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Post: Launch of Arbor Month campaign 2022

Introduction and background
The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment is the custodian of the greening function in South Africa. This function takes place at local government level; therefore it is undertaken in partnership with local government institutions, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and community based organisations (CBOs) in general. It is undertaken in line with chapter 4 of the National Forest Act of 1996 and the National Greening Strategy.

The National Arbor Month campaign is aimed at sensitising South Africans about the need to conserve, protect and plant trees for environmental and human related ideals. The idea is to highlight the value and importance of trees and forests to South Africans in general. As the custodian of the greening function, the department is responsible for the co-ordination of National Arbor Month campaign, celebrated annually from 1-30 September.

Purpose and objectives of Greening and Arbor Month campaign in the country
Greening refers to an integrated approach to the planting, care and management of all vegetation in urban and rural areas to secure multiple benefits for communities. Greening in the South African context takes place in towns, townships, informal settlements and rural settlements specifically because in the past the latter mentioned areas were disadvantaged in terms of planning for recreational parks as well as tree planting in streets and open spaces.

The National Arbor Month campaign affords the department and other stakeholders an opportunity to undertake a major national awareness programme re-iterating the value of trees and creating awareness of tree species that are threatened by extinction. The campaign promotes awareness for the need to plant and maintain indigenous trees throughout South Africa, especially for the many disadvantaged communities who often live in barren and water stressed areas. It further intends to:

  • Raise awareness of South Africa’s urban and rural greening initiatives.
  • Promote a better understanding of trees, particularly indigenous trees and fruit trees
  • Highlight the important role trees play in sustainable development and the livelihoods of people and their environment
  • Encourage communities to participate in various greening activities within their own surroundings


The theme and focus of the 2022 National Arbor Month campaign

The theme and focus areas:
The theme for the year 2022 is “Forests and sustainable production and consumption”. The theme is adopted from the United Nations Collaborative Partnership on Forests and was used for the International Day of Forests commemoration this year. The 2022 theme aims to highlight key areas of forestry and tree planting in terms of their role in creating and sustaining healthy and resilient communities, through health benefits that are derived in forests that include nutritious foods, medicine, fresh air, clean water and place for recreation.

The National Arbor City Awards
The launch event will focus on the awarding of prizes to the winning municipalities in the National Arbor City Awards competition, intense tree planting and greening initiatives in the hosting local municipality. The National Arbor City Awards will be aimed at rewarding those municipalities that are going an extra mile to implement the Two Million Trees Programme. As such, the portfolios of evidence submitted by municipalities will have to reflect this.

In the evening, an award ceremony/ dinner will be held for the awarding of prizes to the winning municipalities who participated in the National Arbor City Awards competition. Forestry stakeholders including representatives of small growers and producers, and greening role-players will be invited to attend the event.

The launch of the Two Million Trees Programme
It is also proposed that the focus of National Arbor Month should be on heralding a message to plant two million trees per annum as announced by the Office of the Presidency in 2020. The 2022 campaign should therefore involve giving prominence to tree planting and greening to meet the target of planting at least two million trees annually.

The introduction of the Million Trees Programme in 2007 commenced as an initiative that brought different stakeholders in the greening space to collaborate and plant at least one million trees annually. This collaboration has ensured that over the years the target has been exceeded on an annual basis.

The announcement in 2020 by the Office of the Presidency of planting 10 million trees in the next five years is a confirmation and recognition of the work that the greening partners have done. To ensure that two million trees are planted annually, commencing in the 2021/22 financial year, the department will use the Arbor Month campaign to explore partnerships with non-government organisations, corporates, municipalities, sector departments and other public entities involved in the function of greening. It will also use the campaign to accelerate the implementation of the programme towards the achievement of the targets

Tree planting and rehabilitation programmes
The National Arbor Month campaign 2021 will focus on tree planting, implementation of the Two Million Trees Programme and work around rehabilitation of degraded areas. It is planned that tree planting to support the Two Million Trees Programme will be carried out as follows:

  • About 3000 trees will be planted in and around the City of Mbombela Local Municipality
  • Each of the four Local Municipalities will be encouraged to plant about 1 000 trees to bring the district total to 7000


The launch of the Two Million Trees Programme

It is also proposed that the focus of National Arbor Month should be on heralding a message to plant two million trees per annum as announced by the Office of the Presidency in 2020. The 2022 campaign should therefore involve giving prominence to tree planting and greening to meet the target of planting at least two million trees annually.

The introduction of the Million Trees Programme in 2007 commenced as an initiative that brought different stakeholders in the greening space to collaborate and plant at least one million trees annually. This collaboration has ensured that over the years the target has been exceeded on an annual basis.

The announcement in 2020 by the Office of the Presidency of planting 10 million trees in the next five years is a confirmation and recognition of the work that the greening partners have done. To ensure that two million trees are planted annually, commencing in the 2021/22 financial year, the department will use the Arbor Month campaign to explore partnerships with non-government organisations, corporates, municipalities, sector departments and other public entities involved in the function of greening. It will also use the campaign to accelerate the implementation of the programme towards the achievement of the targets

Tree planting and rehabilitation programmes
The National Arbor Month campaign 2021 will focus on tree planting, implementation of the Two Million Trees Programme and work around rehabilitation of degraded areas. It is planned that tree planting to support the Two Million Trees Programme will be carried out as follows:

  • About 3000 trees will be planted in and around the City of Mbombela Local Municipality
  • Each of the four Local Municipalities will be encouraged to plant about 1 000 trees to bring the district total to 7000


The build-up process to the launch and closing events

During the last two weeks of August 2022 all the role players country-wide including the selected municipality (Mbombela Local Municipality) will be involved in intensive tree planting activity involving development of community parks, recreation activities and greening and tree planting of low-income cost housing units commonly known as “RDP homes”.

Trees of the year 2022
Some areas of our country still experience drought that is persisting for some time now. In promoting tree planting, it is important to note that South Africa is a water scarce country. For this reason, the department promotes the planting of indigenous trees that do not consume a lot of water. To promote greening, especially the planting of indigenous trees whose occurrence has become scarce, the concept of the trees of the year was born some years ago. Previously, two or three trees were selected as trees of the year comprising of rare and common species. However, from the year 2022 the department has promulgated that three trees be celebrated each year under the categories of common tree; tree for promotion and tree for appreciation. For the year 2022, the trees of the year are as follows:

  • Common Tree: Dais cotinifolia L. – Pompon tree
  • Tree for Promotion : Peltophorum africunum -African Black wattle
  • Tree for Appreciation 1: Aloidendron dichotomum – Quiver Tree
  • Tree for Appreciation 2: Aloidendron pillansii – Giant Quiver Tree.


Implications for vulnerable groups

The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment together with the hosting municipality and the province will ensure that trees, which include indigenous and fruit trees are planted where communities live to mark this event. This will extend greening services to the previously disadvantaged areas. In addition, most of the service providers for the event will be sourced in and around the area of the event to stimulate local economic development.

Source: Department of forestry, fisheries & the environment
Website: www.dffe.gov.za

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  • Sunshine Seedling Services
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  • TWK
  • WoodBiz Africa
  • Afrequip
  • Latschbacher
  • Alternative Structures Logo
  • Arxada
  • Bell
  • Ezigro Seedlings
  • Foresta Timber & Board
  • FSC
  • Hin-Tech Manufacturing
  • Husqvarna
  • John Deere
  • Khulani Timber Industries
  • Kwamahlati Training Services
  • LESH
  • Loadtech Load Cells
  • Logmech
  • Merensky
  • Mondi
  • Those who grow alone, die alone: why transformation is strategic for the MTO Group
  • NCT
  • Pangolin
  • Patula Risk
  • Ponsse
  • Rance Timbers
  • Sabie Poles
  • SAFCOL
  • Sappi
  • Saw Specialists
  • SAWPA
  • SSA
  • Stihl
  • Sunshine Seedling Services
  • Treated Timber Products
  • TWK
  • UCL Sawmill
  • Wood-Mizer
  • WoodBiz Africa
  • Wuhlf

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