International Day of Forests 2020

International Day of Forests 2020

The recent wildfires in Australia have highlighted the need to protect forests and animal habitats. Are these fires a warning sign from Gaia? The moisture rich nature of forests usually protects them from fires, to an extent. However, the drought at the time of the fires in New South Wales (south east coast) have led to the complete incineration of eucalyptus and rain forests.

The importance of forests for humanity and life on Earth is being written across the sky in smoke – not a signal but a clear message – one we can see, smell, hear and feel. Just last week another fire broke out in the forests lining the bottom of Table Mountain in Cape Town and then jumped across to the foothill of Lion’s Head with the prevailing winds. One can’t help but take a moment to acknowledge the power of both humans and nature. Was the fire started by dry conditions and wind or did an irresponsible human start a fire to keep warm and then not distinguish it properly? If we continue to live in contrast to nature rather than alongside it with respect, will we enter into a war with our own home? And do we really think that war will be only between nature and man? If we continue to pillage and disrespect nature as a resource, we will essentially be at war with ourselves. But it isn’t all doom and gloom. If we work together strategically towards sustainability, nature can produce enough for us all.

The 21st of March is International Day of Forests and we love that forests are celebrated and recognised in this way. Drawing attention to green hubs is a big focus for CCFA because sustaining them helps mitigate carbon emissions (forests absorb harmful greenhouse gasses).

Forests are biodiverse environments that are home to the thousands of animal and insect species (80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity to be exact) responsible for regulating life sustaining processes.

The International Day of Forests was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012. The declaration of a day that honours forests aims to encourage countries around the world to host events and promote activities that raise awareness around the importance of forest preservation. The Secretariat of the United Nations Forum on Forests, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization, facilitates the implementation of such events in collaboration with governments, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests, and international, regional and subregional organizations.

As humans we depend on forests for the air we breathe, the wood we burn for fire and use to create housing, furniture and paper. In order to use this resource responsibly, we must make sure that we replant what we uproot. Forests are a challenging resource to manage; humans are so dependent on them but when we cut down trees we destroy wildlife habitats and potentially wild animals themselves. Today an area the size of a soccer field is being destroyed every second through deforestation.

Forests are also a form of protection.They shield communities from adverse weather conditions and serve as catchment areas that help prevent flooding in low lying settlements. People living in these settlements depend on forests as a source of food, fuel, building materials and medicines.

The CCFA team is excited and proud of the Greening The Community project we initiated in 2019, alongside the founders of Indalo Nursery. The Indalo Nursery team in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, have inspired CCFA through their genuine, visible passion for working with plants, and their sense of duty to their cultural heritage. Through educating and motivating local communities Greening The Community aims to encourage the local community to start planting, maintaining and taking ownership of green zones. This project is a practical approach to offsetting carbon emissions but it is also an empowerment project that leads people towards taking responsibility for their lives; for the space they occupy on our planet, and for our home.

We’d like to encourage you to take a closer look at our Greening the Community project, in recognition of International Day of Forests

If you think there is a way you can contribute, whether through an informative public talk, educational workshops around tree planting and ‘greening’, or perhaps a donation of seeds or saplings, please feel free to contact us and discuss your ideas https://www.ccfa.africa/contact/.

Qhubeka & CCFA partner to provide bicycles for education, sustainability and change

Qhubeka & CCFA partner to provide bicycles for education, sustainability and change

Qhubeka & CCFA partner to provide bicycles for education, sustainability and change

CCFA has proudly partnered with Qhubeka, a global charity that moves people forward by distributing bicycles in Africa. People earn bicycles through educational programmes, improving their access to schools, clinics and jobs. A bicycle is a tool that helps people to travel faster and further, generate income and to carry more. In the face of extreme and persistent poverty, bicycles can change lives by helping to address socio-economic challenges at the most basic level – a means of transport.

 

CCFA believes that the Qhubeka projects are of great value to communities throughout Africa because they support education and sustainable livelihoods. The project attracts people to complete learning programmes using bicycles as the incentive, which graduates can then use to travel to find work, etc.
Qhubeka is an Nguni word that means “to progress”, “to move forward”. Bicycles help people move forward in that they allow them to travel faster, further and economically while carrying more goods.

 

CCFA applauds the QHUBEKA SHIFT projects, which aim to distribute 5 000 bicycles per year into a specific geographic area for five years, the goal being to SHIFT the entire community forward. The success of these projects is determined by measuring their sustained impact over a decade. If the Qhubeka team returns to an area after 10 years and sees fresh Qhubeka bicycle tracks on the ground, they will consider the project a success.

 

Learn-to-Earn Scholar Programmes
These programmes are targeted at children, who earn bicycles in various ways.
Scholar mobility programmes
Bicycles make it easier for school children to travel to and from school, which improves their overall attendance and performance.
Sports programmes
Children and their coaches use bicycles to access school and sports activities, encouraging health and saving them time.
Work-to-Earn Programmes for Adults
These programmes are aimed at adults, youth and those Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEETs), who earn bicycles in a range of ways:
Community safety programmes
Bicycles assist with more visible and effective security patrols, boosting safety for everyone.
Craft programmes
People earn bicycles by producing handicrafts, such as crocheting blankets, beanies and scarves, or making cow bells.
Eco programmes
People earn bicycles by recycling waste, growing trees and doing other environmentally-
beneficial activities.

Aside from the usefulness of the bicycles, the children and adults who receive them also enjoy riding them for pleasure and sport.