Pontypridd in July”.