Founded in 1972 –the centennial of the first Arbor Day observance– the Arbor Day Foundation is the largest 501(c)3 nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees. More than 1 million members, supporters, and valued partners have helped them plant more than 350 million trees in neighborhoods, communities, cities, and forests throughout the world to ensure a greener and healthier future for everyone. The vision of the Arbor Day Foundation is to help others understand and use trees as a solution to many of the global issues we face today, including air quality, water quality, a changing climate, deforestation, poverty, and hunger. The impact they make on our world is accomplished through their conservation and education programs. They work to restore forests, improve tree cover in communities, and inspire the next generation of tree planters to ensure this important work endures.
Dave Pepler is a well-known South African environmentalist. After growing up in Robertson in the Western Cape, he attended the Saasveld Forestry College for a National Diploma in Forestry, and also received an MPil in Zoology from Cambridge (UK). From 1974 to 2005, Dave was a technician and senior lecturer at Stellenbosch University. During that time, Dave was consulted on many projects, both in South Africa and the African continent. Currently, he is best known for hosting the television programme, Groen.
Eden Reforestation Projects (Eden) was conceptualized in 2005 when Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, invited Dr. Stephen Fitch to take over an abandoned nursery and forest restoration project along the Udo Escarpment near Hawassa, Ethiopia. Hailemariam Desalegn was then the President of the Southern People’s Region of Ethiopia. Dr. Fitch, who had personally seen massive tracts of land decimated by deforestation, accepted the Prime Minister’s offer and began developing and implementing what would eventually become Eden’s unique Employ to Plant methodology: provide sustainable employment to local people to restore and protect their natural environment. People from the local community at Gallo Argesi were hired as the workforce, and within the first year of operation, over 200,000 trees were planted. By the end of the project in 2012, over 15 million trees had been planted by over 3,500 Eden employees. By addressing the link between deforestation and extreme poverty, Eden has developed an effective model for reforestation. Its international efforts have since expanded into other continents and developing countries. Nurseries and reforestation projects with locally-hired employees have been established in Madagascar, Haiti, Nepal, Indonesia, Mozambique, Kenya, Nicaragua, and Honduras. Since its establishment, Eden has planted more than 583 million trees across its project nations, with approximately 20 million trees added each month. Eden’s global restoration network is creating livelihoods for millions of people living in extreme poverty by empowering them to restore and protect forests on a massive scale.
Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) is a leading Section 21 Non-Profit Organisation that addresses food security, environmental sustainability, and greening. We have a large and diverse programme portfolio which you can explore here. Our ethos is one of efficiency, transparency, and accountability. We run our non-profit like a business / social enterprise and continue to innovate in the space. This approach has led to us being one of the best social development organisations on the continent. After nearly thirty years of experience, we understand what it takes to achieve real, long-term sustainability and want to make a positive difference to the lives of all South Africans. Food security — particularly in the context of global climate change — is one of the most important issues of our time. The World Food Summit of 1996 defined food security as existing when all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to meet the dietary needs for a productive and healthy life. A lack of food security, within any tier of our society, will lead to instability and impact everyone. Therefore, it is a collective act of social justice that we work towards making food insecurity a thing of the past. At Food & Trees for Africa, we take a broad view of food security which includes both income and non-income producing agriculture, small and large scale projects, as well as additional elements of the water-energy-food security nexus. We practice bio-intensive agriculture (in its many forms) including agro-ecology, permaculture, conservation and rehabilitation agriculture, and natural farming. This doesn’t mean we farm without science or practicality — in fact, quite the opposite. We just take a longer-term view on soil health, improving the energy of a system, and maximising its productivity with bio-inputs. It’s all the rage these days — but we’ve been doing it since the 90s.
Forest for the Trees is a feature documentary film (release date May 2021) and a book published by Dewi Lewis UK (due Fall 2021) and fine art photographs The Tree Planters and Enchanted Forests represented by the Stephen Bulger Gallery. Forest for the Trees is a visually told story through the vast landscapes of clear-cut logging and reforestation and through the stories of a community of one hundred tree planters. A world most people will never see for themselves; it captures tree planting by hand in remote and majestic locations in Canada. Planting trees one at a time is the overarching metaphor of how we can achieve things we think are impossible: reforesting the earth one tree at a time, getting through life's challenges one day at a time, and making a film one picture at a time.