Sustainable Global Gardens [SGG] has been promoting tree-planting in East Africa for several years. Most of the trees planted so far have been planted on small-scale farms and have been directly useful to the farmer. Such trees include both fruits [e.g. mango, avocado, pawpaw, bananas, citrus fruits] and multipurpose species [e.g. Grevillea robusta, Azadirachta indica, Markhamia lutea, Moringa oleifera]. The main purpose of such tree-planting has been improvement of the environmental conditions & production on the farm, together with improved socio-economic status for the farming household. This work would therefore fall within Rotary’s ‘economic and community development’ area of focus. Such work also contributes to UN Sustainable Development Goals no 1and 2, the eradication of extreme global poverty and hunger, which are the foundation aims of SGG. For the foreseeable future most of SGG’s planting will continue to be of this type.
SGG has noticed in recent years that many East African farmers have become aware of the changing climate in their locality. We are also know that many of those farmers believe that their lifestyle makes a relatively small contribution to the emission of greenhouse gases which have caused global warming and climate change. They know the main contributors to greenhouse gas emissions are the prosperous industrialised economies of Europe, North America and East Asia. Thus, on the basis of ‘the polluter pays principle’, it is reasonable for them to expect [or at least hope] that the more prosperous will be willing to donate some compensation to those suffering most from climate change. At the same time there are many rotarians in more prosperous countries who realise that climate change is a looming disaster unless major and rapid changes are made to combat climate change. This project, therefore, allows anybody or any Rotary club who wish to make a contribution to climate change mitigation to sponsor East African farmers who are able to plant trees on their behalf.
One of the problems of tree-planting is that it usually takes a few years for the benefits of tree-planting to be realised. Sometimes Mother Nature can achieve the same benefits in less time. SGG is aware of locations where forest restoration is being encouraged by ‘spot planting’, but where most of the new trees have grown naturally without human action. This is a third approach to planting which we intend to promote.