“Green Revolution in Zambia”

…Nyasulu says, Worldview Institute championing Tree Planting Initiatives is meant to fight climate challenge

By Francis Maingaila

Lusaka, Zambia24 (6-04-2024) – The Worldview Institute, a leading organization dedicated to addressing climate change, has intensified its efforts to combat environmental degradation and promote sustainability through innovative initiatives aimed at tree planting and environmental education.

Victor Nyasulu, Chairperson of the Worldview Institute Board, stated during the tree handover ceremony to Choongwe primary schools that the institute has embarked on an ambitious mission to plant one million trees by 2030.

This initiative, dubbed the “Think Green” project, emphasizes the crucial role trees play in addressing environmental issues like carbon sequestration and soil erosion.

According to Nyasulu, one of the institute’s flagship programs, the Changa initiative, has forged partnerships with the Ministry of Education to engage young people in tree planting activities.

“Across 1,200 schools in Zambia, 150,000 trees are set to be planted, empowering students to take an active role in environmental conservation,” he said.

The project has already taken root in Lusaka Province, with 2,000 trees already planted in Chongwe, Rufunsa, and Lusaka districts each.

The expansion continues with plans to plant an additional 1,000 trees in Chongo district, demonstrating the institute’s commitment to scaling up its efforts.

However, Nyasulu explained such endeavors come with costs, as highlighted by the estimated 70,000 currency units required for the Chongo district planting.

Despite this financial hurdle, the Worldview Institute expresses gratitude to its dedicated staff, volunteers, and partners for their invaluable contributions to the project’s success.

In parallel, Nyasulu said the Think Green Project Institute of Zambia has launched the Shanga campaign, furthering the country’s green revolution.

“This campaign seeks to address environmental degradation through a multifaceted approach that includes tree planting and environmental education,” he said.

“The devastating impact of the current drought serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for action,” he added.

He said environmental degradation is fueled by deforestation, pollution, and climate change, threatening the very fabric of Zambia’s ecosystem.

He said the Shanga campaign places a strong emphasis on empowering the youth to become stewards of their environment.

“Central to the campaign is the idea of instilling a sense of responsibility and connection to nature among young generations,” he suggested.

He was of the considered view that education plays a crucial role, as students are taught about the importance of conservation, the role of trees in combatting climate change, and the preservation of biodiversity.

Beyond tree planting, Nyasulu said the campaign aims to inspire a collective sense of purpose and action.

He said rallying communities to work together towards a greener, more sustainable future aims to cultivate a new generation of environmental champions among Zambia’s children.

Lawrence Evans, Choongwe District Commissioner, called for transformative initiatives to combat climate change and foster sustainability.

Speaking when he witnessed the handover of the trees donated to Choongwe schools, Evans said the Shanga Initiative, which emphasizes tree planting under the Think Green Project, highlights the imperative of environmental conservation and sustainability.

Evans recognizes El Niño and deforestation as significant contributors to environmental challenges, urging collaborative efforts to address them comprehensively.

Acknowledging the Worldview Institute and partners for their commitment, Evans stresses individual responsibility in safeguarding planted trees and advocates for stewardship practices like natural tree growth on farms.

He challenges the younger generation to actively engage in environmental initiatives and emphasizes collaboration for greener, cleaner districts.

Evans underscores the impact of climate change on agriculture and raises awareness about the environmental consequences of charcoal usage. He highlights the potential risk of desertification due to deforestation, advocating for conservation and replanting efforts.

In a proactive move to combat climate change and foster environmental sustainability, the Choongwe District Education Board Secretary (DEBS), Joseph Chanda, who was represented by Barbara Mulenga, expressed heartfelt gratitude to the Worldview Institute for their generous donation of 1000 trees to the district.

Chanda said each of the district’s schools will receive 50 trees, marking a significant step towards a greener future for the community.

This commendable initiative, spearheaded by the youth, resonates with the government’s broader objectives of reducing carbon emissions and nurturing a green nation. By planting trees in schools, the initiative not only instills environmental consciousness in the younger generation but also serves as a practical demonstration of collective responsibility in addressing pressing global challenges.

Barbara Mulenga, representing DEBS, emphasizes the pivotal role of responsible tree care in maximizing the benefits these trees offer.

Beyond mere aesthetics, these trees hold the promise of providing essential resources such as food and shade, while also playing a crucial role in supporting the local ecosystem and wildlife habitats.

Mulenga underscores the symbiotic relationship between humans and nature, urging the community to embrace their role as stewards of the environment.

Petronella Mulenga from the Forestry Department echoes these sentiments, highlighting the inclusive nature of tree planting initiatives.

She emphasizes the holistic involvement of the entire community, with a special emphasis on the pivotal role of young people as ambassadors for environmental conservation.

Mulenga underscores their economic and ecological significance in the face of climate change-induced challenges such as drought.

As climate change continues to manifest in various forms, the importance of proactive measures such as tree planting cannot be overstated.

She said integrating tree planting into the fabric of daily life, communities can mitigate the adverse effects of climate change while simultaneously fostering sustainable development.

Mulenga calls upon everyone to embrace tree planting as a habitual practice, emphasizing its role as a tangible solution to mitigate climate change impacts and ensure the well-being of future generations.

Mulenga said the collective gratitude expressed towards the Worldview Institute serves as a testament to the power of collaboration in driving positive change.

“The commitment to monitor and manage tree planting efforts underscores the long-term vision of creating a resilient and environmentally conscious community in Choongwe District,” she said.

She explained that through concerted efforts and unwavering dedication, the seeds of change planted today will undoubtedly bear fruit for generations to come.

Isaac Chitibwi, the Executive Director of the Worldview Institute, leads efforts to combat deforestation through extensive tree planting.

With a goal of planting one million trees by 2030, Chitibwi stated that progress is evident in Lusaka, Kafue District, and Lusaka National Park.

He mentioned that the Shanga project engages youth, aiming to plant 150,000 trees in one year across Zambia’s ten provinces.

“Partnerships with sponsors like Zanaco and BGS fund projects, promoting environmental stewardship through practical actions,” he noted.

Despite challenges like drought, Chitibwi explained that 60 volunteers in Lusaka support projects, with schools appointing champions to oversee the success of tree planting initiatives.

Liswaniso Katema, one of the volunteers, highlighted the initiative’s transformative impact on communities, empowering individuals to enact change locally.

Katema emphasized the palpable enthusiasm of participants and the transformative effect it has on local communities.

Beyond merely aiming to change the world, Katema explained that this initiative is fundamentally about empowering individuals to enact meaningful change within their own spheres of influence.

She stated that the Worldview Institute’s tree planting initiative stands as a beacon of hope in the fight against environmental degradation.

“Through strategic partnerships, community engagement, and a steadfast commitment to sustainability, the institute is not only planting trees but also sowing the seeds of a brighter, greener future for generations to come,” she concluded.

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